1. Praise:

    At times in our walk with God, when despite our obedience and the absence of any know sin, there still seems to be a barrier between us and Him. Shabbat’s prophetic portion speaks about this: Who is there among you who fears YHWH, who obeys the voice of His Servant [in this verse “His Servant” refers to His Messiah], yet who walks in darkness, and has no light? Let him trust in the name [i.e., who God is – His characteristics] of YHWH, and lean upon his God. (Isa. 50:10)

    • We praise You that we can trust in You even when we do not know what You are doing (Prov. 3:5).
    • Thank You for training us to trust You in the face of darkness and confusion (Job 13:15Psa. 23:4).
    • As You say to Israel in the Torah portion, You often lead us into situations where we are humbled so that we can truly understand that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of YHWH… (Deut. 8:3; cp. Luke 4:4)
    • We bless You for encouraging us to walk by faith and not by our senses (Psa. 77:19-202 Cor. 5:7).
    • We praise You for choosing and loving us before we chose or loved You (John 15:16a1 John 4:19).
    • Regardless of how we feel, we rejoice that You do reign (Psa. 93:196:1097:199:1).
    • Thank You that the Torah portion affirms Your total sovereignty over heaven and earth, as well as Your love for Israel’s forefathers (Deut. 10:14-17), through whom the good news has gone forth to the ends of the world (Gen. 12:322:18 [Abraham]; 26:4 [Isaac]; 28:14 [Jacob]; cp. Gal. 3:8).
    • Lord Yeshua, thank You for the blessing it is to be part of Your Body (1 Tim. 4:13Heb. 10:25).
  2. Government & society:

    The protests against the government continue. Also, I recently wrote how in most of Israel’s mainstream media the readers’ comments were much more right-wing than the editor’s opinion. Yet now readers’ comments have disappeared – at least from the Jerusalem Post.

    • Thank You for moving many Jews in Israel closer to Your mindset for them (Isa. 55:7-13).
    • Do not allow the media, or anything or anyone else, brainwash Your people from the reality of Your existence (Psa. 42:2Jer. 10:10) and from the truth of Your Word (John 17:17).
    • Use Your Word over Shabbat to speak to Israeli Jews who can then influence society (Zech. 8:16).
    • Convince more Israelis that they will not be permitted by the world or by You to be a nation like the other nations – and let them joyfully submit to Your calling upon them (Num. 23:9aEzek. 20:32-34).
    • God, rebuke all spiritual forces trying to destroy Your nation from the inside (Zech. 3:2Jude 1:9).
    • We thank You for PM Bibi Netanyahu and ask that You will direct his decisions so that he is drawn closer to Your will for Israel and for himself (Prov. 16:121:1).
    • Continue to enable him in being clear and concise and willing to openly correct interviewers who try to paint what is happening in Israel in the harshest possible light (Job 15:2-3Col. 4:6).
    • God of Israel, guide Israel’s coalition members to complete everything that is in Your will for Israel today – while not bothering with anything that is not Your will (Prov. 16:9).
    • Guard over all Israeli political leaders – both coalition and opposition – from being assassinated.
    • We again ask for the future of the judicial reforms to be in Your hands and not be at the whim of the opposition, demonstrators or outsiders who threaten Your nation in anyway (Isa. 1:25-27Lam. 3:37).
    • Hedge in the High Court so that they only deal with cases that are appropriate for judges to deal with and not get involved with those cases which are not part of their responsibilities (Deut. 1:1616:18).
    • Weaken the demonstrations and drain all the resources that sustain them (Ex. 23:2Eccl. 12:14).
    • Abba, thank You for keep Israel’s economy growing so that – as You say in the Torah portion – You can firmly establish Your covenant which You swore unto Israel’s fathers at this time (Deut. 8:18).
    • We praise You for the five new towns which have been approved to be built in the Negev and ask that nothing stops these approvals from going forward (Ex. 23:31Isa. 35:141:1951:3).
  3. Internal security:

    At some point Israel will need to obey God and extend its sovereignty over all of its land west of the Jordan River. The sooner that happens the safer its people will be simply because obeying the Lord is much safer than not obeying Him (Judg. 2:1-4Prov. 29:25).

