Prayer for Progress and the Arab Community

Shani Ferguson
By Shani Ferguson
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Shalom,

Celebrate with us! Simchat Torah (the Joy of the Law) begins Tuesday night. This day that closes out the fall High Holidays celebrates the completion of reading through the Torah in a year and begins the cycle anew. And while among Christians “the Law” is usually mentioned in a negative context (i.e., bondage to the Law), in Israel Jews celebrate with singing and dancing that the Word of God was entrusted to them. 

1. Concerning Mistakes and Progress: Have you ever made a mistake?

Mistakes can be big or small—bumping into a glass door, burning dinner, blurting out an awkward comment in a group, cheating on a test, diving into an unhealthy relationship, or making a mistake that costs you your job. Sometimes the mistakes happen because of a split-second decision, sometimes we had time to think it through—but in the end, it was still our decision. 

I bet you could think back on your life and cringe at a mistake you’d give anything to undo. While that cringe sensation doesn’t feel good, that feeling is our friend. That feeling will go a long way toward keeping us from making the same mistake again. That is why mistakes are a crucial part of our journey. There are levels we will never achieve without making mistakes on our way there.

This is why our current believing culture (and now the “woke” culture) that is so vicious towards people’s mistakes is such a problem. Individuals who do not have the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them will not evolve into a better version of themselves. Scientists who cannot experiment and fail will never be able to make new discoveries. Societies that eat their own will stagnate, deteriorate, and eventually collapse.  

We may not be able to change this culture overnight but we can start with ourselves by not adding our voices to the “cancel culture” that demands the removal of someone who made a mistake and is willing to learn from them. If we only allow people who don’t make mistakes to be in the limelight or be our leaders, we are simply choosing to reward people who hide their mistakes better than the other guys.

  • Father, You are a merciful God.
  • We thank You that You have paid the price for our mistakes.
  • We want others to know the grace and forgiveness You have offered us. Help us be the messengers who carry this message to them.
  • We bring before You those who are Yours who have suffered from the “cancel culture” that does not allow people to make mistakes and learn from them.
  • Give us the grace to learn from our own mistakes—and give us the wisdom to learn from other’s mistakes.
  • Faithful God, many Christians today believe You have abandoned Israel because she made the mistake of rejecting their Messiah. Show them You are more powerful than Israel’s mistakes just like You are more powerful than their own personal mistakes.
  • Reveal Your power of redemption in our lives and the lives of Israelis as You turn mistakes into opportunities to glorify Your name.

2. Concerning Violence between Arabs in Israel:

If you thought all—or even most—of the violence in Israel was Arab terrorists trying to kill as many Jews as possible and Jews fighting back, you’d be wrong. Sadly, in Israel—as in many parts of the Middle East—internal violence within the Arab community is a more prevalent and concerning issue. Largely, because dealing with it is so complicated.

In Naharia, Israel’s most northern coastal city, this month a Druz volunteer police officer was run over by illegal Palestinian workers while trying to stop their work on a construction site during forbidden holiday hours. Israel took the murder seriously and set up a blockade on the busy Highway 1 that leads to Jerusalem near our home. The traffic jam that resulted was horrendous, but the blockade proved fruitful and several people have been arrested in connection with the incident. 

The list of crime-related killings is both frustrating and heartbreaking as in the case of a young Arab child who was hit by a stray bullet while sitting in the back seat of his family’s car as they returned from a wedding. The complaint is that Arab towns are run by gangs and there is no one to stop them. Just this week six more murders have brought the number of Arab-on-Arab murders to 99 since the beginning of 2021.

Arabs with “Arab Lives Matter” signs and Jews with, “Their pain, our responsibility” signs have taken to the streets to protest the lack of action by the government. Israel has considered involving the Shin Bet (our FBI) in the matter, but cooperation would have to come from Arab leadership. This would be tricky, as some Arabs have been killed or had to go into hiding with their families for cooperating with the authorities in solving crimes. Ultimately, Israeli involvement in “Arab affairs” can spark animosity against Jews in general—a dynamic Hamas loves to capitalize on. 

A long-term plan would include investing in educating children in conflict resolution rather than violence, as well as encouraging families (who are culturally close) to take responsibility for the actions of their own. For the immediate future, the police have declared they are recruiting over a thousand police cadets directly from the affected communities and are planning to enlarge the current funds to allow better.

  • Lord, You are sovereign. What You say is what will be.
  • You have given the land of Israel to the Jewish people. But what is a land and a nation without capable rulers?
  • Grant Israel’s leaders the grace and wisdom to govern the inhabitants of the land.
  • The Arab/Druz/Bedouin population is in turmoil. Many are in bondage to the rage that exists within radical Islam. Others have simply been raised in lawless communities without clear boundaries. Raise up father figures in these communities who will establish Your values.
  • Turn the passions of the young men in the community towards creating.
  • We ask for grace and clarity of communication when the authorities are invited into these communities. Trust from both sides takes time to develop—grant opportunities to speed up the process.
  • You are a God who brings order out of chaos. Use this opportunity of Jewish involvement to bring the Arab and Jewish communities together.
  • Root out and expose those with evil intentions.
  • Let disunity and discontent rule in the camp of the wicked.
  • We invite You into this situation. We recognize these are deep heart issues only You can heal and resolve.
  • Do not merely answer our prayers to reduce crime and bring peace and order. Grant the full restoration of the Arab people to You. Oh God of Israel—God of all Creation!

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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