Shabbat’s Torah portion has numerous titles for God. As most of these are descriptions of His essential nature, they aid us in praising our great God: God Almighty (Gen. 48:3); the Angel who redeems (Gen. 48:16); Yahweh  (Gen. 49:18); the Mighty of Jacob (Gen. 49:24); the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel (Gen. 49:24); the God of your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Gen. 50:24).
- Lord God of Israel, we are awestruck and blessed that all of these names, and so many more, do not even begin to describe who You are in Your totality (Psa. 145:3; Rom. 11:33).
- Abba Father, we praise You that while You dwell in unapproachable light (1 Tim. 6:16), You sent Your Son to reveal Yourself to mankind (John 1:18; Heb. 1:1-3).
- Lord Yeshua, in You dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and we thank You for leaving the glory You had with Your Father to reveal Him to us (John 17:5; Phil. 2:6-7; Col. 2:9).
- King Messiah, truly You are Emmanuel – God with us (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23: John 1:14).
- It is so true to sing, “when we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’d first begun.”  (Psa. 44:8).
- Lord Yeshua, we thank You for being our Good Shepherd today (Psa. 23:1; John 10:11, 14).
- You are also the Stone – or Rock – of Israel who has now become our fortress of ultimate safety and we praise and thank You for becoming incarnate to be that for us (Psa. 18:2, 31, 46; 27:5; Rom. 9:33).
- What a shocking truth it is to understand what Romans 15:8 is revealing, that You became a servant of the Jews to confirm – that is to make even more sure – God’s promises to Israel’s forefathers, and because of that gentiles might also become part of Your chosen family (Rom. 15:9-12).
But YHWH is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting king…(Jer. 10:10) Amen!
Israel enters into 2023 with a new government in place. We enter with a deeper burden to intercede for Prime Minister  Bibi Netanyahu’s government to be successful – and for us that means for it to accomplish all for which God has created it at this time in history (Eph. 2:10).
- Use David’s final charge to Solomon in the prophetic portion speak to Netanyahu and his coalition over the Shabbat:
Keep YHWH your God’s charge, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do…(1 Kin. 2:3a)
- Guide the coalition to move in line with Your Word and not in line with rabbinic tradition, unless that tradition lines up with the Scriptures (Josh. 1:7-8; Mark 7:13).
- Anoint Netanyahu with wisdom so that all Your goals for this coalition will be done (Prov. 8:14-16).
- Surround him with godly counselors and keep away all others (Prov. 11:14; 15:22).
- Show him how to rein in the more radical members, yet hinder him from stopping any decree or directive that will bring Israel more in line with Your will and righteousness (Prov. 14:34; 21:1).
- While there are already differing points of view, prevent any real division in the coalition, and give them an ability to work together with respect for one another (Psa. 133:1-3; Rom. 12:10).
- Give them all integrity in administering the portfolios assigned to them (Luke 12:42).
- Grant the gift of knowing when and how to delegate responsibilities to each coalition minister.
- Anoint Bezaleel Smotrich, making him the finance minister that Israel needs today (Deut. 28:8).
- Deal with Smotrich’s pride and make him a true blessing to Israel (Prov. 8:13; 13:10; 29:23).
- Aid Justice Minister Yariv Levin and the coalition in legislating much needed reforms to hedge in Israel’s unelected Supreme Court from destroying Israel’s democracy by their autocratic decisions against non-politically correct laws which Israel’s elected politicians pass (Isa. 1:25-26).
- Shield the coalition against the wicked accusations from the opposition and most of Israel’s media, and give Israelis an ability to discern correctly this negative rhetoric (Job 6:30; Dan. 6:22).
- Protect Israel from former PM Lapid’s tour of US Jewish organizations as he tries to get them to criticize and help to bring down Netanyahu’s democratically elected government (Psa. 41:9).
-  Lord, this anti-Semitic response hiding under the phrase of “keeping the status quo,” which prevents Jews from praying on their holiest site, is unacceptable and we ask You to respond both sovereignly and through Israel’s new government (Psa. 33:10-11; 76:12).
- As various ministers negotiate new relations between themselves, the military and the police, please help all godly changes to move forward in real cooperation (Jer. 32:17, 27).
- Do not allow the coalition to refrain from instituting any Bible-based security measures just because those measures may not be politically correct (Psa. 118:6; Prov. 29:25).
