By Miriam Nadler
In the early 70’s, I had the life changing opportunity of studying in Israel for a year. During this time, I reached out to fellow students with the Good News and was a part of the Messianic Congregation that was then developing in Jerusalem. I was in my mid-twenties, single, and enthralled with this year of living in the Land. (Yes, this was before Sam and I ever met!)
Since those days, on each of the many ministry trips we have been privileged to take, I have seen remarkable growth across Israel’s landscape of believers. This wonderful transformation is inspiring to me, and as I share about it with you, my hope is twofold. First, I desire to encourage you to join us in praying for specific needs we see today in Israel, and secondly, to ask that you pray for us and the outreaches that Word of Messiah is planning as we return to Israel in early 2017.
During my year in Israel, I could count the number of Messianic Congregations in the entire country on one hand. Now, 46 years later, the Lord is continuing to build His testimony in the Land. According to several news sources, today there are over 150 Messianic Congregations in Israel where Jew and Gentile meet together to worship the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world. These include congregations of all sizes; some meet in their own buildings and others meet in home groups. Regardless of size, these congregations can be found in every city and most every town and are having great impact on their surrounding communities as living testimonies of Yeshua’s love and power to change lives and families.
Today, the great majority of Israelis who are ethnically Jewish are agnostic or atheistic in their religious beliefs. However, many are desirous for authentic faith and are searching for the source of true peace. When an Israeli sees the love of Messiah in the life of a believer they are drawn to Yeshua.
Here are a few specific ways you can be praying for our brothers and sisters in Israel:
- Pray for the leaders of the Messianic Congregations of Israel, along with their families:
As you are praying for the people of Israel be sure to pray for these congregations who are proclaiming the Good News to their local communities. Be praying especially for the leadership of these groups as Satan desires not only to destroy the leaders but attack their families as well. Pray that each member of their families would be strengthened in the LORD and that each leader would have His wisdom to lead their flock.
- Pray for the children and teenagers in these various believing communities.
Many of the children and young people in Israel’s Messianic Congregations are now from second or third-generation believing homes. Pray that each one would not merely depend on their parents’ faith, but would accept Yeshua as their personal Savior and have His strength to live courageously in a Land that is often hostile to Messianic believers.
- Pray for the believing soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
All Israelis, men ages 18 to 21 and women ages 18 to 20, are required to do some form of military or community service. This means that thousands of Messianic Israelis – Jewish and non-Jewish men and women – have shared in the Israeli army experience at one time or another. Pray for the believing soldiers who are currently serving, that their witness for Yeshua will be a beacon of hope to those around them. Also pray for their safety as soldiers are one of the main targets of the terrorists who seek to kill and destroy.
“While it has been relatively quiet in the last few months compared to several stabbings a day for the last year, Israeli soldiers and citizens are still being targeted. Palestinian children are still being taught to hate Jews and fight them. To put it in Golda Meir’s words, ‘Peace will only come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.’” (From Maoz Israel’s November Newsletter)
This winter, Word of Messiah will be returning to Israel where we will have multiple opportunities to minister. Please join us in prayer for these specific requests:
- Pray for the seminar with Maoz Israel in Tel Aviv where Sam will be teaching congregational leaders and their wives from all over Israel: pray that they will be strengthened and equipped in their ministries as shepherds, especially in the area of discipling the next generation.
- Pray for our ministry to individual congregations in Haifa and the Galilee as we help them with particular needs and areas of growth.
- Pray as we’ll be ministering to various youth leaders from various congregations. These leaders minister to the young people who are preparing for and presently serving in the IDF.
- Finally, pray as we meet with a conference for congregation planters especially in the Galilee, to address the issues that can hinder outreach and growth.
We are so thankful to be a part of reaching out with the Gospel in Israel and blessed to be able to build up the believers in the land. We are especially thankful for your continued prayers and support that make this possible. Let’s join together with the passion of Paul’s heart for his people in praying: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for Israel is for their salvation!”- Romans 10:1