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Hope in Difficult Times

Friday, May 17, 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. Sign up HERE if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.

Prayer Focus
As the Lord appears to be removing any dependence on the strength of her allies, pray that Israel and her leaders will be strengthened in their faith and fully put their trust in the Lord. He created them to be a people “dwelling alone” and not like other nations.

Scripture

For from the top of the rocks I [Balaam] see him [the Israelites], and from the hills I behold him; there! A people dwelling alone, not reckoning itself among the nations.


- Numbers 23:9

Prayer Focus
Intercede for the situation in the Gaza Strip, especially as the IDF has entered Rafah, the last Hamas stronghold. Ask the Lord to strengthen the soldiers, to be their Deliverer from the plans of the enemy. Pray that the IDF would receive accurate intelligence as areas have been booby-trapped by Hamas. Also pray that all noncombatants would heed IDF directives and move to the safe areas that have been prepared.

Scripture

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence.


- 2 Samuel 22:2b–3

Prayer Focus
Give thanks for all the Israelis—young and old alike—who have given freely of their time and energy to help restore the beauty of communities that were devastated on October 7. Pray that these restored gardens will blossom abundantly and bring joy to those whose homes they beautify.

Scripture

And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing.


- Isaiah 35:1b–2a

Action
Please consider a donation to our Crisis Fund that will help restore what has been destroyed in Israel’s southern communities.

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord for the success of this meeting, the first of its kind since the hostages were taken into captivity over seven months ago. Give thanks for the persistence of Gilad Erdan and Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Israeli and US ambassadors to the UN, who refused to allow the hostages to be forgotten on the global stage. Pray that this meeting will bring pressure on Hamas and result in the unconditional release of the remaining hostages.

Scripture

He [the wicked] lies in wait to catch the poor; he catches the poor when he draws him into his net. So he crouches, he lies low, that the helpless may fall by his strength. He has said in his heart, “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see.”


- Psalm 10:9b–11

Prayer Focus
Join with the people of Israel as they are in shock over this error in judgment that resulted in such a tragic accident. Pray that there will not be any blame or recrimination for the incident but that it will rather be understood in terms of what can be learned from the tragedy. Pray especially for the soldiers in the tank and families of those whose precious sons were killed.

Scripture

To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me.


- Psalm 25:1–2

Prayer Focus
Pray for a fear of the Lord to come over the reporters who cover Israel and the Middle East that will result in truthful, unbiased coverage of the conflict. Pray for a revelation of the future that awaits those who willfully ignore the one true God.

Scripture

Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies.


- Proverbs 1:29–31

Prayer Focus
Pray for Israelis who live within missile range of Gaza as they have endured these attacks for nearly 20 years. Also pray for Israelis who live near the northern border who have been subjected to UAV and rocket attacks since the latest conflict began. Give thanks to the Lord who protects His people, with many of the missiles never reaching their intended destination. Pray that Israelis in all areas of the country will look to God for their protection and security and will not fear.

Scripture

Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.


- Psalm 27:3–4

Prayer Focus
Remember the grieving families of those who have given their lives in defense of the nation. Pray that each will find comfort and solace in God and in those He brings into their lives to walk this difficult journey with them. Pray that they will receive sensitivity and understanding from those they come in contact with.

Scripture

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem…”


- Isaiah 40:1¬–2a

Prayer Focus
Give thanks for the growing Jewish population in Israel as the Lord fulfills His promise to bring them back from the four corners of the earth. Offer praises for the high birth rate and youth of this nation, praying that they will prosper in the Land of their inheritance.

Scripture

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.


- Psalm 107:1–3