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‘Our Prayers Are Like Incense’: Israeli Believers Call for Hour of Prayer Today Against the Coronavirus


JERUSALEM, Israel – Messianic leaders in Israel have called for a nationwide time of prayer on Wednesday from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. ET in response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

“We believe that during this pandemic, God is calling on mankind to call out to Him,” the leaders said in a statement. “Our prayers are like incense that rises before God and beckons Him to intervene in what is going on around us.”

Members of the Messianic community are turning to Numbers 16:46-50 when Aaron offered an offering of incense and made atonement for the children to stop a deadly plague.

“The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah. Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance to the tent of meeting, for the plague had stopped,” the passage reads.

They are also calling on believers to meditate on Revelation 8:4, which says:“and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.”

Messianic believers believe God wants them to intercede and pray the following things:

“1)    Like each and every private or public time of prayer, we are to ask God to search us and know our hearts – to test us and see if there be any sin in us (judgmental thoughts, unforgiveness, or any other fruit of the flesh – Galatians 5:19-21). This is an important first step for any prayer. It causes us to test our hearts because we often choose comfort in this life over drawing closer to God on a daily basis. We refrain from prayer, reading the Scriptures, and living a full life under the reign of the Lord – we are even sometimes cold or lukewarm before Him.

Even so, we can always draw near to God’s throne of grace in Yeshua’s name and receive timely help, even help to repent.

If repentance is needed, we should align with 1 John 1:8-9, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

2)    Pray that the heart of the people would turn to the living God

2 Corinthians 3:16  “But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.”

3)    Pray for our leaders

1 Timothy 2:1-4  “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

4)    Pray for healing among our people and that no one would die from this virus here in the Land

Numbers 16:47-48  “So Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the midst of the assembly. And behold, the plague had already begun among the people. And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped.”

5)    We can utilize prayers from Scripture to confess (Daniel 9:4) the sins of the people before God (Daniel 9, Nehemiah 1, and others).

As of Wednesday afternoon, 433 Israelis have been diagnosed with the coronavirus but no one has died. The Health Ministry is urging people not to leave their houses unless absolutely necessary and Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan told Israel’s Channel 12 on Wednesday that a total lockdown in Israel is inevitable.

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