9 October 2023 – On 7 October 2023, the militant Palestinian Islamic movement, Hamas, launched a large-scale offensive against Israel from the Gaza Strip, breaking through the Gaza–Israel barrier and forcing entry into Gaza border crossings, nearby Israeli cities, adjacent military installations and civilian settlements. It is the first direct conflict within Israel’s territory since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
Hostilities were initiated in the early morning with a rocket barrage against Israel and vehicle-transported incursions into Israeli territory, with several attacks carried out on surrounding Israeli civilian communities and Israeli military bases, and many people were taken hostage. Some observers have referred to these events as the beginning of a third Palestinian intifada. Israel formally declared war for the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Why pray for Israel?
“I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” (Isaiah 62:6-7).
There are several specific Biblical promises regarding Israel which are yet to be fulfilled. Isaiah 62:6-7 encourages us to continue to ‘give God no rest’, but to pray for and take a stand for Israel until we see Jerusalem and her inhabitants blessed with His peace and goodness. Also, David’s exhortation in Psalm 122:6-7 is still to be prayed and sung today: “May they prosper who love you. May peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces.”
What to pray for:
▪ Current events – Keep your eye on the news and continue to pray daily as the Holy Spirit leads you. Discern well between true and false reports.
▪ Protection of all – (Psalm 91:1-2). Pray for God’s divine protection of people on both sides, for peace to come to this troubled region and comfort to those who have lost loved ones. Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
▪ Hostages – (Psalm 34:17). Pray for all hostages, including women and children, being held – for their safe release and God’s comfort in their distress. Especially pray for the wounded to be attended to.
▪ Believers on both sides – (Matthew 5:13-16). There are precious Christians on both sides who are praying for God’s will to be done in this situation. Pray for them to be light and salt amidst terrible circumstances and demonstrate the love of Jesus where they are.
▪ Salvation – (Philippians 2:9-11). God, the only Saviour, reveal Yourself to the lost in Israel and the Gaza Strip amid the chaos and conflict. Draw them to Your Son, so that He will be acknowledged as Lord and Saviour, and You will be glorified.
▪ Leaders – (James 1:5). Heavenly Father, grant wisdom and discernment to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and all leaders involved in making decisions during this challenging time. May they seek Your wisdom and guidance in all they do. Guide Church leaders to play their important part in this process, demonstrating the love of Christ.
▪ International Leaders – (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Father, we lift up in prayer every world leader, as well as the leaders of nations in the Middle East. May they work towards a peaceful resolution and support efforts to bring an end to this conflict.
▪ Prayer covering – (John 13:34-35). Pray for the mobilisation of the church to pray, to be a reconciling influence in a divided Israel and to SHINE the light of Christ in the midst of this dark and fearful time. May they bear a strong and courageous witness to Christ in this hour of trouble and need.
▪ Access to airports and border posts – Pray for those unable to leave Gaza and Israel due to closed border posts or delayed flights – for wisdom, shelter, food and water, also to hear God’s purpose and plan for them and experience His guidance. Pray for the opening of escape routes at the right and safe time.
▪ End to war – Pray for a swift end to this war and all violence in Israel and Gaza. (Matthew 5:9). Prince of Peace, we cry out for an end to the violence and bloodshed. Bring about reconciliation and understanding among conflicting peoples. May your peace prevail and You be glorified.
In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Do not keep silent till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.