- Use David’s final charge to Solomon in the prophetic portion speak to Netanyahu and his coalition over the Shabbat:
- Internal security:
At the end of 2022, the UN General Assembly voted to ask the UN affiliated International Court of Justice  in the Hague to determine if Israel’s “ongoing occupation” of Judea and Samaria is a war crime.
- God, guide us as we pray, as we see You fulfilling Zechariah 12:2-3 right before our eyes.
- We bless You for Netanyahu’s response as he declared that a nation cannot “occupy” its own land!
- Lord, add Your strong rebuke to that of Bibi’s and Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan against this anti-biblical UN move against Your land and people (Psa. 9:19-20; Isa. 40:15-17, 23-24; Joel 3:1-2).
- Guide Israel to know whether or not to cooperate with the ICJ (Prov. 26:4-5).
- Direct Israel as to when it should resign from being a UN member nation (Ex. 33:16; Num. 23:9b).
- Watch over Your promises to Jacob in Shabbat’s Torah portion that You, God Almighty,
will give this land to  descendants as an everlasting possession”‘.(Gen. 48:4)
- Let the new coalition extend Israel’s sovereignty over Your land in response to the nations’ audacity to reject Your promises concerning the land which You swore to Israel’s forefathers (Gen. 50:24).
- Give Bibi and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen courage and wisdom to rebuke the unbiblical demands of its “friends,” especially America, in relation to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (Neh. 2:20; Obad. 1:17).
- As the Palestinian Authority is in crisis – both because of President Abbas’ soon demise and because of their consistent cursing of Israel – show Israel what to do or not do (Prov. 21:31).
- Continue to guard over Israel’s security forces and guide them daily (Psa. 121:4; 144:1).
- Give the IDF and the police wisdom in the deployment of all of its security forces (Prov. 21:31).
- Let new measures be legislated against Palestinian terrorists – including the deportation of some and even the death penalty for others (Gen. 9:5-6; Ex. 21:12; Psa. 10:16).
- Lord, release angelic protection on Israel’s roads – against both terrorism and accidents (Psa. 91:11).
- External security:
Iran is still the number one threat on Netanyahu’s radar – and rightly so. Iran’s proxies have Israel surrounded: Hizbullah is in Lebanon and Syria, and Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are in Gaza as well as in Samaria. Yet the US Biden administration and the UK, France and Germany are still hoping to get Iran to agree to re-enter Obama’s ridiculously dangerous nuclear deal, even though they are upset with Iran for helping Russia against Ukraine.
- Create an excellent working relationship between Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and the soon-to-be new IDF Chief of Staff Hertzi Halevi (Eccl. 4:12; Eph. 4:3).
- We again ask that all of the IDF Iran Command’s strategy and tactics which are from You to be highlighted and any which are not of You to be rejected (Psa. 44:4-8; 68:35).
- Surround all the IDF commanders who need to make decisions about Iran and Israel’s other external enemies with godly counsel, and also give them ears to hear what You tell them (Prov. 20:18; 24:6).
- When Israel needs to pre-empt Iran’s plans, forbid it from sharing what it is about to do with any of its “friends” among the nations, in particular with the current US administration (Eccl. 3:7b).
- We give You the glory for the almost weekly breakthroughs we read about concerning advances in Israel’s weapons’ advancements (Psa. 50:15; Ezek. 37:10).
- Continue to use the massive ongoing demonstrations in Iran to sow confusion, fear and dismay among Iran’s current leadership, most of whom deeply despise Israel (Psa. 129:5).
- Let the assassination of a top IRGC general outside of his house in Tehran increase the paranoia of Israel’s Mossad among Iran’s political and military leaders (Psa. 55:9; 2 Thess. 2:10-12).
- Destroy all of Iran’s funds which go towards sowing terror globally (Deut. 28:29; Ezek. 32:24).
- Rebuke all Western nations who are still doing business with Iran’s evil leaders (Prov. 11:21; 16:5).
- Break every diplomatic and military tie between Iran and Russia, Iran and China and Iran and North Korea (Psa. 55:9).
- Lord, quickly bring forth the next Iranian leadership who will replace the ayatollahs (Dan. 5:21).
- Protect and mature the Iranian church and guide them in prayer (Psa. 10:17; 50:15; Rom. 8:26).
