Lakeview Church of the Nazarene
Sunday, July 25, 2021
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Nazarene Prayer Line

Scripture reading: Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15
Prayer Mobilization Line
16 June 2021
It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night,

to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;

planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.

They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,

proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.” (Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15, NIV)
The traditions of the people of God throughout the Old Testament called for them to quote the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-6): “Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give to you today are to be on your hearts.” These were the first words spoken in the morning and the last words spoken in the evening. One might say, an opportunity to prepare one’s heart, in love, for the day ahead, and to review the day gone, and one’s faithfulness in it, before closing one’s eyes to rest in the Lord. We serve an un-divided God, and are called to live our faithful lives in un-divided ways. These praises and prayers should flow like a melody of a heart stirred to song in celebration of the Lord’s deeds: His goodness and grace; His unfailing presence and unfathomable peace, even in the midst of our worst days.
We often question ourselves in terms of our faithfulness, and wonder if there will be anything to show for it when our numbered days come to an end. But the psalmist assures us that even in old age, we can and will bear fruit. We are called to flourish in righteousness, not barely exist in this troubled world so full of evil; to be like the palm tree that bends when the winds are strong; to stand tall and straight like the cedars of Lebanon when all around us is broken down and desolate. We are to flourish “In the house of the Lord, in the courts of our God.” Our righteous God, our Rock, is One upon Whom we can stand, taking deep root in His love; standing strong in His strength, able to withstand the day and night with songs in our hearts...whatever comes.

General: Regional: Cultural:
Israel
Country of Focus • Fast Facts
Israel—work established in 1921; 4 organized churches; 324 members.

Israel is on the Eastern Mediterranean Field of the Eurasia Region.

The modern State of Israel was declared in 1948, though the contested territories have history that goes back thousands of years into the pages of the Old Testament, when God gave Jacob the name “Israel” and his twelve sons became the Twelve Tribes of Israel, who formed the Kingdom of Israel. Surrounded by Arab neighbors, Israel is a unique space in the context of the Middle East. After British withdrawal from its mandate of Palestine (1948) the United Nations proposed partitioning of the area into Arab and Jewish states. In 1949, Israel was admitted as a member of the UN, and significant migration of dispersed Jews from around the world began to occur, continuing today. Tension with its Arab neighbors over disputed geographic borders has existed since 1949; but in a short, decisive war, in 1967, and another in 1973, the State of Israel took control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Several peace treaties (1979 with Egypt, and 1994 with Jordan) have made peace possible with its nearest neighbors. Israel and Palestinian officials have signed numerous interim agreements (1990s) that facilitated Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza. Several intifadas (meaning “shaking off”) or uprisings against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip have occurred since 1987. In 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza. Later agreements, normalizing Israel’s status and relationships with neighbors like Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Sudan have been brokered by the US in 2020-2021. The area continues to be contested and tense.

The official language of Israel is Hebrew, with Arabic given special status under Israeli law, and English as a commonly used foreign language. The religious landscape of Israel is comprised of 74.3% Jewish, 17.8% Muslim, and 1.9 % Christian. The unemployment rate at estimated at just under 6%. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the percentage of the population living below the poverty line has risen to 29.3%. Over 42% of the population of Israel is under the age of 25. The literacy rate stands at 98%.
Challenges
Special:
During the COVID-19 pandemic the number of cases in Israel has reached 839,517 with 6,415 reported deaths.
As in many countries we have prayed for over the past year, impacted by COVID-19, the issue of “connectedness” has been significant in Israel. Finding ways to stay connected with people, to support them in their needs, and to encourage them despite the isolation of many lockdowns, has been most challenging. Now that the situation is easing a little, the challenge is to encourage congregants to meet indoors when regulations are lifted enough to permit it. Add to this the conflict that has been playing out in the various sectors of the Holy Land in recent weeks, and getting people to leave their homes to meet with others is impacted still further. There has been some property damage due to the recent conflict, but there have been no direct hits on church properties reported.
Approaches
During the pandemic, the churches in Israel have found new ways to meet outdoors, while keeping to the government’s restrictions. Various outreach ministries have continued online, and congregations have managed to remain connected by expanding our “table ministry.” [“Table ministry” means that for special occasions, when food is a cultural expression of love and concern, food has been delivered to homes, and where it was possible to have in-person gatherings to break bread and share fellowship outdoors, this occurred on church property or other accessible sites.]
Praises

“We give thanks that we could meet again in person at the church after the recent unrest in the city, which was concentrated around our church, and that no one from our congregation was injured.”

The COVID 19 situation in Israel has improved significantly, with more than 5 million people vaccinated, meaning that Israel is slowly returning to normal.

“We are grateful that God has taken care of our families during the past year, especially our children who, despite all the lockdowns, homeschooling, and political unrest, have continued to be joyful, developing and maturing in their faith and relationship with God.” (Shahade and Annebelle, in Jerusalem)

Prayer Requests

COVID-19, followed by recent unrest and conflict in our country, has made our people reluctant to come into the city. Pray that the spirit of fear will subside, and will be replaced with the peace of God, through His Holy Spirit. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Pray for wisdom as pastors seek to interact with various groups in their communities, and that the young will not be negatively impacted by the divisions within our society.

Pray for the situation to calm down in the country, and for the political, economic, religious, and social aspects of this country and our neighbors, that God may help the populations to turn to Him for guidance, wisdom, and strength in the days ahead.