The unofficial state of war spreads as Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza continue to strike Israeli cities, hitting Jewish civilians (and occasionally Arab citizens of Israel). These jihadi rocket attacks are shot from launchers deliberately positioned by Hamas among Gaza’s civilian population – a war crime by legal and ethical definitions.
Fast-moving events are transfixing Israel this week. The bodies of three Jewish teenagers murdered by their Hamas kidnappers were discovered. Jihadi rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip have been smashing into Israeli kibbutzim and towns even as we go to press. Saudi Arabia announced that it has moved 30,000 soldiers to its border with Iraq, concerned about the jihadi onslaught rolling like thunder across Mesopotamian fields.
The U.S. invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan had different original goals originally – the establishment of a threefold cord – Western democracy, a solid economy and a pro-Western military power. This week all three of those pillars have shattered with jihadi group ISIS taking control of Mosul and with the Iraqi government turning to Iran for help.
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. Rick Ridings and 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.
Russia has successfully neutralized the United Nations. With its veto in the Security Council, the U.N. will do nothing to save Syrian lives. Who does the U.S. have on its side? Perhaps France, and a few mealy-mouthed Arab dictators — like Saudi Arabia. The duel between the U.S. and Russia went into full swing Thursday, as the G20 met.