By Joseph Shulam
The first time that we meet the work “pray” in the Bible is in Genesis 20:7, Gen. 20:7 “Now then, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.” The context of this text is that Abraham told Abimelech like he did previously to Pharaoh that Sara was his sister. Obviously, our father Abraham was not above sin and this so called “White Lie” is not really so white but it is a twisting of the truth. In spite of this problem God Himself appears to Abimelech in a dream and it is God who tells this pagan king that Abraham is a prophet and Abraham’s prayer is powerful enough to keep Abimelech alive and not to pay for his desire to take Sara as a wife.
In the same chapter 20:17, “Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children.” Here we find out that Abraham did pray for Abimelech and healed him and also made it possible for the Philistine King to have children. This we did not know from the beginning of the story and it is a fact that is revealed to us only after the healing of this pagan king as a result of the prayer of Abraham.
We are seeing here the power of prayer with a special twist. Here is Abraham who just lied to Abimelech about Sara and endangered his wife Sara for his own safety: Gen 20:10-11, “Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you have in view, that you have done this thing?” And Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife.”
We see Abraham telling a “half-truth” for the second time in the same context. The first time he said that Sara was his sister to Pharaoh in Egypt, and now the second time to Abimelech king of Grar (a city in the upper Negev desert between Gaza and Beer-Sheva). He did this out of pure selfish reasons in order to keep himself safe and almost offer his wife Sara as a wife of a pagan King. If it was not for God to give Abimelech the revelation that Sara is a married woman and that Abraham was her husband Sara would have been taken by Abimelech as a wife.
With all that said it is clear from Genesis 20:7, that God still respected Abraham as a prophet and still honored Abraham’s prayers and healed Abimelech as a result of Abraham’s prayer. You see that God hears the prayers of people who are not perfect and who sin, but have a relationship with the Almighty God of Israel.
Look at the following passages: Prov. 15:29, “The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the Righteous.”
James 5:16, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
1Pet. 3:12, “For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”
In all of the three passages from the New Testament that are listed above you see that the Lord hears the prayers of the Righteous person. From this we have to conclude that the LORD’s definition of a righteous person is not someone who is perfect and has not sinned, but a sinner like Abraham is called a prophet of the Lord and his prayers are effective and affected by Yeshua’s righteousness a-priori and post-priori, before and after Yeshua’s sacrifice.
Don’t limit yourself in prayer even if you are a sinner and don’t take your privilege to talk to the Father in your favor and in favor of others, some of whom you don’t even know in person. Keep on Praying dear brothers and allow the Lord to use you as His messengers.
President D. Trump is coming to Israel and to Jerusalem. The Jerusalem residents want to honor President Trump, but the traffic in the city is going to be totally crazy. Many of the streets down town will be closed for the days that President Trump is going to be in Jerusalem. The security issues that both the U.S.A. and the Israeli Mosad are taking are unpresidented and many businesses down town have been given an order to close. President Trump’s visit in the Middle East is in need of much prayer and I want to urge all of you who read this prayer list from Jerusalem to dedicate sincere and righteous prayers for both the USA and Israel and the Middle East as a whole. We are sitting on a “powder cage” that with a small spark can start a World War III. From the actions of this President it is clear that he is an unpredictable person, or actually to me it seems like he is very predictable to be unpredictable.
Please pray for Jerusalem during President D. Trump’s visit in our city. The city will be like under siege. Major parts of the city will be closed to traffic and obviously, we will have to work from home. The road out of Jerusalem will be closed in both directions for 6 hours on Tuesday. Jerusalem needs your prayers to keep the President and his company safe. Also, I ask you to pray for our Israeli government to be wise and strong and not compromise with the basic promises of God to the nation of Israel. I am also praying for the leadership of the Palestinian Arabs to be wise and to have a change of heart and sincerely want to make peace with Israel.
Netivyah needs your prayers and your support for the following:
1. We are looking for some more workers. We need bi-lingual (Hebrew and English) workers. One new worker to help with the book-keeping and financial issues. One new worker to help Yuda with the youth work. Yuda has a very fine new Munchkin group of around 20 kids. He is also the director of HaMotzi – Food Distribution program, and also the coordinator of the worship on Shabbat and he also teaches very often in the congregation.
2. We want to expand the HaMotzi food distribution program. The demand is there and the need is there and the willingness of Netivyah to feed more families and people is here. What we need is more funds for this very unique ministry in Jerusalem. Please remember the words of the Apostle Paul: “But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.” (Romans 15:25-26)
3. Netivyah has received approval to merge with the Roeh Israel Congregation. We had two separate NGO’s one for the congregation and one for Netivyah and the humanitarian and international teaching ministry. Now we are one organization with one board of directors and our goals have expanded to provide spiritual and religious services for the congregation and for all the ministries whom we have relationships with around the world. Please pray for this merger and help that our horizon and vision for Netivyah will have a healthy balance between the local congregation in Jerusalem and the outreach.