We praise God for the huge increase in aliyah in 2022 of over 70,000 new immigrants , which was more than double from 2021. While we realize that this increase was the result of Russia’s war with Ukraine, yet since aliyah is finally for God’s glory (Psa. 106:47), we pray that 2023 will see an even greater regathering of His people to His land – with a minimum of 100,000 new olim.
- Lord, make this the year when the majority of all Jews end up living in their land (Isa. 11:11-12).
- God of Israel, chase them or draw them – but bring Your people back home (Jer. 16:16; 31:3).
- Close the doors to Jewish life in exile and keep Israel’s gates wide open (Ezek. 11:15-20).
- May Western Jews be made more aware of the steep rise of anti-Semitic attacks in their nations (Est. 3:8-9; Psa. 83:1-4; Acts 16:20-21).
- Direct Jews who have just lost their homes or livelihoods to the various “natural” disasters hitting the earth, take their insurance money and use it to start anew in Israel (Jer. 24:6-7; Mic. 2:12-13).
- Keep open the gates in Russia and Ukraine for the Jews there to come home (Deut. 30:3-5).
- Use the new government to make it easier for Jews to return and to be settled (Zech. 10:8-10)
- We ask You to determine whether the Law of Return should be modified or not (Prov. 19:21).
We sense a burden from the Lord to ask Him to remove His veil over His people’s eyes this year and through His grace, to save multitudes (Rom. 11:25-26).
- Lord, as Jews read the Torah portion, remind them that Messiah was to come from the tribe of Judah and somehow let them know that Yeshua did (Gen. 49:8; Matt. 1:1-3; Luke 3:31-33; Heb. 7:14).
- May many cry out with Father Jacob,
I have waited for Your salvation, O YHWH.(Gen. 49:18)
- Lord, we plead with You to pour out the fullness of Your Spirit on Your people in 2023 – especially those who are already at home in Israel (Isa. 32:15-18; Joel 2:28-32).
- Please give Jews deeper hunger for Your words than the words of men (Jer. 15:16).
- Your people who have had seeds planted and weeds plucked recently still need Your revelation and Your grace to be saved, and we are asking You to do just that (1 Cor. 3:6-7).
- Abba, impart revelation to Israelis of who their King Messiah truly is (Isa. 33:22; Rev. 1:5-6).
- Lord, in Your love, draw to Yourself many unbelieving family members of Messianic Jews; all Holocaust survivors; the terminally ill; many in the teaching professions; Jewish hippies and all other Jews who are seeking for “enlightenment” in the occult or the new age; those Jews who have settled on Your mountains; and many of 2022’s new immigrants (Psa. 76:1; Hos. 11:3-4).
- Lord, please save Israel’s openly gay Knesset Speaker Ohana and his “husband,” and then use their testimonies to spark a revival throughout the rest of Israel’s gay community (1 Tim. 2:1-4).
- Pour out a holy dissatisfaction on a huge number of rabbis and other religious Jews, both in Israel and in exile, that drives them to seek a living relationship with You (Psa. 143:8; Isa. 43:10).
- Use both new and veteran believers as leaven, to leaven the whole nation of Israel (Matt. 13:33).
- Anoint more gentile believers to desire to provoke Your people to jealousy, yet forbid them from turning any “success” into a program, but to be led by Your Spirit in every encounter (Rom. 11:11).
- The Body of Messiah:
It is shocking to read what today’s “prophets” say about what God is doing in the world – and yet to see how so many of them are blind to what He has been, and is, doing in Israel in preparation for the return of Israel’s King, Messiah Yeshua.
- Lord, wake up Your Body to the reality that Your Word actually starts in Genesis 1:1 (2 Tim. 3:16).
- Show all “New Testament” believers that the New Testament starts by looking backwards to the Tanach in order to prove that Yeshua truly is the promised Messiah of Israel (Matt. 1:1-2:6).
- Surprise many Christians with the centrality of Israel and the Jews in Your plans to make gentiles part of Your family in Messiah Yeshua (Rom. 1:16; 3:1-2; 9:1-5; 11:1-2, 11-32; 15:27).
- Drive out the demon of replacement theology from Your Body and replace it with the truth of Your word concerning the relationship between Israel and gentile believers (Rom. 11:16-24).
The rains have been falling – and for that we praise and bless God.
We do appreciate your words of encouragement and financial gifts to this ministry and most importantly ask that You would continue to hold us up before God’s throne in prayer.
Shabbat shalom and blessings in His amazing grace from Zion,
For the IFI team