There is a great movement of prayer for Israel amongst today’s Christians. Tens of thousands pray regularly for Israel, for the protection and safety of the nation, for the wisdom and guidance of her leaders, and certainly for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalms 122:6).
Some might ask the question: “Why?” Why would anyone take time to pray for Israel? Some may think that the efforts are futile, simply a deed to help Christians feel like they’ve done something for Israel, a deed that has neither born any real fruit nor made any real impact.
The Bible gives great examples of the power of prayer throughout Israel’s history. My personal favorite example of this power is when Joshua commanded the sun and moon to stand still, and they both stood still until Israel won victory in the fight against their enemies (the account can be found in Joshua 10).
I am encouraged by another account that details how the prophet Elijah prayed to the Lord for a miracle and the Lord caused fire to fall and consume a sacrifice, altar and water, which in turned caused people to declare that the Lord is God:
And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, ‘Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.’
Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!’ (1 Kings 18:36-39)
The Lord also heard the cry of King Hezekiah when he turned his face to the wall and asked the Lord to grant him more time to live. The Lord’s response to the king through the prophet Isaiah is encouraging:
“Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: ‘I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you…I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.’” (from 2 Kings 20).
I believe in the power of prayer because the Lord hears and answers prayers. “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them” (Psalms 145:18-19).
“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry” (Psalms 34:15).
Still today I believe the Lord hears and answers the prayers of thousands around the globe because the Lord even said of Himself, “For I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6). I believe the Lord is hearing and answering the prayers that go up on Israel’s behalf. And I believe we will see people declare that “the Lord, He is God!” because He will answer the prayers of those interceding for Israel.
Finally, King David said it well when He wrote:
“I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God; incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech. Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You from those who rise up against them” (Psalms 17:6-7).