4. We need your prayers for the Teaching from Zion Magazine. The new magazine is on the topic of King David. I am sure that all of you who get the Teaching from Zion Magazine will enjoy this issue very much. The next issue will be on the topic of miracles and we have started to work on the new issue. We need your prayer for this very valuable and long standing project of Netivyah. The magazine is in full color and high quality paper and it is printed in Jerusalem and mailed all around the World. It costs Netivyah several thousands of dollars to produce, print, and mail, this valuable magazine. We send it for free all around the world. Those of you who don’t receive it can register on our web page (www.netivyah.org) and receive it for free. You can also go to the web page and download old issues also free. However, if you read the Teaching from Zion and enjoy it and learn from it and get inspired by a better understanding of God and His Word, please consider the words of Paul from Romans 15:26-27: “For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.” Netivyah will continue writing and printing and mailing the Teaching from Zion Magazine for free, and bless both our poorer brothers and our wealthier brothers equally for free, but I just felt that it is worth mentioning that there is a need to at least cover some of the costs of producing the Teaching from Zion Magazine for near 40 years.
I ask you to continue to pray for the sick list and the list of brothers and sisters who need healing in their lives and work. Remember what I wrote above. Our Lord hears the prayers of sinners and the prayer of a righteous person is very valuable. This is what this prayer list is about. It is about giving you a chance to do another righteous deed and pray for people whom you don’t know personally. This kind of prayer is a pure and honest prayer wishing good and wishing healing for brothers and sisters all around the World whom you will most likely meet in Heaven for the first time and they will know that you prayed for them and that you wished them good and wellness and thank you in person, and Yeshua will see you and smile. Praying for people you don’t know in person is a pure act of AGAPE love. Our weakness and imperfections get polished away by our acts of kindness to the “stranger.”
Kol HaYeshua Radio broadcast is daily on A.M. radio. We need your prayers to make this very valuable and important broadcast of teaching by Jews, to Jews, about the Jewish Messiah into F.M. Radio. A.M. has minimum listeners in Israel. Most people who listen to radio around the world are tuning into F.M. stereo stations. We need your prayers for God to enable us to make this change.
The prayer list for the sick and needy of God’s Grace!
Please continue to pray for my family, Marcia, Danah our daughter and Noaam our granddaughter and Barry our son, Joey our grandson, Beth our daughter-in-law, and for Marcia’s family in East Tennessee.
We ask you to pray for the mother of a dear brother in Jerusalem who is 89 years old and sick. Her name is Askele the daughter of Miriam.
Please don’t forget to pray specially pray for Ynon –the baby needs healing and strength and his family needs encouragement and strength. Especially David, Ynon’s father needs healing from the shingles.
Kari A., a dear brother in Finland is home recovering from a very big colon surgery. Please continue to pray for Kari A. in Finland.
I ask for special prayers for our dear brothers and sisters in Finland: Keijo and Salme, Sister Airi, Anne-Mirjami, Anna-Majia, Satu-Maria and her daughters, Tim Tucker, Erki and Sirpa and for our dear Finish members of the Roeh Israel Congregation, Leah K., Ahuva B., Ilana H. I also ask you for the following members of the congregation in Jerusalem: David S., Sarit, Miriam, Hannah, Greg, Yuri M. who is in the hospital now with serious kidney problems and Daniel P., who is also in the hospital for rehabilitation after a serious motorcycle accident. Brothers and sisters in the USA that need your prayers for healing: Emmet, Bobby, Ruby, John M. Aaron H., John M., Liz Johnson, and in Holland we have a very special and dear sister Tineke who is fighting cancer and needs our sincere and intense prayer for healing.
Brothers and sisters in Brazil that need healing: Paulo, Naomi, Clara, Evelyn and Marcelo’s father and especially his mother.
In Japan, we have the following brothers and sisters that need your prayers for healing: Pra. Curita, Toru, Tomoko San, Sadako San, Takeo Sensei, and Daisuke Sensei, and Sister Yumi’s husband.
The list of brothers and sisters who need strength and blessing in their homes and in their business, is also important to pray for: The Goh family who is under no little stress and needs wisdom and protection and revival of success in the new path that God is forging for them. Sister Christy, Sister Laurel, and for Brother Michael Kenzevic, and Daniel L., all need success and prosperity in their life and work. Pray for a dear brother in Finland by the name of David. Pray that the Lord will provide for David a great job that will honor his gifting and his family.
Pray for Roger, a dear brother who stands with so many good works and with Netivyah. He needs wisdom and peace and success in his work and life.
God bless all of you who pray for the Salvation of Israel and the World. We all need to make our Horizonte wider and have at least the dream and the desire to see the whole world kneel before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and be dressed in white on that day when the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall arise. If we don’t have that desire we will also not do things to make this happen. If we don’t have the faith we shall not be focused on that which is in God’s heart and desire.
Joseph and Marcia Shulam