For most, the 2014 Gaza war, Operation Protective Edge, ended a year ago. This summer, as most Israelis enjoy a typical vacation filled season that was interrupted last year by war, it’s a time to relax and recharge as compared to the stress of a year ago when two-thirds of Israel was in range of Hamas’ nearly 5,000 rockets fired at Israel.
Countless churches pray for the peace of Jerusalem which is usually thought of as being an absence of war. However, as much as all Israelis pray for that peace as well, for many Israelis another kind of peace is needed this year: an internal peace.
For many Israelis, the pain and grief of last year’s war continues. They are the parents, siblings, children, and husbands of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. According to Jewish tradition, the death of a close relative is often followed by observing a year of mourning.
While that year may have ended, and Christians’ prayer for Israel may not be unique, recognizing that the first anniversary of the death of their loved ones is traumatic and sad for these families, Heart to Heart is proud to have launched a program to enable Christians who have a heart for Israel to send their prayers of comfort and healing to the families who are still grieving (Click here to join us).
The surviving families and, indeed, all of Israeli society will be comforted and blessed by dozens of these heartfelt expressions of love, solidarity, and brotherhood received so far. Some of the deeply inspiring prayers received from around the world include:
“I pray for peace and comfort for the families of the fallen heroes that stand between Israel and the evil that tries to destroy her. Blessings and Shalom.” – Richard Catt
“I pray that Elohim will provide a very real sense of His love to all the families and give them hope, encouragement and strength for these days.” – Jill Levin
“Please know that your pain can’t be understood but our prayers are sent to bring you peace and grace in your deepest sorrows. Lord continue to bless and keep you and grant you grace in the time of remembering, shalom.” – Karen Johnson
“May the memories of the happy times you shared give you comfort and keep them alive in your hearts. May their souls rest in peace in the loving arms of God.” – Celia & Ed Nachlas
“God of Abraham please give the families courage understanding. These are the true children chosen by God. May the live in eternal peace. Amen.” – Josephine Chandler
“May G-d bless all the families who lost loved ones that gave the supreme sacrifice. They were heroes.” – Jeanne Rothwarf
If you were sitting across the table from the mother of one of these young men whose life was taken too soon, what would you pray for her?
If you were sitting next to the brother of a brave hero who gave his life for Israel, and who is about to go into the army himself, what words of hope would you utter?
If you were holding the hand of a young mother left to raise her children alone, what words of comfort would you provide?
If you were sitting on the floor playing with a three year old who will not remember her father, and think that all men with closely cropped military haircuts resemble the photos that are her only memories, what would you say?
Before the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, Heart to Heart will publish the list of these prayers so that the families of those lost may go into the holiday season with added comfort.
We are well on our way to the very modest goal of receiving ten prayers per family of a fallen soldier. That is just under 700 prayers needed in total. The truth is, all prayers help and are welcomed. There’s not only no limit, but no reason that 7,000 or even 70,000 prayers shouldn’t be received.
Please take a moment today to join Heart to Heart and send your prayer. Click here to join us and provide love and comfort to some of those in Israel whose hearts are still healing.
And yes, please continue praying for the Peace of Jerusalem.