“Comfort and keep comforting my people,” says your God. “Tell Yerushalayim to take heart; proclaim to herthat she has completed her time of service, that her guilt has been paid off, that she has received at the hand of Adonai double for all her sins.” Isaiah 40:1-2

Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative

PRAYER LETTER FOR NOVEMBER 2021

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:1-2)

Dear prayer partners,

This verse from Isaiah has been the leading mandate for our ministry from the beginning in 1980. It is good to know that it also is one of key Scriptures in rabbinic tradition. It is read in synagogues every year in the month of Av, and it is closely connected to the idea of God consoling His people after a great tragedy. In fact, the rabbis say that the destruction of the Temple and the ensuing exile of the Jewish people, which are commemorated on the 9th of Av, go hand in hand with redemption. Isaiah’s promise of a coming Messiah in 11:1 (“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots”) follows immediately after the destruction described in chapter 10, which ends with the words: “He will cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One.” (Isaiah 10:34). So, the comfort of Isaiah 40 already contains the concept of the Messiah. When we explain the motivation for our ministry, the connection is not lost on Jews who know the Scriptures.

The topic of “comfort” is important also in the New Testament, as Paul speaks of it in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.”

God the Father – Av – is called “the Father of Mercies and God of all comfort.” This is the same concept as in Isaiah 40God comforts in times of trouble. Tribulation and comfort go hand in hand. And here we learn an important truth: the source of this consolation is the suffering of Christ. We can be comforted because Christ suffered for us.

The same holds for the people of Israel. When they suffered throughout history, Yeshua suffered with them. And they can be comforted today because the Messiah is also the source of comfort, even if they do not know it. This truth will be revealed to them one day and we, by comforting Israel, pave the way.

So, it turns out that comforting Israel is more than just some humanitarian effort. It is deeply spiritual. We can find an interesting hint in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint. The translation of Isaiah 40:1 – “comfort My people, says your God” is “parakaleite ton laon mou”. The word for “comfort” has the same root as the word “Parakletos”, the “Comforter”, which is used in the New Testament for the Holy Spirit.

It follows that such acts of comfort are Divine activity, and they are inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Parakletos is the one doing the comforting. It is more than mere human effort. When God says in Isaiah 40 “comfort ye My people”, it means that God gave us as Gentile believers the ministry of comfort, which is a core characteristic of the Holy Spirit. In fact, we cannot comfort Israel outside the Holy Spirit.

Let us look at the characteristics of the Parakletos in the New Testament. Jesus said in John 14:16-17:

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper [Parakletos], that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

And in John 16:7-10 He says:

“It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper [Parakletos] will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

If comforting Israel is the work of the Holy Spirit, we can learn from the above characteristics something about the nature of the ministry of comfort to Israel. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth, and the world does not know Him. The presence of the Holy Spirit brings judgement to the ruler of this world.

When we comfort Israel, we inevitably clash with the spirit of this world. It is a battle for truth. It is no coincidence that the enemies of Israel have been using lies: they deny the existence of the Jewish Temples and the facts of Jewish history; they falsely claim that the Jews are colonialists and racists; they sparked many conflicts by falsely claiming that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger, etc.

In fact, the history of antisemitism is a history of lies about the Jews: the blood libels, the poisoning of wells, the desecration of the host, the global conspiracy… lies, lies, lies.

Antisemites are drinking from the poisoned wells of the devil, who is the liar and the father of lies. He wants to kill and destroy, and his spirit is manifested in the very charter of Hamas, for

instance, which calls for Israel’s destruction. The same spirit has been leading the regime in Iran, which has made the destruction of Israel their number one priority. It bears comparison to the

irrational policies of the Nazis. They prioritized the killing of Jews over their military efforts. In 1944, when it was becoming evident that they would lose the war, they increased their extermination efforts. Trains with Jews to Auschwitz had priority over military transports. As the Allies landed in Normandy, the Nazis killed over 400,000 Hungarian Jews in Auschwitz within six weeks.

The result is always the same, it causes suffering of their own people and ultimately destruction. The only reason Palestinians still have no state is that destroying the Jewish state has always been more important for their leaders than building their own.

By comforting Israel, we in contrast evoke God’s attributes of mercy. He is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. And He will restore His people with all His heart and all His soul, as declared in Jeremiah 32:36-42:

“Now therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel… ‘Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul.’ “For thus says the Lord: ‘Just as I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them.’”

God, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, has given to us the ministry of comfort towards Israel. He has given us His Comforter, who dwells within us and guides us. The world does not know Him and cannot accept Him, but He is stronger, and He brings judgement over the ruler of this world. There will be conflict and suffering but God will also comfort us so that we may comfort Israel. Let us continue to pray for the Holy Spirit to do His work in our hearts, and in the hearts of the Jewish people.

