By Rick Ridings
The days leading up to Purim this year may well bring a convergence of decisions in Israel, Iran and Washington, D.C. that will affect the future as dramatically as the biblical account of Esther.
For the last several months, the LORD has been speaking to me, and to others in Jerusalem, to be very alert to pray concerning shakings that would accelerate during the month of March 2012.
I call believers worldwide to join our Jewish friends in the fast of Esther from sundown, March 6 through sundown March 7. Let us pray for the intervention of the LORD of the Armies of Heaven to save Israel from the annihilation being threatened by Iran (Telegraph).
An Urgency Concerning the Month of March and Washington, D.C.I had the great privilege of being asked to dedicate a new house of prayer in Washington, D.C., on the evening of Jan. 13 this year. As I was praying in preparation, I felt in my spirit that, as in the time of Nehemiah, there was a great urgency to pray for a shifting in systems and structures and for a wall of spiritual protection to be built to protect ground that would be gained in intercession.
I felt that much of the future of the United States and Israel would be decided between January and March this year and that it would be too late if intercessors wait to “kick into gear” in the autumn right before the elections. I encouraged the Washington, D.C. intercessors to study the books of Ezra and Nehemiah and to be focused on building a wall of protection around the capital just as Nehemiah was very focused to see the wall around Jerusalem built in 52 days. It is very significant that the end of the 52 days from Jan. 13 is March 5, the day before the Fast of Esther.
In the time of Nehemiah, the LORD used Ezra to call for a sacred assembly to confess Israel’s sins and the sins of their fathers and to renew covenant with the God of Israel. Our good friend and co-laborer Jon Hamill is working with spiritual leaders in the D.C. area to have such a sacred assembly on March 3. I strongly encourage those in the area to join them in imploring the LORD’s mercy over that city and over the decisions being made there. For more information, visit Jon Hamill’s website: LamplighterMinistries.net.
The Importance of a Right Understanding in WashingtonIn the story of Esther, King Ahasuerus was somehow blinded to the evil conniving of Haman to destroy the Jews, and he played into Haman’s hand. But through the fasting and prayers of Mordecai, Esther and the Jewish people, the king had his eyes opened and took the steps necessary to intervene. Are we really at such a serious point in history again? Is Iran (ancient Persia in the story of Esther) truly an existential threat to Israel?
Iran is developing a nuclear program (Karimi) and repeatedly threatens to attack Israel (Telegraph). Jerusalem takes these threats seriously enough to be discussing a military strike on Iran (Katz). Yet, many in Washington are deceived by a political doctrine from the era of the Cold War Soviet threat – the doctrine of “Mutual Assured Destruction.” This military strategy holds that threatening an enemy with nuclear weapons prevents the enemy from using their nuclear weapons because using them “would effectively result in the complete, utter and irrevocable annihilation of both the attacker and the defender.” (Wikipedia)
This policy got the world through the U.S-Soviet Union Cold War, but Iran has more than implied it plays by different rules. These rules were well explained in a recent Jerusalem Post article:
Nuclear deterrence will not help prevent Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons since the Iranian regime has religious motives to bring about the return of the Mahdi and is prepared to die for it.
Iran is led by a group of irrational men who believe they can hurry the arrival of the Mahdi – the 12th Imam who, according to Shi’ite Islamic tradition, went missing in 874 CE and will return under conditions of global chaos. The Iranian leadership appears willing to sacrifice the population of its own country to achieve this goal.
In his book “The Rise of Nuclear Iran”, former Israeli ambassador to the [United Nations] Dore Gold writes, “Mahdi Khaliji, an Iranian Shi’ite scholar … has noted that there are apocalyptic hadiths [received Shi’ite traditions] that the Mahdi will not return unless one-third of the world population is killed and another third die. But [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad and his followers believe man can actively create the conditions for the Mahdi’s arrival in the here and now …”
In 2006, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting website said in a program called “The World Towards Illumination” that the Mahdi will reappear in Mecca and form an army to defeat Islam’s enemies in a series of apocalyptic battles, in which the Mahdi will overcome his archenemy in Jerusalem.
Ahmadinejad is a member of the Hojatieh society, a group which believes it can and should hasten the arrival of the Mahdi. According to Islamic tradition, the Mahdi’s arrival will be accompanied or followed by near destruction of nations. The group appears to maintain a deep desire to create the necessary global chaos. And Ahmadinejad has publicly called for the Mahdi’s speedy return.” (Kasnett)
How Should We Pray?
- Let us pray that the Mordecais and Esthers of our time will hear the call of the Holy Spirit concerning the urgency of the hour and will not be distracted or lulled into slumber by a false sense of security. Let us pray for continued success of the covert war against Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. On Nov. 8, 2011, I received a vision in one of our watches in Succat Hallel here in Jerusalem. I saw something resembling a Tower of Babel being built in Iran, representing a working together of various nations to stand against God. I sensed the tower represented their nuclear weapons program. As they were bringing final stones to place on top, lightning from heaven struck it, and the top level of stones fell off (not all), producing a setback to their nuclear efforts. Then waves coming from the worship in houses of prayer in the Middle East washed away sand in Iran and exposed hidden things. I felt this vision was confirmed by news reports on Nov. 11 of a great explosion at an Iranian top-secret, military facility; the blast reportedly shook windows 30 miles away in Tehran (Mostaghim).
- Let us believe for much confusion and division upon the demonic powers bent on destroying Israel (2 Chronicles 20:1-29).
- Let us pray for a clear understanding to come to the decision-makers in Jerusalem and Washington, D.C., to do the right thing at the right time. (Esther 7:3-6)
- Let us proclaim a reversal of every Satanic decree to destroy Israel and that “Haman” will be hung upon his own gallows. (Esther 7:9-10; Psalm 33:10-12)
- For Iran (Persia), let us pray for the LORD to bring shame upon His enemies in such a way that they will begin to seek the Name of the Lord, to know Who is the True and Living God (See Psalm 83, especially verse 16). For Israel, let us pray that the God of Esther will once again bring great deliverance and joy to His ancient people and that they will give all the glory to Him (Esther 9:20-22).
Post ScriptJust after I had written this article stressing the strategic importance of March 3-6 for both Israel and Washington, D.C. concerning Iran, I found an article in an Israeli daily news source that noted that it was very unusual that both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres will be in Washington, D.C. on March 4-6 and are slated to meet with President Barak Obama about Iran (Cesana). You may read more at Israel HaYom.
Works citedCesana, Shlomo and Reuters. “Netanyahu, Obama likely to meet during PM’s upcoming visit.” Israel HaYom. Feb. 6, 2012. Web. Feb. 12, 2012.
“Iran: We will help ‘cut out the cancer of Israel.’” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Feb. 3, 2012. Web. Feb. 12, 2012.
Karimi, Nasser. “Ahmadinejad: Iran to reveal new nuke achievements.” The Associated Press. Feb. 11, 2012. Web. Feb. 12, 2012.
Kasnett, Israel. “A View From Israel: Deterrence is Irrelevant.” Jerusalem Post. Palestine Post Ltd. Feb. 10, 2012. Web. Feb. 12, 2012.
Katz, Yaakov. “Barak: If sanctions fail, Iran must be hit.” Jerusalem Post. Palestine Post Ltd. Feb. 3, 2012. Web. Feb. 12, 2012.
Mostaghim, Ramin and Fleishman, Jeffrey. “Iran revises death toll in military base explosion to 17.” Los Angeles Times: World Now Blog. Tribune Company. Nov. 12, 2011. Web. Feb.12, 2012.
“Mutual assured destruction.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Feb. 6, 2012. Web. Feb. 13, 2012.