Over the past few weeks, after Hamas started a war with Israel, many believers around the world have begun to earnestly pray for Israel. I want share some Biblical concepts that will help us all pray for Israel with greater understanding of the spiritual battle and to pray with greater authority and power.
God created Israel to be evidence to the nations of who He is. I am in the midst of writing a book on this topic and don’t want to go into all of the details here, but it is important to understand that Israel as a nation is more than a group of people who were used by God during a time in history before Yeshua came. Israel was more than a nation created to birth Messiah. Israel was created so that all of the nations of the world would be able to see the existence of God by watching His dealings with Israel, and through this, also come to understand that the Bible is the word of God.
The spiritual battle that we face relates to an attempt by Satan to destroy God’s reputation (i.e. His Name) so that the nations would not believe that the Bible is the word of God and therefore not become aware of the salvation available through Yeshua. Antisemitism over the ages was not related to any actions on the part of the Jewish people. It was related to Satan’s attempts to erase God’s evidence to the nations. Here are a few Biblical examples that show God’s desire to reveal Himself to the nations through his dealings with Israel.
While Moses was receiving the Torah, Israel was busy worshiping a golden calf (Ex 32). When God subsequently tells Moses that he will wipe out the nation and have Moses take their place, Moses argues for God not to do this based on the fact that it would look bad in the sight of the Egyptians. In other words, the Egyptians, who had come to see God’s power in devastating their land to free the Israelites would come to believe that God couldn’t fulfill his promises. That was Moses’ foremost argument for not wiping out Israel.
In Ezekiel 36, God promises to bring Israel back to their land at a time when they didn’t deserve it for the sake of his holy name in the sight of the nations.
In 1 Kings 20, the Syrians think that God is only a god of the valleys or only a god of the mountains, so God gives Israel victory outside of those locations specifically so that the Syrians will learn that God is present everywhere. This was at a time when Ahab (worshiper of baal) was king over Israel.
In Psalm 83, Asaph is praying for God to devastate the nations that try to destroy Israel so that they will all know that the God of Israel is the one true God. The Psalm finishes with these verses: 17 May they be ashamed and dismayed forever, And may they be humiliated and perish, 18 So that they will know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth.
Most of the above examples occurred at times when Israel did nothing to deserve God’s protection or love. They are all based on God’s concern for his reputation. And God’s concern for his reputation has nothing to do with vanity — it has everything to do with concern that all of the nations will know the truth, will know that the Bible is true, and can be saved. When God shows the world that he is the God of Israel, the nations learn that God exists and that the Bible is true.
The holiness of God’s Name is therefore a matter of great importance. The third commandment says hat God will not forgive those who take his name in vain. And when asked how to pray, Yeshua taught his disciples to pray first of all for God to keep His Name holy! (Mt 6:10).
Now let’s consider the reason the current war began. It has nothing to do with anything that the people of Israel did. It has everything to do with Satan’s attempt to erase Israel from the map in order to sully God’s reputation. Israel is being targeted by Satan because God raised up Israel to show the nations who He is — not by leading the way of righteousness, but because they represent a visible sign that the Bible is true. Our prayers should therefore focus on God keeping His Name holy in response to Satan’s attack to try to do the opposite.
Heavenly Father, we come before you in the name of Yeshua and pray that you show yourself holy in the sight of the nations. Go before the armies of Israel to provide a victory that causes the nations to know that you accomplished that victory. Use signs and wonders from the heavens. Send angels to miraculously bring the hostages out of their prisons as you rescued Peter from prison long ago. Use earthquakes to collapse strategic areas of the Hamas tunnel system. Cause the fuel supplies of Hamas to be destroyed so that the terrorists cannot remain hidden in their tunnels. Cause all those who seek to destroy Israel to be divided against themselves and to be destroyed that they and the rest of the world will understand that You are God over all the earth and that your word is true. What the enemy has intended for harm, turn around to bring victory to your kingdom. As the enemy has plotted to steal the land you gave to Israel as an inheritance forever, show yourself to the world as you restore the land back to Israel. Bring about a victory for Israel which is so great that all the nations will tremble with the understanding that you are the living God, and so that all of the world will fear your holy name. Amen.