This edition of RealTime comes to you on Yom ha-Azma’ut, Israel’s Independence Day (from sundown to sundown, April 15-16). Sixty-five years ago the modern state was born out of the ashes of the Holocaust, a true miracle of God’s mercy towards His chosen people. Yet it seems as if just as many if not more people today would welcome the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of the Jewish people.

Thankfully, “He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4). Nevertheless, the Lord calls on us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). Since there is no real or lasting peace without Jesus, I pray for the salvation of both Jews and Arabs living in the Land, and I pray for God to strengthen and bless those who already know the Lord. I offer the following prayer points for those of you who might like to pray along with me.

Recent developments provide some hope for Jewish believers who face persecution in Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu has formed a new government with a coalition that excludes Orthodox religious political parties, something that hasn’t happened in a very long time. The religious community has consistently discriminated against Messianic Jews and other Christians in the Land of Israel. Let us pray that this new government might be more favorable to believers in the Land and enforce the laws that ban discrimination on religious grounds, while upholding the freedom to proclaim the good news.

Then there is a different sort of persecution that comes from those who are not religious. Recently, the secular Israeli courts ruled against a group of believers in Jesus who live on a moshav near Jerusalem called Yad Hashmona. This group runs a beautiful conference center where they can also host weddings and bar mitzvahs. When they politely informed a same-sex couple that the moshav was a Bible-based community and could not rent the facility for their wedding celebration, the couple sued Yad Hashmona. The believers were fined heavily. As a result they chose (I believe appropriately) to discontinue renting their facility to the public for weddings. Let us pray for God to encourage these believers and prosper them as their community now faces a significant loss of income. Let us also pray for Israel’s government to recognize the injustice of protecting some citizens’ freedom of choice while denying choice to those whose Bible-based beliefs and conscience require that they exclude themselves from certain business transactions. Now for a more encouraging request…

There are now more Jews living in Israel than in the United States—and many are more open to the gospel than Jews living in the United States. To help meet this opportunity, our team in Israel has been steadily growing in numbers. Please pray for the salvation of the many Israelis our team is connecting with on a daily basis, and for the special outreach we’ll have in the fall. That effort, by the way, will also give us opportunities to witness to Arabs as well as Jews, and we look forward to reaching out to both.

The spiritual openness we’re encountering in Israel is an amazing and encouraging development, along with our growing number of Jews for Jesus missionaries in Israel. Not surprisingly, it has been accompanied by an increase in spiritual attack there. The attacks from our unseen enemy are far more subtle and dangerous than the attacks from the religious Jewish community who oppose us. I am more aware than ever before of how Satan is seeking to undermine our gospel ministry in Israel. Whether through illness, discouragement, interpersonal conflict or marital concerns, the enemy of Jesus and the Jewish people seeks out the vulnerabilities of God’s servants to try to destroy our peace and hobble our efforts. Let us pray for God’s protection and encouragement for all the Jews for Jesus missionaries in Israel, indeed for all who are seeking to live for Jesus in the Land. Please pray especially for a young Israeli missionary couple from Jews for Jesus whom we are bringing to the U.S. so that we can minister to them during a season of great difficulty.

I could share many more prayer requests concerning Israel with you, but I feel burdened to share these specific requests with you now. Thank you for caring and for sharing our passion for the salvation of the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. Stay tuned for more news updates and prayer needs.

Check it out:

In this month’s Jews for Jesus Newsletter, David describes what rats can teach us about spiritual warfare. You can read his inspirational reflections here.

Also, David sent out a letter about God’s mission strategy and the effect of Jews for Jesus on Gentiles. If you did not receive that letter you can see it here.