With diplomacy failing to solve the Israeli-Palestinian violence, Christian leaders are urging a massive turning to prayer to bring peace in the Middle East.
While one initiative aims to recruit 1 million American believers and 100,000 churches to daily prayer, the Israeli Consulate General in New York has opened its doors to Christians wanting to pray for peace in the country.
"At this time when the Holy Land is torn by terrorism and threats of war, all who believe in the God of the Bible should heed His instruction to 'pray for the peace of Jerusalem,'" said Mike Evans, founder of the Jerusalem Prayer Team (JPT). "We are encouraging efforts that will lead to a lasting peace -- both political and spiritual."
Through regular e-mail prayer updates, the JPT wants Christians to emulate the late Corrie ten Boom, the Dutch evangelist who with her family sheltered Jews from the Nazis during World War II. Evans said that Christians needed to "do their part now for the Jewish people as they are now experiencing the greatest amount of persecution and anti-Semitism around the world since the days of Nazi Germany."
John Hagee, E.V. Hill, Tommy Tenney, Pat Robertson and Tim LaHaye are among the leaders who have endorsed the JPT initiative. At www.jerusalemprayerteam.org, visitors are urged to "light a candle for a Jewish family" and are told that Jerusalem is "the center of God's prophetic plan worldwide."
As Jews observe Yom Yerushalayim on May 10, marking the 1967 reunification of Jerusalem, Christians will be at the headquarters of Israel's United Nations delegation for the third monthly prayer service hosted by the Consulate General and New York-based ministries.
"There is no ulterior motive, trying to bring people to Israel, no political rhetoric," said David Nekrutman, the consulate's director of community relations. "We are simply saying, 'The doors are open, and we appreciate your support.'" He said that he had been encouraged by the Christian community's love and support for Israel.
Christian broadcaster Janet Parshall was cheered by the thousands who demonstrated outside the Capitol on Monday to show their support for Israel when she told the crowd, "We stand with you, [Israel], now and forever," reported the Associated Press.
Christian support for Israel was identified as a "strong voice" in the debate over U.S. policy in the Middle East by "The Christian Science Monitor." The newspaper said that with many Christians seeing biblical prophecy bearing on current events, they were "the debate's new powerhouses." "The best friends that Israel has are Bible-believing Christians," Ed McAteer, founder of the Memphis, Tenn.-based Religious Roundtable, told the "Monitor."
Meanwhile, Messianic congregational and Christian ministry leaders in Israel have issued a joint call for American Christians to put feet to their prayers. "You have repented for your people's sins against the Jewish people 60 years ago and over the past 2,000 years, but what are you doing practically today to help us in this life-and-death battle?" they wrote. "We thank you for your prayers, however prayer and kind words are not enough in the desperate situation we are in today."
The goal of The Jerusalem Prayer Team is to enlist 1 million people in America to pray daily and 100,000 houses of worship praying weekly for the peace of Jerusalem. Several efforts will be undertaken to show encouragement and love for the Jewish people from the Christian church in America. Will you join this effort? Simply give us your email address so that we may keep you updated and provide you with weekly prayer information.
The Corrie ten Boom Fellowship, and its sister organization, The Corrie ten Boom Foundation of Holland, not only own artifacts and the clock shop home of Corrie ten Boom's family in Holland, but they are also charged with carrying forth the vision of Family ten Boom. Specifically that vision is to care for and protect the Jewish people and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, which was a 100-year weekly tradition in the ten Boom household. Like the famed Oscar Schindler, the ten Booms were instrumental in saving nearly 800 Jews from the Nazi death camps.
On the other side, Botrus Mansour, co-editor of Come and See wrote a letter to Jerusalem Prayer Team.
Greetings from Nazareth in the name of the great Nazarene.
I read the news about your campaign to have 1 million people pray for peace in the Middle East.
This is good in itself for Jesus has asked us to be peace makers.The problem is that when you read more carefully about your campaign, it seems that it is actually very political and one sided.You call people to just pray for the Israelis without mentioning a word about the Palestinians who are the victim in this case. Indeed they have done horrible things but remember that they have been under occupation for 35 years!!
What about Christian brothers and sisters (even Evangelical like me and you) who live in the West bank and are under seige, do not have water, food or any kind of security?
I urge you in the name of our Lord to take a more balanced position.We identify with the Jews for the crimes that were done against them (especially through the Nazi monster), but that does not justify them oppressing another people after taking over the land the Palestinians inhabited for hundreds of years.
Lets pray for a just peace according to the heart of our merciful Lord.
Botrus Mansour, Nazareth
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