Urgency & hope for Syria, Israel

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Friends, it’s been a busy end of year and new year here in Texas. I apologize for the lack of posts. I’m also getting bearings for the rest of the year, considering some changes to the web site.

For now, here’s the latest out of Succat Hallel, the Jerusalem worship and prayer center.

Camera and pen

By Rick Ridings
Succat Hallel

Throughout 2012, through visions and prayer, the LORD highlighted that the intercessors should focus on the protection of Israel’s borders. The conflict with Gaza in November reinforced that point as Hamas and its allies fired rockets deeper into Israel, even setting off the air-raid sirens in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (1, 2).

I do not believe we’re finished with conflicts on our borders, only finished with one particular phase. We need to guard against being lulled into a false sense of security. We still need to secure the borders of Israel. For more on this topic, see our previous articles:

I believe in this new year, the region will heat up again, and it will be even hotter and more severe.

The situation in Syria will most most likely get worse before it gets better. Now is the time to be vigilant in prayer.

As the civil war continues to destabilize Bashar al-Assad’s control in Syria, the Middle East neighbors and the world worry about his chemical weapons. Will he use them against the rebels? Will he use them on Israel? Will he pass them to anti-Israel Hezbollah in Lebanon? Will the rebels acquire them and use them on pro-government forces or on Israel?

The rebels reported as recently as Christmas Eve that Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons (3), though Israel says it has seen no evidence of such attacks (4). Soon after, British-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Jordan’s King Abdullah to discuss the chemical threat (5).

The point is that the chemical weapons threat is a real one.

On December 4th, 2012, The LORD gave me a vision concerning Syria and Lebanon:

I saw that the LORD posted four very strong angels in four places – the northeast corner of Syria, the northwest corner of Syria, the southwest corner of Lebanon and the southeast corner of Syria. The two angels to the north were holding clouds and rain, which they would release when needed. The two in the south were angels of the winds, releasing winds from the south and east. I sensed these two angels were protecting Israel and also the innocent in Syria and Lebanon.

At the end of the vision, I saw much of Lebanon and Syria covered with ashes. However, butterflies began to rise out of the ashes.

Nations of Isaiah 19I believe the vision shows the LORD’s protection should chemical weapons be released. Wind can redirect a released poison, and the rain washes it out of the air (6).

As for the end of the vision, there are already a lot of ashes, burning and destruction in the region. In a recent interview, Joshua Landis, Director of The Center for Middle East studies stated that “It’s likely that [President Assad] will hang on to Damascus and that the city will be destroyed, as Aleppo has been destroyed, before it is relinquished (7).”

I am glad to report, though, that I’ve already seen firstfruits of new life from this conflict in Syria. I met two Syrian refugees at a house of prayer in Turkey. They met Jesus after they fled to Turkey, where believers reached out to them. These two Syrian refugees were glowing with the joy of the LORD.

So let us pray into God’s protection and renewal. Pray into the long-term spiritual blessing promised in Isaiah 19:23-25 where the LORD says that one day He will be be able to call Assyria (both modern Syria and Lebanon were part of ancient Assyria) His “handiwork” and that together with Egypt and Israel, they will become a center of blessing to the whole earth.

Pray that spiritual life will arise in Syria and Lebanon, and that He would bring forth life and beauty from their ashes.

Prayer points

  • Job 38 – The LORD is over the weather patterns, and uses them in times of war.
  • Psalm 78:26 (NIV) – “He let loose the east wind from the heavens and by his power made the south wind blow.” The LORD has used the wind to protect Israel before.
  • Psalm 91:3 – The LORD saves from pestilence.
  • Isaiah 19:24-25 (NIV) “In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying ‘Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.’”
  • Isaiah 61:3 (NIV) – Pray for a“crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” for the people of Syria.

Works Citied

  1. Staff and AP. “Jerusalemites shaken, not stirred, by ‘surprise’ siren.” The Times of Israel. 16 Nov. 2012. Web. 26 Dec. 2012.
  2. Shmulovich, Michal. “Rockets in Tel Aviv? ‘That’s something I couldn’t have imagined’.The Times of Israel. 21 Nov. 2012. Web. 26 Dec. 2012.
  3. Kais, Roi. "Syrian rebels report 18 cases of chemical attacks." YNetNews.com. Yedioth Internet. 25 Dec. 2012. Web. 26 Dec. 2012.
  4. "Israel says has no proof poison gas used in Syria." Reuters. Thompson Reuters. 25 Dec. 2012. Web. 26 Dec. 2012.
  5. Benari, Elad. "Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Discussed Syria’s Chemicals." Israel National News. Artuz Sheva. 27 Dec. 2012. Web. 27 Dec. 2012.
  6. "Dispersal and Fate of Chemical Warfare Agents." Noblis.org. Noblis, Inc. Web. 26 Dec. 2012.
  7. Hilleary, Cecily. “QUICKTAKE: Is an Alawite State in Syria’s Future?” Middle East Voices. Voice of America. 20 Dec. 2012. Web. 28 Dec. 2012.

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