In our daily lives we all face the challenge of seeking to hear the voice of the Lord, in order to fulfill our destiny, and not just allowing ourselves to be ruled by “the tyranny of the urgent”. (1) In the same way, we as prayer leaders must beware to not just pray into “the tyranny of the urgent,” and we must not just use a shotgun approach in this era of information overload.
Rather than just praying in response to the flood of news coming our way, we need to learn to enter into the “council of the Lord” like Daniel, one of the greatest intercessors of the Bible. Daniel was a man who understood the times and the seasons. Daniel appealed to the Lord for revelation and was given that revelation in a way that caused kings to seek his counsel. He glorified His God, the God of Israel, as the One Who “changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness” (Daniel 2:21, 22 NIV).
I, and many others, see a convergence of three factors which, taken together, would seem to say that the Lord is drawing our attention to be alert and seeking His counsel as to how we should pray in these “hinge years” of 2014/2015.
FACTOR 1: 70 years since the end of the Holocaust, World War II
Daniel rightly discerned through the prophecies of Jeremiah that the people of his nation were entering into a strategic moment at the end of the prophesied 70 years of exile (Daniel 9:2).
I felt recently that the Lord was impressing upon me that 2014-2015 are two “hinge years,” that is years when events will take place that will greatly affect the nations, Israel, and the Church for many years afterward.
We are entering into the biblically significant 70 years since the final battles, the final victory over great forces of evil in World War II and the end of the Holocaust in 1945. Seventy is also the number representing the nations in Genesis 10.
FACTOR 2: Significant signs in the heavens
We also are are seeing a convergence of signs in the heavens with four “blood moon” lunar eclipses falling on the beginning of both Passover and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) during both 2014 and 2015.
According to research done by Pastor Mark Biltz (2), the last two times their were lunar eclipses on two major biblical holidays two years in a row were in the “hinge years” of 1949/1950 and 1967/1968. (3, 4)
1949/1950 were the the two years following the establishment of the modern nation-state of Israel. Those years also saw the establishment of many ministries greatly used in world-wide evangelism, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association being one (5).
In 1967, Jerusalem was reunited in the Six-Day War. The years of 1967/1968 also saw the beginnings of modern Messianic Judaism (6) and the Jesus Movement, which “left a legacy of various Christian organizations.” (7, 8)
Such a tetrad (group of four) of lunar eclipses coinciding with the start of major Jewish/biblical feasts will not happen again in this century. (4,9)
In addition, there are two solar eclipses falling on the significant dates of the biblical Hebrew calendar in 2015:
- biblical “new year’s day” of Adar 29/Nisan 1 (Exodus 12:2), March 20, 2015
- the beginning of the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), September 13, 2015. (4, 10)
Please understand that I am not setting forth a date for the return of our Lord Jesus nor claiming what specific events will occur during 2014/2015. I am simply saying that we need to see this as one more factor pointing us to be alert to the strategic importance of 2014/2015.
We must not allow some who may make spurious predictions based on these signs in the heavens to keep us from the clear teaching of the Bible that the Lord will use signs in the heavens to draw our attention to a season where He will do major things and wants us to seek His counsel on how to pray and prepare (see Joel 2:31; Luke 21:11,25,28; Acts 2:20,21; Revelation 6:12).
Factor 3: Convergence of major calls to prayer in and for Jerusalem and Israel and for the nations’ alignments concerning Israel
I have only lived in Jerusalem for 15 years, but I have not seen such a convergence of outside ministries calling such great numbers to focused prayer in this regard.
As a board member of the European Coalition for Israel, I am part of their launching of Global Prayer Call 2015, calling intercessors to 100 days of prayer (with seasons of fasting) from January 27 to May 8, 2015, concerning their nation’s attitude and alignment with God’s Word concerning the Jewish people and Israel.
In addition, I and other leaders in Israel have been asked to welcome and to participate in multiple large international gatherings.
- On Sept. 17, 2014 thousands of primarily Americans will join in a Promise Keeper gathering in Jerusalem.
- On November 10-14, 2014, thousands of primarily Chinese internationals will join in an indoor stadium in Jerusalem to pray and worship.
- On May 20-25, 2014, thousands of primarily Indonesian internationals will seek the Lord in Jerusalem during an Empowered21 event.
How should we respond?
I believe our response to the coming together of these three factors should be the same as that of the great, governmental intercessor Daniel when he realized that the end of their 70-year exile was approaching: “So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with Him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes” (Daniel 9:3 NIV).
