A word out of Jerusalem on what may be coming down the pike. Prayer points included.
By Rick Ridings
Rumors of wars seem to be a Middle East staple. Since at least 2008, Iran has been threatening to wipe Israel from the map as it works build a nuclear program (Jaseb). Now, an 18-month civil war has destabilized Syria, said to posses 1,000 tons of chemical weapons (“Obama warns”).
Our region has been on the verge of war for years, but I believe the LORD has delayed the conflict. In 2009, the LORD gave me two visions in which I saw Israel’s enemies, portrayed as witches, sharks and wolves which were pushed back after intercessors cried out to God. I saw a clock,
which moved back from 5 minutes before midnight to 10, then 15
minutes before midnight. (see “Prayer for Israel in a strategic time”, March
The purpose of the
delay was to allow houses of prayer to be established throughout the
Middle East. These regional intercessors will shine a light in the
darkness and pull open the doors of heaven. (see “A
vision of a ‘Gideon’ victory in the Middle East”,
Since 2009, we are in
relationship with five houses of prayer in Turkey, three in Lebanon,
two in Egypt and two in Dubai. In Israel, in addition to the several
houses of prayer in Jerusalem, we know of others established in Tel
Aviv, the Galilee and the Golan.
Even when God pushes
the clock back, it does not stop but continues to move forward. So
time has marched on. We must be like the sons of Issachar and discern
the times and the seasons (1 Chronicles 12:32).
I have not had the
freedom to pray against war, but neither do I sense that this will be
a major, end-times war such as is described in Ezekiel 37-38 or
Zechariah 12-14. What I do sense developing within the next few
months is more like a Psalm 83 scenario where a regional
confederation menaces Israel.
In the midst of this,
I’m hearing three exhortations from the LORD:
- Strengthen the
- Build up gaps in
- Prepare for
A level of war for God’s glory
In Exodus 14, God uses
the attacking Egyptians to bring glory to His name and to secure the
trust of Israel. The LORD said:
“I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go
in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his
army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know
that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots
and his horsemen.” … And when the Israelites saw the
mighty hand of the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people
feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.
(Exodus 14:17-18, 31 NIV)
A series of visions the
LORD has given me over the past several years speak to that strategy
of God. (see “A
vision of a ‘Gideon’ victory in the Middle East”,
April 2012). In a vision in February 2012, I saw that the LORD made
a protective wall of the blood of Jesus and the positioned angels
with their shields and trumpets invisible to His enemies in order to
lure them into a trap.
Iran, Syria and
Hezbollah in Lebanon continue to threaten Israel, as do elements
within Gaza and Egypt’s Sinai. Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s rants
(Jaseb) almost quote Psalm 83:4 (NIV):
“Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a
so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”
It could be that soon,
God may allow a level of war to glorify himself in Israel and among
Strengthening the border
In 2011, on the anniversaries of the establishment of the State of Israel and of the
Six-Day War, Palestinian refugees and activists stormed the land
borders of Israel. The rush was particularly thick from Syria on
these nakba (Arabic for catastrophe) and naksa (Arabic
for setback) days. I believe they were trial runs to test Israeli
The LORD has also highlighted to us the coastal border of Israel, the Mediterranean
Sea. The new government in Egypt is allowing Iranian war ships
through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean. Most recently, Egypt
refused to inspect an Iranian ship laden with weapons for Syria
(Haaretz). Also, Egypt will reportedly buy two attack submarines from
Pray that the Messianic body in the Land will rise up to intercede for Israel. A major group
of messianic pastors recently called for three days of fasting and
prayer on September 22-24. Specifically pray Psalm 28:5-6, which in
part says that the LORD will be “a source of strength to those
who turn the battle at the gate.” (NIV)
Keep praying that the blood of Jesus and His angels would continue to protect the borders,
praying Psalm 29:3 (NIV):
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
Build up the gaps in the walls of protection
It is vital to fill in
the voids in the walls of protection, in our own lives as well for
Israel. We are told to “not let the sun go down on our wrath
lest we give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26-27).
While the LORD has set
watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem (Isaiah 62:6) he expects the
watchmen to repair the gaps.
Twice the LORD says in Ezekiel that the prophets were not doing their
job of wall building. In Ezekiel 13:4-5, He says that the walls need
to be repaired so they will “will stand firm in the battle on
the day of the LORD.” (NIV)
In Ezekiel 22:30, the LORD says he was seeking for someone to stand
in the gap so that he could show the nation mercy. It doesn’t say
fill the gap but stand in it, and in Hebrew it literally means to
become the wall, “on behalf of the land so I would not have to
destroy it” (NIV).
Once standing in the
gap, it is vital to hold the position.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you
may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything,
to stand. – Ephesians 6:13 (NIV)
The enemy knows the
importance this, so he will try to discourage us in an effort to move
us from our position. It is essential to be where God has called each
of us when He calls, without envy or jealousy of when and where
others may be called to stand.
Pray that Israeli
believers would stand up as a priesthood to confess the sins of
Israel and thereby build up the wall.
Prepare for the harvest
As Israel prepares for
potential war, it also has been preparing the past month for the fall
feasts – the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah (New Year), Yom
Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Sukkot (Feasts of Tabernacles).
In the month preceding
these holy days, it is traditional to read Psalm 27 every morning
(Wikipedia). In the psalm, David is reaching for God’s presence, His
teaching and His mercy. Appropriate to the current rumors of war
David also confesses his confidence in the LORD’s protection:
The LORD is my light
and my salvation — whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the
stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me to devour me,
it is my enemies
and my foes who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then
I will be confident. (Psalm 27:1-3, NIV)
I sense the LORD saying that he will allow the
shaking of warfare and that it will bring in a harvest.
A pastor in Louisiana, during a prayer time for
Israel, saw a vision of missiles hitting the Land. However, every
place a missile hit, a mature stalk of wheat sprouted.
So how do we prepare for this? Not by panicking or
running away, nor by forcing our positioning on others . Each of us
needs to be where God’s wants us to be. We need to be listening and
trusting in His timing… and waiting. David reminds us:
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
(Psalm 27:14, NIV)
Rick Ridings is co-founder and co-director a Succat Hallel, a 24/7 worship and prayer center in Jerusalem, Israel.
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