    • God Almighty, cause many people, including believers, to openly proclaim the truth of Israel’s right to all of the land – both biblically and based on international law (Gen. 15:817:8Neh. 9:8).
    • Let this truth penetrate the hearts of all Israeli political and military leaders (Psa.85:1105:5-11)
    • Lord Yeshua, show Your Body that the war over Israel’s physical land is more of a biblical and spiritual battle than a political one – and then lead them in prayer about this (Ezek. 36:37Joel 2:17).
    • God, You said that speaking against Judea and Samaria is blaspheming You, so we ask You to deal with everyone who is guilty of this – whether politicians, terrorists or believers (Ezek. 35:11-13).
    • Thank You that Israel’s High Court refused to even consider the case brought before it which was against the rebuilding of the Jewish community of Homesh in Samaria (Jer. 31:3-5Obad. 1:19).
    • Lead the next group of Israeli military leaders to reject humanistic thinking (Jer. 17:5), and to have a healthy fear of You coupled with a deep commitment to Your Word (Psa. 2:1122:23119:41-43).
    • Impart great courage to Israel by this exhortation from the Torah reading: You shall not be afraid of them: for YHWH your God is among you, a mighty and awesome God. (Deut. 7:21)
    • Use the recent meeting of leaders who want Israel to go back to winning wars, and not just trying to keep “peace and quiet,” to have great influence on all politicians and IDF leaders (Psa. 44:1-8).
    • As per the Torah portion, help Israel to extend its sovereignty over the land today, even if it is little by little (Deut. 7:22-23).
    • Do not allow the US administration to manipulate Israel’s government, especially PM Netanyahu, to compromise its right to Your/their land to the benefit of the Palestinians just to be able to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia (Num. 23:23).
    • If Israel must choose between normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia or extending its sovereignty over more of Your/their land – help them to decide for Your/their land (Lev. 25:23Jer. 6:148:11).
    • Use the internal fighting that is occurring among the Palestinians society, both in Judea and Samaria and in Lebanon, for Your holy name’s sake (Psa. 74:22-23129:5Zech. 14:13).
    • Increase the division and infighting inside, and between, all Palestinian terrorist groups (Psa. 55:9).
    • Lord, as we’ve seen the Palestinians often drunk on their own blood, celebrating the death of their own kin, we ask You to contend with them in line with Shabbat’s prophetic portion (Isa. 49:24-26).
    • And as You do this, make Yourself known throughout the world as Israel’s Savior and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob (Isa. 49:26b).
    • Yet God of mercy, save many Palestinians and use them for Your glory (Rom. 16:271 Cor. 1:31).
  4. External security:

    Israel’s continued existence is guaranteed by God in Jeremiah 31:35-37. This does not mean that there will be no difficult wars ahead, but it gives us comfort to know that He who guards over Israel (Psa. 121:4Jer. 31:10) will bring His nation through – for His name’s sake.

    • Not unto us YHWH, not unto us, but unto Your name give glory, for Your mercy, and Your truth’s sake. Why should the nations [+ gentiles] say, ‘Where is their God?’ But our God is in the heavens; He has done whatsoever He has pleased.Psa. 115:1-3

    • If You are arranging Micah 4:11-13 to be fulfilled today, guide us in prayer (Psa. 10:17Amos 3:7).
    • Do not permit Israel to be more merciful than You want it to be against its enemies (Deut. 33:26-27).
    • Lord God, let the boasting of Your enemies lead to their destruction (Psa. 83:1-2Ezek. 35:11-13).
    • Increase their pride and arrogance and set them against one another (Isa. 2:11-1237:23Jer. 50:31).
    • We thank You for hearing our prayers and revealing that the relationship between Russia and Iran is not really as close as Iran wants the rest of the world to believe (Psa. 33:10Prov. 11:2116:5).
    • Break Iran’s “bow” and destroy its leaders in a way that gives You the most glory (Jer. 49:34-38).
    • Lord, have mercy on the Iranians who are in the midst of a severe drought and an extreme heatwave while their leaders focus on destroying Israel rather than caring for them (Num. 24:9bJer. 50:38).
    • Use the Church in Iran to impact its nation for good and for Your glory (Jer. 49:38a1 Cor. 10:31).
    • God Almighty, send forth angelic armies to protect all of Israel’s borders, including its very long border on the Mediterranean Sea (Psa. 35:4-6).
    • Continue to fulfill Your Word and make the IDF an exceedingly great army (Ezek. 37:10), even in the face of the exaggerated and fear-inducing reports of how the division in society is weakening it.
    • Increase Israel’s ability to gather accurate actionable intelligence, and to interpret what is true, what is false and what is enemy-inspired disinformation (Job 28:11b34:21-2242:2Eccl. 8:5b).
    • Reveal to Israel what its next moves need to be– especially if it is Your time for the IDF to pre-empt Hizbullah in Lebanon or even Iran itself (Psa. 18:34144:1).
    • Thank You for already using the IDF to win multi-front wars in 1948, 1967 and 1973 (Mal. 3:6).
    • Give Israel’s technological weapons development supernatural breakthroughs (Prov. 8:12).
  5. Aliyah:

    Israel’s restoration is for God’s holy name’s sake (Ezek. 36:24-28), so it is at least a partial answer to the prayer Yeshua taught us: Heavenly Father, sanctify Your name… on the earth, as it is already sanctified in heaven… (Luke 11:2).

