In October, Transform Minnesota and the National Association for Evangelicals hosted six evangelical leaders from the Holy Land who provided first-hand reports about the challenges faced by evangelical Christians living in Israel and surrounding territories. Here’s how they asked us to pray:
One of the longest serving evangelical leaders in Israel and a board member of the Evangelical Alliance Israel* said, “it is unclear why prominent evangelicals in the United States build such strong relations with the Israeli government, without giving as much thought to the local body of Christ, and its concerns in the land.”
He believes the best possible way to bring change to the area is quiet diplomacy, and maintaining close relationships on both sides of the equation; with Israelis and Palestinians.
“Be good, solid friends who will speak the truth in love and will speak prophetically into the lives of these people,” he said.
One of the issues the evangelical church deals with in Israel, is they are not recognized as an official denomination in the state, which means they don’t have the same civil rights as the other churches in the country in terms of marriages, inheritance rights and burials.
“The feeling of being marginalized in your homeland is one of those most difficult feelings Israeli evangelicals are feeling,” said one Israeli evangelical Christian leading a church in Nazareth.
A Palestinian Christian leading a ministry in Bethlehem encouraged Christians to pray for all people in the Holy Land, not just Israelis.
“Today I see hope and peace in the Prince of Peace which is Jesus Christ. Who was born in my hometown, who changed me and gave me peace to pray for my enemy. Not just to pray and care for my neighbor but to pray for my enemy.”
*We are not using the names of the guest speakers to respect their ability to speak freely and as to not compromise them or put their ministries in a difficult situation.
Here’s a list of how these leaders asked us to pray:[message type=”simple”]
Pray for both Israeli and Palestinian parties, insisting that they can be reconciled in Christ.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. When you think and pray for Israel, don’t forget the Palestinians, they need our prayers too.
Pray that the church will exist, grow, and be steadfast; will be light and salt for the community around us. Help us to stay in our land. Our existence as the evangelical church is in danger.
We need to think and contend for a new Middle East that is an environment filled with Christ and freedom from the bondages of the past. Let us pray for state recognition for evangelical Christians in Israel, as well as under Palestinian National Authority and in Jordan.