Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Our God exhorts us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem in Psalm 122:6. This trip
has enabled us to reflect on what that means today. We pray for the Gospel of
Jesus Christ to both humble hearts leading to repentance and to experience the
cleansing of their conscience through the Blood of Jesus Christ.
We may wonder why Jerusalem is specifically to be the the focus of our prayers.
Nashat Filmon, the President of the Palestinian Bible Society marvels that when
he goes back to Egypt, people want to kiss his hand because he lives in
Jerusalem and has touched the places where Jesus walked. This may sound silly to
us. Yet the reason Jerusalem so captures the minds and hearts of people around
the world is because God has revealed Himself in this place.
Yet the grief is that the millions that live in the areas Jesus walked are so
blind to Him. They are caught up in the busy-ness of their lives so that they do
not seek after God. Pray that God would capture their attention to care about
their souls. As one pastor said , “I live in a wounded nation. The peoples focus
on the way they are wounded by others rather than on how they wound God.Pray
that people would grieve over how their sin wounded Jesus so that they can
genuinely know the love and grace of God.
The people and the nation live in fear. One pastor said that even those in
government believe that only fear can unite the people. Pray that their fear of
God would transcend their fear of their enemies. Barriers exist between the
different people groups. Pray that GOd would remove those barriers in Christ. We
pray for the revival of the traditional churches. Instead of focusing purely on
liturgy and history they might focus on Christ. As one pastor said what good is
it if a leader in the church is good politically but his spiritual life is
dying. Pray that leaders would know the joy of the Lord in the Gospel so that
they might share that joy with those who find their hope in Christ.
The Messianic congregations have increasing diversity. These congregations want
to maintain their differences while at the same time maintaining their unity as
Messianics. Pray that the very different groups that we are called to provide
theological training for in Haifa and in Tel Aviv will find their unity in
Jesus.I am grateful that we seem to have their confidence and trust in training
pastors and leaders for the church. Pray especially that those in their 20’s and
30’s would be open to being trained.
As is the case with ministry wherever we serve, these pastors have
disappointments that weigh heavily on their souls. Leaders in their congregation
who go their own way rather than doing what is best for the congregation. I am
grateful that several share their hearts with us. Pray for them as they are
concerned for their congregations. Pray for them as they are concerned for their
children who are attacked by the world.
THANK YOU for your prayers for the peace of Jerusalem. Your worship of our Lord
this Lords Day is in our prayers. May the GOd of grace strengthen and comfort
yur hearts that we together may glorify Him till He comes.
In Christ’s joy Doug and Mary Jane