Susan Michael: How to Pray for Israel
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PRAYING FOR ISRAEL
“As Christians, we understand the biblical significance of Israel. We need to support and stand with Israel,” says Susan Michael, USA Director of International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). “We have to understand that Israel is fighting our battle, because the enemies against Israel are against us too.” Michael says the battle waged against Israel is a spiritual battle as much as a battle with guns and military and we need to be in prayer.
Israel is going through what could easily become a pivotal time in history. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has just emerged from a heated and historic session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, in which the Palestinians demanded the world grant them statehood, while refusing to recognize Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people. Meanwhile, all across the Middle East, nations are redefining how they govern themselves and how they position themselves towards Israel. Some commentators within Israel itself speak of the worst crisis facing the nation for many years. Additionally, Israel’s ambassadors in both Egypt and Turkey were recently chased from Cairo and Ankara within days of each other.
More than ever, now is a time to be in prayer for Israel. Michael suggests praying for Israel’s strength and resolve and the imminent threats from Iran, and the threats of missile attacks on its borders. She notes that a coordinated attack could be devastating. Another threat facing Israel is what Michael describes as the “demonization” of Israel around the world. She says that this is a particular problem on college campuses and that it is bringing the world to a feverish pitch and causing anti-Semitism. Likening it to the Nazi campaign against Jews, Michael says that it paves a way for military action. If Israel is portrayed in a bad light, it leaves the country in a weak position, in that other countries don’t want to step up in its defense.
Praying for Israel isn’t a new concept for the ICEJ. The organization was literally birthed in prayer in the late 1970s by a group of Christians from some six countries who met regularly to pray for Israel. During the summer of 1980, the Israeli Parliament declared the city of Jerusalem to be the undivided, eternal capital of the State of Israel, resulting in the closure of thirteen national embassies in Jerusalem. A number of Christians living in Israel sensed the deep hurt over the withdrawal of the foreign embassies and felt the call of the Lord to open a Christian Embassy in this, the City of the Great King. They called it the International Christian Embasy Jerusalem and it represents Christians from around the world, speaking words of comfort and support to Israel. The ICEJ has always appreciated the importance of prayer and intercession and continue to encourage and organize prayer for Israel all around the world.
In January 2011, the leadership of the ICEJ called on their global constituency to set time aside in fasting and prayer for Israel and the nations. From this, The Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative was born. The organization has several general prayer topics for Christians wishing to pray for Israel.
General prayer topics:
- The peace of Jerusalem ( )
- The spiritual restoration of Israel ( )
- The Aliyah process - immigration to Israel - ( )
- The work of the International Christian Embassy ( )
- The believers in the land (Psalm 126)
- The Christian ministries in the land ( )
- The Lord's protection from the enemy (Psalm 18)
Michael currently serves as the USA Director of ICEJ and as a member of the ICEJ’s International Board of Directors. Her involvement with ICEJ began as a graduate student at Jerusalem University College in 1980, the same year that the Christian Embassy was established. Upon completing her master’s degree, she returned from Israel with a heart to further the Embassy’s mission among fellow Americans. Eventually, she was asked to head-up the newly founded US branch.
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