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Monday, March 3, 2014

Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative for March 2014



The next global day of prayer and fasting in our Isaiah 62 Prayer Campaign will be on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014.

During the month of March, the Jewish people will be marking the holiday of Purim. This is a special time to remember the incredible story of God's deliverance of the Jews from a plot to exterminate them in ancient Persia, as is recounted in the Book or Scroll of Esther.

Now there are many aspects of the Purim story which seem to be playing out around us again today. This can especially be seen in the growing movement to boycott Israel and delegitimize her right to exist. So as we lift up Israel in our Isaiah 62 Prayer Campaign this month, we want to be mindful of these similarities and allow them to inform and direct our intercession in this age-old battle to preserve and defend the Jewish people.

In the story of Esther, we see that:

  1. The Jews were unfairly singled out for special condemnation and targeted for death. The evil Haman told the King that the Jews are "different" and he should not "let them remain" (Esther 3:8-9). The Persian Empire at the time was vast, with more than 100 provinces and many different peoples with their own beliefs, languages and customs. But the Jews were the only ones that faced this plan of discrimination and destruction.
     
  2. Haman had his own motivations for striking out at the Jews, as he was an Agagite, which means he belonged to the Amalekite nation and thus was from Israel's most implacable enemy. Somehow, he was able to get the King and many others to agree with his hatred against the Jewish. The lesson is that anti-Semitism is a spirit that we either agree with or not, and the battle surrounding Israel and the Jewish people is at heart a spiritual battle.
     
  3. In the end, the Jews were allowed to defend themselves against Haman's evil plot, and with many allies at their side they were able to prevail and celebrate a great deliverance.
Today, the boycott campaign is also trying to unfairly target the Jewish people, but through the 'collective Jew' - the state of Israel. There are many nations and peoples committing grave human rights violations and even atrocities against others in our day, yet the boycotters only want to single out Israel for condemnation and punishment. And while for the moment they are taking aim at Israeli companies in the 'settlements', their ultimate goal is to eliminate the Jewish state.

The worst agitators in the growing boycott movement are hardened anti-Semites and thus impossible to reason with. But they are somehow able to get otherwise normal people to agree with their spirit of hatred against the Jews. This is eerily similar to how Hitler and the Nazis convinced multitudes to blame the Jews for all their problems. It started with a boycott and ended in mass murder on an industrial scale. So at heart this is a spiritual battle, not an economic one, and we need to see it in such sobering terms.
  

MARCH PRAYER POINTS

  • Israel's Economy - Pray that the Israeli economy would continue to grow and flourish in spite of the efforts of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Pray for the immediate target of the boycotters - the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, that they would continue to have open markets to the world.

·         Israel's Enemies - Pray that the boycotters would be frustrated and defeated in their attempts to isolate and de-legitimize Israel. Pray that their real motives and agendas would be publicly exposed as old fashioned anti-Semitism. Pray that others would not agree with the spirit of hatred against the Jewish people and state.

·         Israel's Defense - Pray that Israel would continue to have the freedom and capabilities to defend itself in the military and economic fields. Pray for those engaged in the diplomatic and academic battle over Israel. And pray that more Christians in all corners of the world would boldly stand up at this critical hour to join in the defense of Israel.


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