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The Long Road Home

Friday, January 12, 2024

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Every week, we post seven to ten news stories from Israel with a suggested prayer focus and scripture for each one, guiding readers how to pray for Israel’s most urgent needs. This Prayer Update is also sent to over 18,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Please contact us at intl.office@bridgesforpeace.com if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord for His intervention as Israel prepares to face outrageous, baseless charges brought by South Africa, a nation that has never attempted to hide its anti-Jewish hatred nor its support for those who unabashedly declare their intent to kill every Jew in Israel and beyond. Beseech the Lord that the International Court of Justice, a body that in the past has demonstrated a strong anti-Israel bias, will not be manipulated by those whose desire is not justice but rather to malign Israel and promote the hatred of Jews.

Scripture

No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.


- Isaiah 54:17 ESV

Prayer Focus
Plead with the Lord for the immediate return of the hostages and for an end to the horrific treatment of women and girls at the hands of Hamas terrorists. Pray for healing for those who have suffered physically and emotionally during these three months of captivity. Cry out to the Lord for His love to surround each one, restoring their dignity and giving them hope for the future.

Scripture

“For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,” says the LORD, “Because they called you an outcast saying: ‘This is Zion; no one seeks her.’”


- Jeremiah 30:17

Prayer Focus
Pray for the situation on Israel’s northern border. Pray that Israel will be successful in crippling Hezbollah’s ability to attack and in destroying the pipeline through which Iran supplies the Lebanese terror group with weapons and funds to be used against the Jewish state. Pray that Defense Minister Gallant’s “new reality in the northern arena” will be established quickly and permanently.

Scripture

Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all.


- Isaiah 41:11–12 ESV

Prayer Focus
Pray for Israel’s leaders, its military and its people as it becomes apparent that the war will not be over quickly. Yet cry out to the Lord for a soon end to the fighting and for a total victory for Israel that will end the terrorist threat once and for all and allow the citizens of the north and the south to return home and begin the difficult process of rebuilding their lives.

Scripture

For the LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.


- Deuteronomy 20:4 ESV

Prayer Focus
Pray for international support for the actions of the US, the UK and Israel against Yemen’s Houthi rebels in response to their “illegal, unacceptable, and profoundly destabilizing hijackings and strikes” that have severely disrupted international shipping and endangered the lives of civilians. And beseech the Lord that Iran will be held to account for its funding, arming, training and directing the Houthis and other terror groups as well as for their decades of spreading “cancerous jihadism across the region.”

Scripture

And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you.”


- Joshua 10:8

Prayer Focus
Pray for international outrage as evidence mounts against Hamas’s use of schools for weapons depots, underground sites and other infrastructure, clearly using children as human shields, and for their indoctrination of children to hate Israelis and training in how to kill. Pray for those children whose minds have been poisoned by the very adults whose job it was to protect them.

Scripture

“It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes.”


- Matthew 18:6b–7

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel will reach its goal of ridding Gaza of Hamas terrorists and freeing all of the hostages. Cry out to the Lord for success as Israel then begins the difficult process of demilitarizing and deradicalizing Gaza, thereby creating the possibility for a better future for Israel and Palestinians alike.

Scripture

“For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has mercy on you.


- Isaiah 54:10

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel will be able to present every piece of evidence that has been collected, hard evidence of Hamas terrorists' murderous crimes as they stand before the International Court of Justice in the Hague. Pray that the ICJ will respond by dismissing the false charge of genocide and cynical accusations of war crimes as Israel is compelled to reveal the extent of Hamas's atrocities and the terrorists' war crimes.

Scripture

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret—it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.


- Psalm 37:8–9