The Jerusalem Prayer List – Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Who remembers “Chicken George” from Roots. Roots was a saga of African-American life, based on Alex Haley’s family history. Kunta Kinte is abducted from his African village, sold into slavery, and taken to America. We all have Roots but we don’t always know them. We all have Roots but we don’t always want to know them. Without Roots the tree will never grow and sustain life, any life or for any length of time. Roots are important. People without a past also don’t have much of a future. It is not enough to have a past – we all have a serious need to have ROOTS. What is the difference between having a PAST and having ROOTS?


Having a Past does not mean that you are attached to it now. It does not mean that your past is a source of inspiration and longing. For some our Past might be a source of shame and a memory of rejection and abuse. In fact it is very possible that some have a very shameful PAST and very glorious ROOTS.

Roots don’t have to be from the distant past. Roots can be very deep and not so old or they can be very old and not so deep. There are no rules for the length of time that Roots have to grow, but there are some rules for the quality of our Roots:

1.To have roots you have to have two dimensions, space and time. By space it means that you have to stay long enough in a place so that your roots are connected with the place and the ground. 2.Roots have to be a source of strength and nourishment for our souls and for our lives. Our Roots are the inheritance we leave for the next Gereration. 3.Roots are the place that we go back to when our branches are broken and when the winds and storms on the top don’t have much to encourage us and keep us going. I heard today an Israeli soldier interviewed by a Television Anchorman. This solider was three years a prisoner of war in the hands of a terrorist group in Lebanon. He was asked how he kept his sanity for three years in solitary confinement without seeing day-light. His answer was very simple: “I was thinking of all of what I am and where I come from and of my future. I could imagine that I am at home with people who love me and of all those whom I would disappoint if I give up. I was thinking of my roots, of people who are waiting for me and the places that I have visited and I want to visit in the future. I was thinking of my grandfather who was in the Gulag in the former Soviet Union and who survived 20 years in hard labor in Siberia. I was inspired by the strength that my grandfather had to also have the same strength.”

One of the most impressive points about Roots is that a person has to stay long enough in a place to have Roots. He has to build relationships with people who are important to him and he is important to them. The are so many preachers that move from place to place every four or five years and they have no time or place to put down Roots and build real relationships in the place or with the people. So, they end up being preachers without roots – a kind of spiritual nomad. Nomads are people of the moment, survivors, that have little obligations to the past and just views of survival for the future. I remember Sheik Suliman the great – the Sheik of the Negev desert. Ernest Stewart an American Missionary from the churches of Christ was asked by the Sheik’s son to come and visit in the Negev and do a favor by arranging a scholarship for College in the United States. Ernest Stewart was willing to help the son of this old and very respected Sheik of the whole Negev, but he wanted to get the permission of the Sheik before he would help the Sheik’s son go to college. Old Sheik Suliman heard Ernest Stewart and laughed with a full deep voice: “We are Beduins! We don’t need college. Our education comes from observing the camel and the goat and from carrying a shabaria, a short but very sharp and curved knife. We read only one book and that is Allah’s Quran; it has all the wisdom that a man needs now or would need in the future.” If you live for the moment only and don’t have a vision or a program for the future you really don’t need too many Roots! However, if you have plans for the future and would like to see success and progress in your life you need to have Roots. You need to stay long enough in a place and build relationships over s significant time line and leave an impression on the place and the people – you need to have Roots in the place so that you can drink from the deep wells of the culture and the history and the resources so that they become a source of strength and inspiration.

Follow “Chicken George” the grandson of Kunta Kinte the African slave and live a life that is building Roots a source of strength for the future. Disciples of Yeshua the whole world over have roots if they want to claim them. The whole history of Israel is the history of God’s people and when a person enters into a relationship with the God of Israel and with the Messiah of Israel and accepts the Scriptures of Israel – he has bought into very deep Roots from a very defined space and a very long time.

