Saturday, September 29, 2012

Praying for Palestine and Panama: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - September 29

Today's country focus may cause you to squirm a little. Contemporary evangelicals tend to support Israel - with good Biblical reason. Yet in supporting and praying for Israel, we cannot neglect a huge people group with very real spiritual and economic needs. Please read about Palestine on pages 665-667. Today's prayer focus also includes Panama; please read about this Latin American country on pages 667-670. Because it has been often neglected, our time today will emphasize Palestine.

Contrary to common assumptions, a large Christian Arab population resided in Palestine peacefully alongside Jews and Muslims for generations. Today that Christian number is miniscule due to the over half-century conflict with Israel, economic pressures that result in 70% or higher unemployment, travel restrictions, and conflict with radical Muslims. Christian Arabs are truly caught in the middle, neither Jewish or Muslim, not accepted by either side, and largely forgotten by the church around the world. The Palestinian Christian Arabs represent a people group who has almost lost its light in its homeland due to persecution and emigration for economic reasons. Additionally, Palestine has seen some genuine converts from Islam; these Muslim Background Believers then struggle to be accepted even in Christian churches. If God touches your heart for this people group - or even if you just want to know more - I encourage you to read Light Force by Brother Andrew.

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, my heart breaks for the church in Palestine and for the Muslims who have fewer and fewer Christians who can share the Gospel with them. Lord, we ask for a just settlement of the land issue that results in improved living conditions. We pray for a more equitable apportionment of water - show Christians how to provide basic clean water in your name. We pray for wisdom and discernment for the political leadership of Palestine and Israel. They both have legitimate security concerns, and yet we know the only true peace will come through You, Jesus. We thank You for groups that seek to bring unity between Israeli Messianic Christians and Palestinian Arab Christians; let their example be a light for the rest of their land. We pray for creative and effective economic provision for the Palestinians; provide ways for jobs to be created and real development to occur. Lord, we pray for the Palestinians who know no lives outside refugee camps, where extremism flourishes. We pray for deliverance and hope. We pray for Christians to show Your love and concern. We pray for continued success and existence for the only Bible bookstore in the Palestinian area and also for Bethlehem Bible College. Let them continue to be lights for You, Jesus. Magnify Your name is this area of the land You walked, You loved, You knew so well. In Your precious name, amen.

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