Prayer for Israel/Church Relations

Shani Ferguson
By Shani Ferguson
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Shani (third from the right) taking part in Gateway Church’s annual Global weekend where worship leaders from all over the world spend time fellowshipping and worshipping together.

Shalom,

It’s good to be back home in the Jerusalem hills after spending two weeks in the US. It’s not that I particularly like the hot dusty air, the ever-present sound of honking in the cities, people arguing over the various agitations of living in a tightly squeezed country—or the 100,000 missiles the news reports to be pointed at us at any given moment. But it is home for me—the place I took my first breath and hopefully the place I will take my last.

While I love this land in its awkwardly dysfunctional stage (much like we love our kids in their awkward stages too!), I know I have been planted here to be a part of the change God has planned for it. I take that responsibility seriously which is why having you join in praying specifically into Israel’s daily and long-term needs means so much to me, my family and our ministry team. 

1. Concerning Israel/Church Relations:

This past week Kobi and I taught at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, TX during their “highlighting Israel” week. The worship time there is always so special (though it’s hard to describe if you haven’t been there to experience it yourself).

I was encouraged by the students’ engagement of this topic with an open heart. And of course, it’s fun to be able to teach on harder hitting topics that you can’t usually cover in a weekend service. Still, some of the questions that came up during Q&A time reinforced the fact that a good number of churches that wouldn’t necessarily be considered anti-Israel—are still woefully lacking in their understanding of it.

The thing is, history is our witness that for both spiritual and natural reasons, when it comes to Israel the tendency is always to turn against it—if you don’t have a reason to be for it.

Of all the names You are known by, oh Creator of the Universe, we honor You as the God of Israel. You have always stated clearly Your commitment to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Some Christians have been taught You have abandoned Your promise to Israel and taken in the Church instead. We are zealous for You to be known among the nations as the One who keeps His word for a thousand generations.

He remembers His covenant forever, the promise He made, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.

He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant. (I Chronicles 16:15-17)

Some Christians feel like second-class citizens in a covenant that was promised first to the Jewish people. Demonstrate to them that it was always Your plan to save the world—and their invitation into Your covenant was personal and deliberate—just not at the expense of the Jewish people.

The Church has a long history of misunderstanding and then mistreating Israel. Many in the church are unaware of what causes this cycle of animosity towards Israel. Bring this topic to light for discussions among Christians and churches all over the world.

Let unity and love between Israel and the Church because of Yeshua demonstrate Your power and give glory to Your name.

2. Concerning Rain:

Growing up, the rainy season was always something to keep an eye on, but I remember in the early 2000’s the serious concern Israel had about the lack of rain and increase in use of water. At one point the Sea of Galilee dropped below the “Black Line” and fishing was prohibited for a few years for fear that the low water level combined with a low number of fish would damage the ecosystem permanently.

Fishermen who made their living off the sea were beside themselves and many difficult choices had to be made those years. Thankfully, being the ever-innovative nation that Israel is, Israelis started working on massive desalination plants that would turn ocean water into drinking water. Today,  while our dependence on the Sea of Galilee is not so critical, it is still necessary. Therefore, the rainy season is crucial to keeping it healthy and the underwater reservoirs replenished. The ultimate prize being that once the Sea of Galillee is full, the Degania dam can be opened to allow it to drain into the Jordan River which empties into the Dead Sea that is in danger of drying up entirely.

As of now we are in October and have yet to see more than a few drops of water from the sky.

Time is of the essence as the winter season, commonly between October and April, is the window in which the rains come that is crucial to restoring the water reserves in the country. The key is solid rains spread out over the course of the season. Too much all at once causes deadly flash flooding and the water doesn’t drain into the underground reservoirs but runs out into the ocean.

In addition, the recent arson fires in the Jerusalem area destroyed some 5,000 acres of forest. A rainy winter will allow a faster restoration process for the whole region, to bring back life into the desolation caused by the fires.

  • Father, You are the Lord of the Heavens
  • Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains because He is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. (Joel 2:23)
  • You are a faithful God who reigns over the rain!
  • Do not withhold the rain this year from Israel!
  • The forests around Your city of Jerusalem were set on fire this summer by those who despise Your name, God of Israel. We pray for a full restoration of all the damage caused by these fires.
  • You send rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45) so we ask for rain regardless of Israel’s spiritual state.
  • But do not forget Your promise to wash away the sins from the daughters of Zion.
  • You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the LORD, have created it. (Isaiah 45:8 NIV)
  • Flood this nation with a spiritual awakening to fulfill Your promises and to show your faithfulness

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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