Mojmir Kallus

Vice President – International Affairs International Christian Embassy Jerusalem

PRAYER POINTS

Please focus on the following areas of prayer in the Isaiah 62 Global Prayer Campaign for the month of November 2021. And let us hear from you about your needs and how God has answered your prayers!

For November 2021

The next day of prayer and fasting in our Isaiah 62 Global Prayer Campaign will be on Wednesday, 3 November 2021. Please join us!

Also make sure to also join us every Wednesday at 4:00 PM (Israel time) for the weekly Isaiah 62 Global Prayer Gathering. Go to on.icej.org/ICEJGlobalPrayer

1.Prayer for Israel

For the New Israeli Government

The new Bennett-Lapid government has been in power now since June, and it is faring better than many expected. But there are many challenges both at home and abroad, such as finally passing a state budget, finding solutions to some of the religious/secular and Jewish/Arab tensions in the country, and above all dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat. So, we need to continue to lift up Israel’s new leaders in prayer.

Please pray for Israel’s government and particularly the senior cabinet ministers, such as Naftali Bennett, Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz and Gideon Saar. Pray that they would have wisdom and unity on how to deal with the many challenges facing the nation both internally and abroad. Ask the

Lord that He would especially show Israel’s political and military leaders how to protect the

nation from Iran’s quest to produce nuclear weapons which could severely harm the Jewish state.

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

(1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Aliyah to Israel

Despite coronavirus lockdowns and travel restrictions, the Jewish people continue to come back to their ancestral homeland from all over the world. The number of Jews making Aliyah is on the rise once more, and Israeli officials actually expect to welcome 250,000 new immigrants over the

next three-to-five years. They are coming from the former Soviet Republics, India and Ethiopia, Europe, North and South America and many other lands.

Let us pray for the continuing Jewish return to their ancient homeland. Pray for more new olim coming from Western nations, especially the United States, as well as the Bnei Menashe from India. And please also pray for the Jews from Ethiopia to continue to make Aliyah and be fully integrated into Israeli society. Pray in particular that the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem would have the resources and favor with Israeli officials to continue to take a lead role in the great Ingathering of Israel. We have assisted over 3,000 Jews to move to Israel in 2021, which includes sponsoring Aliyah flights for over 1,430 Jewish immigrants so far this year. Ask the Lord to supply an even greater flow of funding for Aliyah in the months and years ahead, as we prepare to assist more Jews to reach the Promised Land from all directions.

I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 43:6)

2.Prayer for the Region and the Nations

Abrahamic Accords

Recently, we have seen public calls and news reports of Arab and Islamic countries considering to join the Abrahamic Accords and normalize relations with Israel, including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Oman, Tunisia and even Iraq. Let us pray that there would be more Arab and Muslim countries and leaders moving to build peaceful relations with Israel. Pray that this momentum would also include greater business and grassroots involvement of people-to-people relations between ordinary Israelis and their Arab and Muslim neighbors in the region.

“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14)

One New Man

On a related note, let us pray for a greater connection and fellowship between Messianic Jews and Arab Christians, with Gentile involvement as well, so that the vision of the “One New Man” expressed in Ephesians 2:15 might be realized in the region. Pray that this would occur especially at the leadership level, and that the Lord would strengthen these relations and provide opportunities for new godly initiatives between them to strengthen and grow the Body of Christ throughout the Middle East.

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of

commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.” (Ephesians 2:14-15)

3.Prayer for the ICEJ

For the Envision 2022 conference

In late January, the ICEJ will be hosting our annual Envision conference for pastors and ministry leaders. We are still not sure if Israel’s health and travel rules will allow us to have foreign guests come to Israel in person for this gathering, or whether it will be mostly an online event. Please pray for the many decisions on speakers, topics, venues, worship leaders and other aspects of the Envision conference still to be made. Pray that the anointing of the Holy Spirit will come upon the whole planning process and that the Lord will lead everyone involved, including our invited list of speakers – especially as they prepare their timely messages.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

For our Ministry of Comfort to Israel

Finally, please pray that the Christian Embassy would continue to be led and inspired by the Holy Spirit in pursuing our founding mandate to be a ministry of comfort to Israel. Pray that we would move in a smooth and timely manner into the areas and directions set by God, so that we might indeed walk in a prophetic work foreordained long ago which accomplishes His incredible redemptive purposes concerning Israel and the Jewish people in our day.

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:1-2)

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Thank you for joining us in prayer this month!

 

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