'Israel Should Be in Every Christian's Top Ten Prayer List'
Praying for Israel should be in every Christian's top 10 most important prayer items, Eliyahu Ben-Haim, chairman of the Intercessors for Israel (IFI) in Jerusalem, said.
"You don't have to have Israel as your number one burden. The Lord gives people all sorts of burdens but it should be in your top 10 list, somewhere, even if it's number 10," Ben-Haim told CBN News.
It's important to pray for Israel, he said, because it's "God's proclamation to the world that the Word of God, the Bible, is true and it's God's proclamation to the world that Yeshua (Jesus) is returning…maybe even soon."
Praying for Israel, he said, is at the center of the Bible.
"It is actually even more talked about in the Bible than the Lord himself and what was His title on the cross? 'This is Yeshua, King of the Jews,'" he noted.
More than 200 intercessors from some 40 nations gathered in Jerusalem recently for the annual IFI conference to pray for Israel, the Jewish people, the nations and the fulfillment of God's word.
This year's conference theme was taken from Isaiah 59: "Truth is Fallen in the Streets."
According to the conference brochure, the "two most flagrant examples of "truth fallen in the streets" are the "evil" Iranian nuclear deal signed last summer and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year "that homosexual marriage was a right given under" the U.S. constitution.
"We are witnessing not just the destruction of justice, righteousness and truth, but the rapid decline of Western civilization as we have known it for the past 2,000 years," Ben-Haim wrote.
Ben Haim said at IFI they pray according to I Timothy, which commands Christians to pray for those in authority. Political leaders are the shepherds of a nation, he said.
"If we aren't praying for our government we have no right to complain," he said.
Regarding Iran, it's a "world-class threat to everyone," he said.
They're working toward obtaining a nuclear bomb and ushering in the reign of the Mahdi, a false messiah, who according to Islamic tradition is "supposed to return when either a third of the world has died and at a time of enormous violence and chaos."
"The Muslims have always said they're going to defeat Israel because we love life and they love death," he said. "In Isaiah 28, even though it was spoken to the people of Israel, the Lord's talking about people who made a covenant with death, and that is Islam."
Ben-Haim also referred to current wave of Palestinian terrorism against Israel, called by some the "knife intifadah" (or uprising).
"These people are going out not just to kill they're going out expecting to die," he said.
But there's hope.
"Isaiah 28 ends with God's promise that His flood will overcome this covenant with death, even as Yeshua has already done that himself on the cross," he said.
"I would just encourage people to pray. Pray what you read in the scriptures," Ben-Haim said. "God is working out his word in this country (Israel) in a very obvious and startling manner and he's not coming back to New York or Moscow or Charlotte. He's coming back to Jerusalem. We should have a focus on this country and on this city."
(IFI provides updates and scriptural prayer points year round on its website.)
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