Shalom from Jerusalem!
In the natural sense of the word, there is not much shalom in Jerusalem or in Israel. We are still recovering from the bruising war with Hizbullah this past summer, and we are under continuing rocket attack from Gaza.
As bad as these situations are, there is a much worse one looming on the horizon: the Iranian nuclear bomb. Again, naturally speaking, this is an existential threat to Israel's existence. On one hand, we are totally confident that the Word of the Lord spoken to the exiles by Jeremiah is applicable to us today: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11) Yet on the other hand, there is no guarantee that Israel will not be attacked, even with nuclear weapons.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad's threats to annihilate Israel are to be taken seriously as words truly spoken from the intent of his heart. Are we-the Body of Messiah worldwide-taking these threats seriously? In the 1930s and 40s, most of the Church ignored Hitler's promises to destroy the Jewish people and then reports indicating that he was actively pursuing that goal.
Most of the world is ignoring the Iranian threat. Is this also true of most of the Church? We cannot know for sure what would have happened if the Church had persevered in travailing prayer before the Lord in behalf of the Jewish people during the Holocaust; however, it is consistent both with Scripture and with God's character that had His people prayed, He would have cut off the slaughter much sooner than He did.
Will we be found guilty again of the same prayerlessness for God's people Israel, as they are once more threatened with extermination today?
Intercessors for Israel will be hosting its 23rd annual International Prayer Conference in Jerusalem January 22-29, 2007. On Thursday, January 25, we will conduct on-site prayer at various locations in Jerusalem, culminating in a time of spiritual warfare concerning Iran's threat to destroy Israel. We will be basing our prayers upon Hezekiah's response to Sennacherib's threat to destroy Israel (see 2 Kings 18:17-19:37, Isaiah 36:1-37:38).
We are appealing to you, our brothers and sisters worldwide, to join us in prayer on this day and to petition God to act, defending His Name and His people.
Eliyahu Ben-Haim, for the Board of IFI, Jerusalem