Israel once again dominates global headlines, and you may be wondering: How do I pray for Israel now in time of crisis?
The entire world watched in disbelief as the terror group Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023. It was the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust. Our hearts are broken.
Sadly, that dark day was just the beginning of an escalating war between Israel and Hamas.
Find out more about how the events developed day by day HERE.
How Should I Pray for Israel?
Throughout our region, people are hurting and suffering unprecedented trauma and loss of life. While this conflict may not be new, this time, it is more than a round of indiscriminate rocket fire by Hamas from Gaza. This is all out war.
As believers, we are called to stand for righteousness, justice, and the preservation of life. We are to reflect God’s heart of love and compassion, and a hatred for evil. War is never something to be celebrated. The cost of war is heavy, and the present escalation indicates that this conflict may be far from over.
In the midst of all this, we know that as believers, we’ve been entrusted with the message of hope. And this hope can only come through the name of Yeshua. We long for a day when both Israelis and Palestinians encounter the saving love of Jesus, the only source of true peace.
Finding a Balanced Biblical Response
Many have reached out to ask, “How do we respond? How do we talk to our families, our faith communities, our neighbors? How do we pray for Israel in crisis?”
Believers may refrain from speaking publicly about Israel because the topic can feel like a “landmine” subject. Offenses or biases can readily surface in the light of an ongoing regional conflict involving various players, layers of history, and geopolitical complexities.
But we know that the core of this conflict goes much deeper than the current events taking place. This is first and foremost a spiritual battle, foreshadowed from the beginning of time (Gen 3:15).
Understanding the unfolding events and the contributing factors is important. Ultimately, we must choose God’s higher ways and thoughts and recognize the spiritual nature of this war (2 Cor 10:3-6; Is 55:8-9).
We should not sanitize nor minimize the morally reprehensible slaughter of human life perpetrated by Hamas. To acknowledge evil and injustice in this world is essential. However, we must be careful to not fall prey to arguments of moral equivalence that aim to “balance the scales”.
We know “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (Jas 1:20). When we are blinded by anger, we may grow numb to the pain of another.
Your Kingdom Come!
God has enduring covenant promises for His beloved Israel that He WILL fulfill. His very name and nature are staked on these promises. God also has a perfect heart of love and plans for the Palestinian people.
We must guard our hearts from offense and choose to love and pray for even our enemies (Matt 5:44). Remember, in order to love and support Israel, we don’t have to be against Palestinians, and in order to love Palestinians, we don’t have to be against Israel.
Seasons of natural peace may come and go, but we acknowledge that true and lasting peace can only come through Jesus, the Prince of Peace. We desire that both Israelis and Palestinians would encounter the saving love of Jesus, the only source of true peace.
Messianic Jews and Arab Christians are mobilizing to meet emergency needs that are growing daily in result of the war. They gather for prayer and worship, collaborate on relief initiatives to see the gospel go forth. They serve and love one another deeply.
But the vast majority of both Israelis and Palestinians do not yet have a personal relationship with Yeshua. It is our conviction that the local believers are the ones best poised to serve as ministers of reconciliation in this region in these difficult days (Eph 6:15; Isa 52:7; 2 Cor 5:14-18).
The remnant may be small, but it is growing. The Lord is drawing many to Himself in this time and is turning the Valley of Achor (trouble) into a doorway of hope (Hosea 2:15).
Practical Steps for How to Pray for Israel Now in Crisis
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. May peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces.” Psalm 122:6-7
PRAY for PEACE & SAFETY over Israel, Gaza, and the surrounding region.
Pray for a quick and just resolution to this war and that it would not escalate to multiple fronts (Ps 46:9). That God would preserve life and protect innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians from harm (Ps 91, 121). And pray especially that children in Israel and in Gaza would be spared from trauma and terror.
PRAY for HOPE & HEALING from loss and trauma.
Pray for families in Israel who are grieving the loss of loved ones, destruction of property, and have suffered trauma. And pray also for those who are wounded or displaced. Pray for civilians in Gaza who have suffered loss and grief – that they would soon find freedom from Hamas’ oppressive regime (Ps 82:4).
PRAY for FREEDOM for the CAPTIVES.
Pray that those who have been taken hostage into Gaza would be safe and rescued quickly without harm (Ps 4:8; Is 42:7). Also, pray for protection from ongoing trauma and that God would reveal His love to them even in a dark place.
PRAY for JUSTICE & TRUTH to prevail.
Pray for the Israeli government and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as they prepare a response to Hamas’ attack. May God grant them wisdom and unity. Pray for safety for soldiers as they target terror infrastructure and aim to protect civilian lives at all costs (Rom 13:1; Prov 21:1; Ps 89:29-40, 110:10).
May the Lord expose and break every lie, deceptive propaganda, and false narrative, and may the truth be evident (2 Cor 10:15; Is 59:14; Amos 5:24).
PRAY that fear, hatred, and incitement would cease.
Pray that the power of God’s love would cast out all fear, enabling forgiveness and healing to minister to hearts and minds across Israel and Gaza (Ps 122:6-7; 133; 2 Tim 1:7).
PRAY for Believers in the Land to walk in love and unity.
Pray that the Body of Yeshua – Jew and Arab – would be united and find opportunities to provide hope and love to those who are suffering. May God use us to shine His light in the midst of a dark situation (Ps 133; Jn 17:21). At the same time, pray for the small remnant of believers in Gaza to be protected and have opportunities to demonstrate God’s love.
PRAY that nothing would hinder the spread of the gospel.
Pray that people’s spiritual eyes and ears will be open to call out on the name of the Lord in these days. Likewise, pray that many throughout Israel and the region would have a divine revelation of Yeshua the Savior and turn to the Lord and be saved (Ps 107; Acts 2:21, 26:17-18).
May God’s Word Be Your Strongest Argument
In days when shifting winds of doctrine abound, we must be diligent students of the Word. Let’s seek to understand God’s heart for Israel and for the Palestinian people with love and a spirit of humility.
Be wary of unhealthy theologies on Israel or the imbalance of extreme Palestinian Liberation Theology. Our hermeneutics are vital to this subject, and truth is often the razor’s edge between two opposing heresies.
As believers, we desire to walk in wisdom, knowledge and understanding regarding the days in which we live – to perceive the times and know what we ought to do (1 Chr 12:32; Pro 24:3-6).
Finding language that reflects a balanced biblical perspective can be challenging.
If you are a pastor or a community leader, we prepared a resource for you, to help you lead healthy conversations with others. Although it is far from comprehensive, perhaps it can help you share God’s love with others and endeavor to frame a biblical response to this conflict.
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