    • We are blessed to be able to watch You watching over Your Word to fulfill it today (Jer. 1:12).
    • Thank You for answering prayers and calling Your people home (Hos. 11:10-111 John 5:14-15).
    • Bring Your people back from every nation to which You have scattered them (Jer. 31:10).
    • Open Jewish eyes in captivity to see that “anti-Zionism” is only a politically correct term for “anti-Semitism” which is at its root – “Jew-hatred” (2 Kin. 6:17aIsa. 35:5).
    • Lord, if Jews say what Jews in Germany said in the 1930s, that “it can never happen here,” please show them that it is already happening there and now is the time to flee (Jer. 51:6-10Ezek. 39:28).
    • Cause many Israelis and other Jews who live in captivity extremely homesick (Jer. 50:4-8).
    • Root out all bureaucratic roadblocks which hinder Jews from getting Israeli citizenship (Isa. 62:10).
    • Lord, as mentioned in the prophetic portion, pressure Israel to build more houses throughout the land so that the multitudes of Jews who will return will have places in which to live (Isa. 49:19-20).
    • Plant every new immigrant firmly in Your land and so fulfill Amos 9:13-15.
    • In agreement with the prophetic portion, reveal to more gentile believers their responsibility to carry Your people back home to Your land (Isa. 49:22Rom. 15:27).
    • Show Your Body that as important as it is to preach the gospel globally, it is also important for the Jews in the world to return to Zion at this time in history (Isa. 43:5-7Matt. 23:39).
  6. Salvation:

    In the Torah portion, the Jews are again told to do that which is impossible except by God’s grace mediated through His Spirit: Now, Israel, what does YHWH your God require of you, but to fear YHWH your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, and to serve YHWH your God with all your heart and soul, (Deut. 10:12)

    • Make many of Your people who want to obey You very frustrated with their inability to do this and then cause them to seek You for help (Deut. 4:29Jer. 29:11-13).
    • Impart a holy dissatisfaction with Jews who really try to follow Your Law (Rom. 10:1-3), yet know in their hearts how often they fail (1 Kin. 8:46aEccl. 7:20Luke 18:19Rom. 3:23).
    • Lord God, save many Jews living throughout Your land – including in Judea and Samaria, and Jews along the coast who tend to be very humanistic in their thinking (Jer. 24:6-733:10-11).
    • Pour out Your Spirit on the whole Haredi [ultra-Orthodox] communities, as well as Israelis who call themselves traditionally Jewish (Joel 2:28-29), and let them be frustrated with knowing about You – yet not really having a living relationship with, and personally knowing, You (Jer. 31:31-34).
    • Use these verses in the Torah portion to draw many Jews to Yourself: You shall fear YHWH your God. You shall serve Him, follow Him, and swear by His name; for He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which you have seen. (Deut. 10:20-21)
    • Lord, purify Your Body from a humanistic love towards the Jewish people – and lead them to love Jews biblically, sharing Yeshua with them– even if some Jews get offended (Acts 4:12).
  7. The Body of Messiah:

    All born-again believers experience God’s fatherly discipline (Heb. 12:5-8). Yet how many know that this concept was first revealed in Shabbat’s Torah reading? You shall consider in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so YHWH your God chastens you. (Deut. 8:5)

    • Lord, be very clear with Your Body concerning the absolute necessity to know that the foundational scriptures of New Testament theology are all in the Tanach [Old Testament] (2 Tim. 3:15-17).
    • Download to believers that in order to understand why Yeshua needed to die on the cross, they need to have some comprehension of what is revealed in Leviticus (Lev. 17:1114Mark 14:24Rom. 5:9Eph. 1:7Heb. 9:221 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 1:5).
    • Cause a desire to study the Tanach to overtake Your Body (Matt. 22:292 Tim. 2:15).
    • Lord, remove all spots and wrinkles that mar Your Church – especially its ignorance or denigration of the Tanach which is 75% of Your revelation to humanity (Matt. 22:29Eph. 5:26-27)
    • As a kingdom of priests (1 Pet. 2:9), help believers to understand that You are our inheritance in this world (Deut. 10:9) and therefore to focus solely on riches is not redeeming the time (Eph. 5:16).
    • Messiah Yeshua, prepare us to receive You as our King and Lord, and not as President or Prime Minister (Psa. 24:7-10Rev. 19:11-16).
  8. IFI:

    We continue to covet and need your prayers and words of encouragement – as well as your faithful support. We thank God for you.

Shabbat shalom and blessings from Jerusalem

Chuck Cohen, for the IFI team

2 John 1:3