Earlier this month, Israeli voters cast their ballots to elect the most right-wing government in our country’s history. While I did not personally vote for any of the parties likely to form that coalition, I do believe the election results reflect God’s gracious answer to our prayers. Much fervent and unified intercession went into this election, not only from Israeli believers, but from Christians around the world. In His mercy and grace, our heavenly Father responded. In Him we place our trust and hope, not in men.
Here in Israel, we prayed and proclaimed that God’s will be done in establishing a government which would best accomplish His plans and purposes for Israel’s restoration and His kingdom on earth. We specifically petitioned that, as a nation, we not elect the leaders or government that we deserve. Instead, we asked for mercy: for governing leaders whose hearts God could most readily turn to align with His. (Proverb 21:1) Notice this does not necessarily mean the government is or will be good in and of itself. It does mean He will use it to align with His thoughts and ways that are higher and grander than our natural capacity to comprehend. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu has been tasked with cobbling together the next coalition government. Let us not assume, however, he can or will form a coalition without the prayers of God’s ekklesia. Netanyahu, who is not an extremist, faces the difficult challenge of building and leading extremely right wing and often uncompromising political parties. His potential coalition, moreover, represents only about half the Israeli public. In fact, half of Israeli voters cast their ballots for more centrist or left leaning parties. This anomaly has been overlooked in much of the mainstream and social media.
There’s still more. Some of the extremist parties, whose support Netanyahu needs to form a government, have presented him with shocking ultimatums, demands and preconditions to joining his coalition.
How then shall we pray? I suggest we trust and hope in God alone, not men, then target the ten points below. The list is not exhaustive. It necessarily oversimplifies nuanced and complex issues. For that reason, I have included small bits of background information where it could be helpful to international readers. Rest assured, however, that you do not need to understand all the subtleties of the Israeli political system to pray effectively. What is more important is the redemptive work of Yeshua, genuine passion of your heart, prayer in and by the Spirit, and your faith in the One who hears prayer.
- Protection, wisdom and grace on Benjamin Netanyahu. Overall, pray for mercy on Mr. Netanyahu at every level, for the sake of God’s glory. Pray he will be given extraordinary favor and negotiating strategies from heaven to build and sustain a coalition that serves God’s purposes well. Pray he will receive the precious gift of the fear of the Lord and courageously follow the Lord’s leading. Pray for Mr. Netanyahu’s spiritual, psychological and physical protection. Cover his immediate family in prayer as well. (1 Timothy 2:1-4, Proverbs 1:7, 9:10, 5:2)
- Appointment of ministers and other official positions. Pray that Mr. Netanyahu will give ministry portfolios to those whom God would want to use in those positions, and who can collectively achieve His purposes with minimal damage. Pray that genuine God-fearers, and even some believers in Yeshua, would be appointed and anointed into key positions. Pray they would have the hearts of true shepherds who care rightly for the sheep. (Psalm 75:6-7, 33:10-12, Jeremiah 3:15)
- Pray for a coalition that will operate with divine wisdom, strength and tenacious faith in international affairs, especially concerning Iran. Pray that Mr. Netanyahu and his coalition will have the mind of the Lord to firmly withstand Iran and other nations at murderous enmity with Israel. Pray for boldness to align with God’s purposes in the face of US, UN and other international pressures. Pray for revelation and implementation of new and just policies toward Palestinians. Pray that Netanyahu and key leaders whom he appoints will serve as a light to nations in darkness. (Isaiah 60:1-3, 49:6)
- Pray for justice based on biblical righteousness and truth. Pray for the exposure and uprooting of corruption, injustice and unrighteousness in our government. Pray that once exposed, corruption will be replaced by righteous justice based on biblical truth and love. Bit of Background: In Israel, a right wing government does not necessarily signal a return to biblical righteousness or justice. In fact, the new coalition will consist of more convicted and formally charged criminals than any other coalition in Israel’s history. While politicians from ultra-Orthodox Jewish sects and uber-religious Zionist parties generally denounce secular trends such as the LGBTQ movement, globalism, unrestricted abortion and wokism-type ideology, they have sadly shown themselves to be no less corrupt or otherwise prone to sin than the rest of humanity apart from Yeshua. (Isaiah 1:25-27; Psalm 89:14, Micah 6:8)