You chose to stay in a place a long time. Stay in the same city, in the same school, in the same Synagogue or in the same church, for as long as you can. It is o.k. to sacrifice some things that are precious to you in order not to become a “spiritual beduin” or a “nomad preacher” that ends up damaging their families by moving too much, and damaging the churches and congregations that they serve for not building deep enough relationships that can sustain them in times of trouble.

Today we had a double celebration at the wailing wall and in the congregation. We had both a Bar-Mitzvah and a Bat Mitzvah. The boy read from the Torah Scroll in the Wailing wall and he will read again from the Torah on Shabbat in our congregation. The girl will read from the scroll of the Prophets on Shabbat in our congregation. This evening we had the meal and celebration in our congregation. The women did a lot of work and fixed the food for the party. It was a wonderful time of building roots and wonderful memories for the family, for the kids, and for the congregation. It is precisely these kind of events that build roots and loyalty in a congregation.

The family that had their children do the Bar and Bat Mitzvah is a family that has gone through some very difficult persecution in the last year and a half and they have withstood the persecution. It was a great joy to celebrate with them and their children the maturation of these children into adulthood. It is so wonderful to see these little children grown and mature both in Body and in Spirit.

Please pray for our congregation and the younger generation. We want to see growth and maturity in our congregation.

Please pray for a young family with a very worrisome problem. There is a very great suspicion that the baby that the young lady is carrying in her womb might have some serious malformation. They are going to do some very complicated tests on Sunday to discover what is the problem with this baby. Please pray for this family who has been battered by problems for several years. God must have mercy and bless this family with a healthy baby and a solid family. When you pray mention Talia and Aviel and their unborn child and ask for the mercy of God to be seen and demonstrated in their lives.

Please pray for the Teaching from Zion magazine that we send out several times per year. There is a new issue being prepared on the subject of the Passover and it ought to be ready very soon. This magazine goes out to over 3000 addresses all around the world. We have received many wonderful letters praising the Teaching from Zion magazine and how inspirational and encouraging it is, but we also need to cover the cost of printing and mailing this magazine. So, dear prayer partner if you enjoy the Teaching from Zion magazine please make an effort to help us with the printing and mailing of this important source of very special and unique information.

We continue to pray for Agi and Sally two very fine women who are friends of sisters in the faith who have cancer and also need to see the hand of God touch and heal them from the cancer.

Continue to pray for Miriam, Ahuva, Lea, Ilana, Liora, Sarit, Sara and Zvi. All these sisters and brother Zvi, are older and need the Lord’s mercy and healing for their chronic condition of bad health.

Please pray for Marcia my wife for her knee and her Rheumatoid Arthritis that is giving her much pain during this spring transition period. Pray for Danah and Noaam and their situation in California.

The Passover is coming very soon and the Orthodox are distributing tons of food to the needy. Our Soup-Kitchen is continuously feeding the poor, but we would like to do something special for the Passover Holiday if the Lord permits. If you feel that the Lord is asking you to do something special for the poor of Jerusalem during this great feast – please do it.

I heard good news this week from Steve. Steve had cancer and we prayed for him a year and a half ago and we all prayed for several months for Steve. I just heard from him that he is doing fine and he has moved to Florida and is preaching there now. Praise the Lord for His Mercy endures forever! Also while in Brazil I prayed for a young couple who has been trying to have a baby for a long time and I just prayed for them like I have prayed for many before and now a letter came from Brazil that the woman is pregnant with a baby. Please let us pray for all those who are pregnant among our brothers and sisters and bless them with healthy babies and with easy delivery.

Please remember Israel and the State of Israel and the government of Israel in your prayers and remember Joseph Shulam in your prayers. I need your prayers and I need strength to keep going with all the projects and tasks that the Lord has put on my shoulders. You are my partners in prayer and I appreciate you so much and bless you in the name of Yeshua our Messiah.

Joseph Shulam

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