The Jerusalem Prayer List – September 25, 2009

All of Israel is getting ready for the Day of Atonement that will start this upcoming Sunday night. The Day of Atonement is a twenty five hour long fast that a person does not drink or eat anything, not even water. The Atonement is not for sins that one has committed against another individual but it is an request for forgiveness for sins that were committed collectively and against God Himself.

The impression that many people have of Israel is that most Israelis are totally secular, but a gallop poll that was conducted yesterday among young Israelis between the age of 18-35 has revealed some interesting statistics. The gallop poll was conducted among more than 2500 young Israelis and the questions that they were asked were concerning the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur – in Hebrew) and other religious practices. Here are some of the numbers that have surprised many in Israel:

71% of Israeli youth say that they are going to fast the full fast of Yom Kippur.

 


53% of Israelis say that they don’t mix meat and milk dishes in their kitchens. This means that they keep some kind of Kosher kitchen.

These statistics are significant. They show a marked increase in the interest that young Israelis have in spirituality and that they are not totally alienated from the Jewish religion. All of my friends in Israel feel that there is a shift from a kind of distance from God and spirituality to a more keen interest in God and in spirituality and the Bible. There are numerous kind of local bible studies in homes of so called secular Israelis who have no interest in becoming “orthodox Jews” but who do have a keen interest in connecting somehow to the divine and to God and to our history and to Jewish identity. We will have an overflowing house in our congregation on Yom Kippur. There is near 100 of us who will be staying in several hotels down town Jerusalem so that we can walk to the congregation on Sunday evening and on Monday to pray and worship and fast on this Day of Atonement on this Yom Kippur. We pray for the salvation of our people and we fast to identify with our nation’s need for salvation. For many years our congregation was the only one that did something on Yom Kippur and we were the only show in town, but praise God there are other congregations who have started to do the same. It is important for all of us who are Jewish Disciples of Yeshua the Messiah to both identify with all of Israel and also pray and fast for the salvation of all of Israel. This is a very special time of the year and so many people in Israel think of their sins and think of the repentance that is necessary for God to forgive and delete our sins. It is really a wonderful demonstration of the passage in the letter to the Romans that Paul said: “For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.”(Rom. 10:2)

Please join me and all of our brothers and sisters in Israel and pray for the salvation of all of Israel. This is a promise of God, and no matter what it all includes it is certainly that it includes the Jewish people. At Netivyah we had this evening an Annual General Meeting and it was really amazing to see the degree of dedication and deep prayer and concern for our part and great challenge and task to work for this promise of God to be fulfilled.

We do have good news about the building project but right now we can’t share this news. What we need is to start raising the funds for the building. The Israeli court was amazing and it gave us all that we have wanted so that we can build and have a better use of the building. Now it is our turn to show God and the city of Jerusalem that we have not taken a bigger bite than we can chew. We need your help and every little bit helps. All of our facilities are used every day and none have the same stigma and use like a typical church building in the West that is used only for services on Sunday, and Wednesday evening.

We continue to pray for the sick and here is a kind of short list of people that I am asking you to pray for and beg for their healing: Lonnie Smith, Ruby, June, Liz, Yvonne, David, Sarit, Marcia, Dr. Tucker, Ahuva, Leah, Ilana, Sharon, Paulo, Kemi, Sara and Zvi, and Ilana. These are all wonderful brothers and sisters who have proven their love for God and for His Kingdom and for us too. Please lift them up in your prayers.

Well, when I think of Israel’s real situation in the World and the words of hate and racism that the President of Iran spoke today in the General Assembly of the United Nations my hope for the salvation of the World really drops drastically. However, when I see the power of God demonstrated daily in the lives of people – my hope goes up and I know that God has spoken it and it will come to past.

May God protect you and yours and above all put your soul and happiness in His hand because it is the safest place to up our hopes and desires.

Shalom for now and happy celebration of the Biblical Feasts for those of you who celebrate them.

Joseph Shulam

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