- Pray for the appointment of government officials who will care for the poor, rightly and wisely. Bit of Background: God places a high priority on caring for the poor, needy and weak. Sometimes, left leaning groups are more concerned with the poor than those of us leaning to the right. In Israel, unique considerations further complicate matters. The majority of ultra-Orthodox men feel they are called by God to study Judaism full time, instead of working a paying job. Meanwhile, their wives stay home to have and raise as many children as possible, also without pay. These typically large families comprise the majority—but certainly not all—of non-immigrant Jewish Israelis who are poor. They exist on government stipends derived from taxes paid by other Israelis who are gainfully employed. Because the birth rate of hyper-religious Israelis far exceeds that of the more secular and moderate populations, an increasing percentage of Israelis is supported by a heavily taxed working class, itself struggling more and more to survive. The nonreligious sector is increasingly resentful about supporting those viewed as “voluntarily poor.” In the past, their resentment has been directed against Netanyahu and has helped destroy his coalitions. Godly wisdom and compassion are needed to justly care for the needy and avoid the soon collapse of a far-right coalition. (Ezekiel 34:4, 34:15-16; Deuteronomy 15:7-8, Psalm 82:3-4, Proverbs 31:8)
- Pray for a government that will heal internal rifts in Israeli society. Pray that leaders with the hearts of genuine fathers and mothers will be appointed to key government positions. Pray for an extraordinary peacemaking anointing on the prime minister Bit of Background: Israelis are highly and vehemently divided on many issues. Apart from the grace, wisdom and intervention of God, a right wing, radical government could easily tear the country apart. Arabs, moderate centrists, and even liberals comprise significant minorities whose interests could easily be slighted or ignored, but should not be. (Matthew 5:9, 12:25; Psalm 133:1, 1 Kings 3:16-28)
- Pray for God’s will regarding Judea and Samaria. Pray and proclaim that God will release all the covenant land He wants Israel to have, in His timing and at His direction. Pray that Mr. Netanyahu and his appointed ministers, like the sons of Issachar, will rightly discern the times and know what Israel should do regarding her covenant land inheritance. Bit of Background: The new coalition is more likely than others in the past to extend, at least in gradual increments, Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. This could easily lead to highly escalated Palestinian terror and another war. Such a war could in turn elicit a strong Iranian response. Extending sovereignty over Judea and Samaria would also stoke flames of global hostility toward Israel and antisemitism. Territorial extension or annexation must be done in God’s timing and only at His directive command. (1 Chronicles 12:32, Exodus 23:29, Ezekiel 36:1-11)
- Pray that Israel will remain a biblically Jewish state with biblical aliyah policies. Pray for Israeli officials to be appointed who will loosen current, unbiblical restrictions on aliyah, especially for Messianic Jews. Pray also for ministers who will withstand globalist ideologies contrary to Scripture. Bit of Background: In recent years, many Western nations have strayed from their traditional Judeo-Christian, national heritage and leaned into leftist global ideologies. Israel is not the only country currently pushing back against this trend. While Netanyahu himself has taken steps to push Israel toward the forefront of some globalist policies, an extremist Jewish government is more likely to stand against globalism. (Perhaps this is one reason God responded to our prayers for the election the way He did.) In any case, aliyah is a critical and controversial issue. Some extremist parties are already insisting those restrictions be tightened against certain Jewish groups, including Messianic Jews, as a precondition to joining the coalition. (Isaiah 11:11, 49:8-12; Jeremiah 29:14, 30:11, 31:10; Ezekiel 36:24)
- Pray that important personal freedoms, especially the freedom to worship Yeshua, not be set back. Pray that leaders whose hearts are, or can be, softened to Yeshua will be appointed to key government positions. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s gracious gift of conviction to reveal Yeshua as Messiah to members of the future coalition. Pray that anti-Messiah strongholds on our people will not gain ground in Israel before God’s timing. Bit of Background: The radical right wing places much less value on democratic-style personal freedoms than do other Israeli parties. Some, for example, are demanding the Israeli Supreme Court be stripped of much of its authority as a precondition to joining a Netanyahu-led coalition. Their hyper-Judaism and nationalism, sometimes bordering on racism, does not tolerate Messianic faith in Yeshua. An extremely right wing government could usher in new and greater waves of persecution against Messianic Jews. Embracing a fierce anti-Messianic stronghold, such a government could set Israel on a political-social trajectory paving way for a future anti-Christ figure ahead of God’s timing. (Romans 10:1, 1 John 2:22, 4:2-3, Revelation 13:1-8, 11-17)
- Pray, proclaim and praise God that He will use the next government to draw Israel and the nations to Himself. We rejoice and praise God that He is in sovereign, loving control over Israel and the nations. We extol Him for His covenant faithfulness to restore Israel physically and spiritually (Ezekiel 36-37). We thank Him for appointing leaders who ultimately serve the purposes of His heart – and for removing those who will not. (Psalm 75:6-7, Proverbs 21:1, Psalm 33:10-12) We delight that the government rests on His shoulders, and the kingdoms of this world will soon become the kingdom of our God (Isaiah 9:6, Revelation 11:15). We bless His Name for ensuring His ekklesia stays steadfast in prayer for the peace of Jerusalem. (Psalm 122:6) And however He responds–even if, for reasons known perhaps only to Him, a sustainable coalition is not built at this time–we trust and hope in Him alone!
Thank you for praying with us!
“Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her [such as in persevering prayer].” (Isaiah 66:10)
This article originally appeared on Light of Zion, November 11, 2022, and reposted with permission.