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How to Pray for Israel

Israel's flag on a map of Israel
God's plans for Israel — and all the world — will prevail.

On October 6, the militant group Hamas launched a brutal surprise attack on the people of Israel, killing more than 1,200 Israelis and taking an estimated 150 people hostage. This event signaled a new chapter in an ongoing battle over land and control in the Holy Land. Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) initiated a quick response, starting a war between Israel and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

I know several Christian families living in Israel, including Israeli citizens. They are living in areas not directly impacted by the conflict but are watching these tragic events unfold in their small country (Israel is the size of the state of Massachusetts). “It’s like Israel’s 9/11,” one friend noted. “All of our Israeli neighbors know of someone who has been killed or kidnapped.”

Another friend, whose family is Messianic, is watching the situation carefully and believes these events may prove to be the fulfillment of biblical end-times prophecy. That’s an exciting prospect, but she cautions that believers keep sober minds and pray for those in Israel who are living through these times of peril and unrest.

Ways to pray for Israel

Psalm 122:6 exhorts, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!” Right now, believers everywhere can be praying for peace and protection for those in Israel and that God’s love would be made known to the world even in these challenging times. My friend also offered these specific requests:

Pray for us to have space to grieve. We went from a severely traumatic attack to a multifront war, and we are all working in overdrive to keep the nation running and help those who were evacuated. We need to grieve this horrific loss and there just has not been time or availability in some cases. The Jewish people “sit shiva” in their homes for seven days after the loss of a loved one. Normal cultural practices have been difficult, if even possible.

Pray for endurance. What took place is so heinous that it demands a response, and the response is going to be ongoing, and hard.

Pray for hope. Seeing human depravity at its worst raises so many questions about the goodness of God. Please pray that the nation of Israel will know the Lord’s comfort and see Him as a loving God who offers them a plan of salvation through Jesus their Messiah.

Pray for military wives and mothers. I know seven women who have husbands or sons serving in the IDF. We have so many moms home alone with small children because their husbands got called to reserve duty. Please pray for the safety of those serving and for their family members left at home.

Mercy for the hurting

Scripture tells us that the land of Israel represents an unbreakable covenant between God and His people. He has never failed His people — even when they have been unfaithful to Him. In a statement about the October 6 attacks, Focus on the Family president Jim Daly wrote:

“Our hearts break for our Israeli friends, as well as for the unknown number of innocent victims and families from other countries, including the United States, who are caught in the crosshairs of this unprecedented slaughter and war.

The scale and scope of the brutality are not yet fully known, but we do know that hundreds of lives have been lost, families have been disrupted, hostages have been taken, and women and girls have been raped, beaten, and killed. Scripture has long called for us to pray for the peace of Israel, so that is what we must do. The Lord knows full well the extent of the distress, and so we trust He will be merciful to those who are hurting.”

As the Israeli people and those living within their borders face the tensions and conflict of the coming days, may we be faithful to lift them up in prayer, knowing that “he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4). His plans for Israel, His chosen people — and all the world — will prevail.

Copyright 2023 Suzanne Hadley Gosselin. All rights reserved. 

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About the Author

Suzanne Gosselin
Suzanne Hadley Gosselin

Suzanne Hadley Gosselin is a freelance writer and editor. She graduated from Multnomah University with a degree in journalism and biblical theology. She lives in California with her husband, Kevin, and her four young children: Josiah, Sadie, Amelia and Jackson. When she’s not hanging out with her kids, Suzanne loves a good cup of coffee, conversation with friends, musical theater and a trip to the beautiful California coast.

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