We then see in Daniel 9:4-19 that Daniel pours out his heart on behalf of his nation and people, and his home city of Jerusalem.
I believe that a confession of our sins and the sins of our fathers, and of our nation is the right place to posture ourselves in this season.
- We need to confess the rebellion of our nations against God’s choice of Israel and the Jewish people to play a unique role in His great plan to bring His salvation to the ends of the earth.
- We need to receive His heart, so that we might weep over our nations. It is so important that we do this during these two strategic years of 2014/2015.
We need to cry out while there is still hope and before the hearts of our leaders are hardened.
What if we believe our nation or its leaders will not choose to align properly with God’s Word and heart concerning Israel and the Jewish people? We need to realize that it is not for us to decide when it is too late for our nation or leaders. There may be great pressures from the “Babylonian” systems upon our nation and it leaders. However, the Lord will always, in His justice, raise up prophetic voices like Daniel, so that those leaders may never say at the Great Judgment that they never heard the truth.
The sovereign and just King of Kings appointed Daniel to be such a voice right in the heart of Babylon. Even such a wicked and proud king as Nebuchadnezzar, after seven years of chastening through insanity (as predicted by Daniel in chapter 4), came to a place of repentance and after his sanity was restored proclaimed: “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble” (Daniel 4:37 NIV).
We are not called as intercessors into a “ministry” of criticism and complaining concerning our national leaders. Rather we are commanded that “petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority ” (I Timothy 2:1-2 NIV).
Praying for the sake of our nation
We need to pray that our nation will not stumble over the “rock of offense” of God’s choice of Israel and the Jewish people to play a unique role in salvation history, even as we pray that they will not stumble over the “rock of offense” of the Cross of the Messiah. This is true even for the nations that have been oppressed by Islam and taught to hate Israel and the Jewish people. I have ministered many times in Indonesia and have seen first-hand that this has been a major key to the great turn-around in their economy and for millions of Muslims to come to salvation through Jesus.
In May 2012, I had the privilege of being part of a prayer meeting of about 120,000 intercessors in Jakarta, Indonesia. By video, they were linked with another estimated 2 million Indonesian intercessors. They started off this huge prayer meeting with the greeting “Shalom” and blew over 200 shofars at a certain moment.
In November 2013, I spoke at a meeting of about 7,000 pastors, elders, and deacons who are connected with a major church in Jakarta. Once again, they started the meeting with “Shalom.” In their prayer tower afterward, I heard their intercessors weeping and crying out to the Lord for their nation of Indonesia and for Israel. Is it any wonder that their national economy is booming during a time when many in the West have greatly declined? Is it any wonder that great numbers of Muslims there are turning to Jesus as the Truth, the Life, and the Way but also as the “Jewish Messiah”?
It is time we call our nations to align with the Genesis 12:3 mandate (reaffirmed and applied specifically to Israel in Numbers 24:1-9) to bless the seed of Abraham.
Praying for the sake of God’s name
I believe that we are strongly called to pray for the blessing of our nations as they choose to align themselves with God in blessing Israel and the Jewish people. But we are also to go a step further and pray in these ways for the sake of His Name. He has chosen to offend many by calling Himself the “God of Israel.” Even as Daniel, we are to pray: “Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name. ” (Daniel 9:19 NIV).
May we hear the heart of the Lord in this season in His great desire to show mercy to our nations and to Israel. May His Name be greatly glorified in the nations and in Israel through our prayers.
© 2014 SuccatHallel.com
- Hummel, Charles E. “Tyranny of the Urgent.” Revised edition. Downer’s Grove, IL: IVP Books, 1994. Print.
- Biltz, Mark. Signs in the Heavens: The Blood Moons of 2014/2015. El Shaddai Ministries. 26 May 2013. LiveStream. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.
- “Lunar Eclipses: 1901 to 2000.” National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 23 May 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.
- “Hebcal: Date Converter.” Hebcal.com. 13 January 2013. Web. 20 February 2014.
- “Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 28 Dec. 2013. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.
- Baden, Larry. “An Introduction to Messianic Judaism.” Quodlibet Journal: Vol. 1 No. 1: March-April 1999. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
- di Sabatino, David. “History of the Jesus Movement.” Ottawa Inner City Ministires, 1997. All Saved Freak Band. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
- “Jesus movement.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
- “Catalog of Lunar Eclipses: 2001 to 2100.” National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 23 May 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.
- “Solar Eclipses: Past and Future.” National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 8 July 2013. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.