Biblical Foundations

Prayer for the nations with regard to Israel

A biblical introduction from Harald Eckert

With the Scripture in Exodus 19:6 as a backdrop,  1 Peter 2:9 tells us that we as the Christian church participate in the “gifts and callings” of Israel (Rom. 11:28f). We are called to partner with Israel to be a “light to the nations” (Is. 49:6; Acts 13:47). Together with Israel, we form a “royal priesthood”, proclaiming the great wonders of God! We share a priestly calling – as well as a prophetic one – to the nations!

Our access to this calling as the Christian church is Jesus himself! In Jesus, our priestly calling is based upon His calling as a priest in the “order of Melchizedek” (Heb. 7,1ff). In Jesus, our prophetic calling is based upon His prophetic calling, which is connected to and even surpasses the calling of Moses and Elijah (Lk. 9:28-36; Acts 3:22, see Deut. 18:18). Jesus, our “head”, is Priest, King and Prophet. We as his “body” should participate in and reflect that fact by being a priestly, kingly and prophetic people.

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Prayer Points

In the Bible, Israel is called the “apple of God’s eye” (Zech. 2:8), His “firstborn son”(Exod. 4:22, Hos. 11:1), His “wife” (Isa. 54:5-6). In the New Testament,God calls Israel “beloved for the father’s sake” and a people whose gifts and callings will never be rejected or disregarded by God:

“As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs ...” (Rom. 11:28-29).

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Prayer Topic No. 2

Praying for humility in the church concerning the Jewish people

Romans 11 contains the deepest truths and insights in all of the New Testament concerning Jewish-Christian relations. Paul talks about the relationship between the Jewish “remnant” and Jewish “All Israel”. He talks about the role of the global church to be an example of God’s mercies and love towards the Jewish people. He talks about first bringing the “fullness of the Gentiles” into the Kingdom before saving all Israel. And he talks about the danger of the church becoming arrogant against that part of the Jewish people which has not come to faith in Christ:

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Prayer Topic No. 4

Pray for the restoration of Israel

As the spirit of the Lord is drawing the Jewish people back home to Israel from all four corners of the earth, it is our privilege and our joy as Christians to pray for this historic movement and – where the Lord allows us – to even participate in it. As Christians for Israel helping Jewish people immigrate to Israel is one of our highest priorities and it is our joy to be able to work together with other Christian ministries such as Ebenezer, Operation Exodus International and others to assist in the process.

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Prayer Topic No. 6

Pray for the salvation of “all Israel”

The calling of Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3) was the beginning of God’s redemptive history with and through the Jewish people. The salvation of all Israel after the fulfillment of the “Great Commission” will be the climax of this era of mankind:

“I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins’” (Rom. 11:25-27).

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Prayer Topic No. 1

Thanking God for Israel!

It is always good to start our prayers and intercession with thanksgiving. As far as Israel is concerned, there is a lot to thank God for. In Romans 11:17-18 Israel is called the root of the olive tree which we as gentile believers have been grafted into. Romans 9:4-5 explains more explicitly what that root is through the revelations and redemptive acts of God given specifically to the Jewish people and to Israel. This has now become our root as well, our foundation and our anchor as the church of Jesus Christ throughout the ages, in every nation.

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Prayer Topic No. 3

Praying for the church to become a source of deep comfort for the Jewish people

It is out of this gratitude and out of this humble compassion that we can pray for a third thing: That the global church of Jesus may become an abundant source of comfort for the Jewish people worldwide and for the people of Israel in particular. The Bible gives Christians a very powerful calling and mandate to do exactly that:

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Prayer Topic No. 5

Pray for the peace and the glory of Jerusalem

In Psalm 122:6 we are encouraged to pray for the peace of God’s holy city and the “city of the great king” – for Jerusalem:

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure” (Ps. 122:6).

At the same time the Bible tells us that a permanent and stable peace will only come when the “prince of peace” has returned to his own city. Then Jerusalem will come into the fullness of all the promises which God has given it – into its full glory. But in order for this to happen, millions of prayerful watchmen are called to “remind” God by way of intercession of these biblical promises:

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Prayer Topic No. 6+1

Pray that your nation becomes or continues to be a blessing for Israel!

The first six prayer topics described above have been in the hearts and prayers of millions of Christians worldwide over past decades. You have certainly either been one of them or you are now joining in that flow of the Spirit. Wonderful!

This last and seventh topic of prayer for Israel has not been a common focus in the past – but is quickly gaining in urgency as we see the end-times progressing: Prayer for our governments, prayer for our leaders, prayer for our peoples and our nations regarding their, and our, attitudes and relationships to Israel and the Jewish people. This has not become a common prayer focus yet; but, by God’s grace, it should become one soon!

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