Prayer Concerning Hope and Trust

Shani Ferguson
By Shani Ferguson
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Israelis celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem in front of the Damascus gate that was previously inaccessible to Jews.

The battle over Ukraine continues, though the international headlines today are scarce about the goings on. As our team in Israel have friends and loved ones there, they keep us updated regarding the events on the ground. Every time you hear a story you think,  “This is the most heart-wrenching story yet!” and then, until you hear the next story. The hardest part about this seems to be the “no-end-in-sight” factor. Thankfully, our partners have been beyond generous, and we continue to be able to help cover basic necessities for hundreds of people who have fled to Israel or who are still inside Ukraine.

But then there are those whose needs go beyond the basics. “Please just pray!” was the answer of one wife when we asked how we could help. Her husband is a musician. He played on the worship team with one of our current staff when they lived in Ukraine. When the war started, he—along with others—were drafted into combat units. He’s an honest man so he did not run and hide; he reported for duty. The experience has been very difficult for him and there is no end in sight. Most of the guys in his unit have no previous military experience and more than a few have been killed in battle. But the nation is desperate, so few exceptions can be made. Still, the army has many needs, so our prayer is that they will find a place for him and his unit mates to serve with their strengths.

Light show display on the walls of the Old City celebrating 55 years of Jerusalem reunited.

Prayer Concerning Hope and Trust:

This week Israel celebrated 55 years of Jerusalem’s reunification and subsequent access to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount where the Lord’s manifest presence dwelt. The celebration includes a march that goes throughout the city with thousands of Israeli flags. Last year, this was the march that Hamas used as the excuse to fire on cities all over Israel, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The operation was dubbed “Operation Watchmen on the Walls.” This year, Hamas threatened once again, demanding the march be canceled. No one knew until the day was over if Hamas would make good on its threats to bomb Tel Aviv.  Thankfully, the day passed with only minor disturbances.

For the most part the celebration reminded me of the Israel of my childhood with the spontaneous singing of Israeli songs of hope and Jewish dancing in the streets. Life has changed a lot in Israel since my childhood. It has become much more modern, more expensive, more “rat race,” more friends, more enemies, more frustrating, more fascinating. And still, given the opportunity my people are still the same deep inside, able to give a beautiful demonstration of the persistence of the Jewish people to continue to celebrate the promises of God no matter what happened “last time”. It’s a perseverance that should inspire worshippers of the God of Israel all over the world.

  • Father, we thank You for giving us today. We honor You for what You did yesterday and praise You for what You will do tomorrow.
  • Your plan is perfect. Our mistakes may cause us difficulty in our own lives, but they do not endanger Your ability to fulfill Your plan.
  • We recognize that we see only in part. And so, we worship You for that which we understand— and that which we don’t understand.
  • We thank You for creating the Jewish people who show us so much about who You are, and who we are as humans.
  • You are the Healer, the Rescuer, the Defender and the Redeemer, among many other things. You could not be any of these things if we did not experience trouble to begin with. We thank You for the opportunity to celebrate Your deliverance.
  • The world is watching. May Israel’s perseverance and confidence in her God be evident to all and give You glory.
  • For thousands of years, Jews did not give up hope that Jerusalem would one day be available for them to march through and worship the God of Israel. Thank You for proving them right.
  • We will not lose hope either! May our lives also demonstrate our belief in Your ability to fulfill Your promises even if—“in the past”—things didn’t happen like we wanted.
  • Every time Israel cried out to You and trusted You, You came through—and their children lived to tell the tale.
  • We, in turn, cry out to You for the seemingly impossible solutions to our problems. You are so creative in how You save the world.

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