Prayer Concerning Jews, Arabs and the Maoz Team

Shani Ferguson
By Shani Ferguson
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Ari turned 80 this past weekend! Yes, we know. He doesn’t look it. Apparently in Israel what doesn’t kill you makes you look younger.

My dad’s love language is quality time, so we couldn’t think of a gift he would enjoy more than a weekend in the beautiful Golan Heights of northern Israel with his kids and grandkids. This particular restaurant used to be a popular hangout for the elites in the Syrian army—back when the Syrians controlled the area. Today it serves local Israelis and boasts its own pond-to-table fishery.

Today, though Israel has made incredible strides in desert agriculture, the Golan Heights are naturally the most fruitful lands with rich soil and rivers that gush ice water year-round.

As they say in Israel, “May you live to be 120!”

1. Concerning the Arab Population in Israel:

Though referred to as one people group, the Arab population in Israel is made up of a collective of religions and national identities. To explain the difference between Muslim, nominal Christian, born-again Christian, Bedouin and Druze, etc. would take time. Suffice to say while they tend to fall under the category of “Arab” these different sects all have different customs, traditions and political stances depending on where they migrated from in the Middle East. What is for sure, at over 20% of the population spread across the country, their presence has an impact on the daily lives of the rest of the nation. And while I can attest to the truth that many Jews and Arabs live and work together without any trouble, the constant conflict between the two societies has set a negative undertone and many prejudices that still dictate the attitude of one society towards the other. (If anything, I have trouble telling the difference between Jews and Arabs until I hear their accent).

The increase in violence and illegal guns within the Arab community—combined with the recent government coalition makeup that includes an Arab party—has allowed for significant attention being given to the long-standing issue of underdeveloped plans in the areas of income, infrastructure, education, and assimilation into Israeli society.

For starters, the Israeli government has now approved an investment of 30 billion NIS in education, infrastructure, social welfare, and so forth. As Arab culture is very tribal and local in its authority structure, the goal would be to strengthen and eventually give more independence to the local leaders in each city.

At the same time, this past week Israel categorized six Palestinian “humanitarian” organizations as “terrorist groups” after incriminating videos surfaced. There are surely many factors and elements that play a huge role in creating the complex reality in which we live. Regardless, I am hopeful that this crisis of Arab-on-Arab violence will create a willingness among Arabs to receive help from Israeli authorities where in the past they would have only seen them as an invading force.

  • Father, You have created and spoken Your blessings over the children of Abraham. Each has a calling: each has a destiny.
  • Your adversary works relentlessly to put enmity between the descendants of Abraham. You have other plans.
  • You have called us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all its inhabitants.
    (Psalm 122:6)
  • May there be peace that wouldn’t suffice in economic or political changes but true peace that comes from You—peace that surpasses all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)
  • In Arab cities and villages across Israel, appoint godly local leaders who will invest in their regions and in their people instead of acts of terror.
  • Supporting Israel among Arabs is often stigmatized in public but admired in private— turn the tide. Raise up brave Israeli-Arabs who will pave the way to publicly and admirably support Israel.
  • Give wisdom to the Israeli government to find allays to restructure and reshape the socio-economic state of the Arab communities.
  • Strengthen relationships between Jewish believers and born-again Arab Christians. May they together be a powerful witness to both unbelieving Jews and Arabs in their community.
  • Let Your glory be known over all the earth as the only One who can bring peace and unity between the inhabitants of the Middle East whether they be Jews, Arabs, Persians, Afghans, etc.

2. Concerning the Maoz Israel Team:

I like to think of you, God’s prayer warriors, as our spiritual Air Force in Israel—and the Maoz team as your ground troops. Together we empower each other and play a complementary role in the fight against the Kingdom of Darkness. In light of that, let us keep the Maoz Israel team before the throne. Some among our team are native-born, the rest immigrated to Israel at a young age—all of us are Israeli citizens—and all of us are human with deep convictions—and life struggles.

The team in Israel includes over a dozen staff with families they are raising in Israel. More than one has a parent they have to care for because they are disabled or have a terminal illness. Several of our staff are raising special-needs children. And while Maoz pays respectable salaries to take care of its staff, Israel is an expensive country in which to live.

Since apartments for even small families begin at $500,000—with a required 35% down—most of us rent our homes. This means moving every few years is a part of most of our lives. 

When people learn Kobi and I are American citizens they often ask why in the world we’d live here in this cramped and expensive country. We both smile because, like our staff, our passion for this country and what God wants to see it become surpasses any momentary enjoyment we could have from comfort and luxury.

  • Father, You are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You are the God of the promises You made to bless their descendants and make them a blessing to the nations of the earth.
  • You are a God of miracles and this is a land rich with promises. As the Maoz team delights itself in You, grant them the desires of their hearts.
  • Health and healing is a promise You gave. We ask for health and healing by any and all means possible—whether it be supernatural or by medical treatment.
  • You see the struggles of each team member and their families. Provide the emotional and practical support each family needs to raise their children to be men and women of God in this land.
  • The Maoz team works long, hard hours. May their sleep at night provide the rest and refreshment their bodies need to get up and do it again for years to come. May their dreams be the ones You give them.
  • The team has grown in the 45 years since Maoz was established. As the workload grows, new members will continue to be added. We ask that You send those You have prepared for the work in Israel, as well as the partners worldwide who will sustain the work.
  • The difference between a good year and a difficult one can often depend on your landlord, neighbors and the teachers your children get for that grade. We ask for favor in the area of the people who surround the Maoz team and affect their daily lives.
  • We thank You for the team You have put together for the purpose of drawing Israel back to You in these last days.
  • We thank You for all the team members from the Maoz branches all over the world! May the blessings extend to their families and their work as well!
  • We ask that You would cause the Maoz Israel team to walk in a manner worthy of the calling in which You called them. (Ephesians 4:1)
  • We often get feedback from unbelievers on how moved they are by the “positive energy” that radiates within the team (a few told us they thought we were all related at first). This love for one another that we enjoy is a testimony that we are His. May it stir Israelis to want to be His as well!
  • Let the Maoz team—and ministry/congregation leadership teams all over Israel—be known for their unity, love, character and kindness that points to You.

    If you’re not already getting this weekly prayer letter, you can subscribe at MaozIsrael.org/pray

    Your fellow intercessors,
    Kobi and Shani Ferguson
    and the entire Maoz Israel Team
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