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Praying for Israel in Israel

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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The Dome of the Rock and the surrounding city of Jerusalem taken from Mount Scopus (Credit: Denison Forum on Truth and Culture/Jeff Byrd)

Shalom from Israel.  I am returning home today after nine days leading a study tour of the Holy Land.  God instructs us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6); recent events have caused me to intercede even more intently for this remarkable land and people.

As you may know, Iran declared over the weekend that it has “cracked the codes” of a U.S. spy drone it captured last year.  Now there are concerns that Iran or other states might be able to reverse-engineer the chemical composition of the drone’s radar-deflecting paint, enabling them to pilot such stealth technology across the Middle East.  Imagine the reaction in Israel if Iran could bomb targets here using stealth drones.

Meanwhile, Israel’s military chief of staff says he has ordered his forces to accelerate their covert operations in enemy countries.  Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz did not identify the countries or give further details, but he has stated that 2012 is a critical year in the standoff between Israel and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program.

One of the reasons Israel is so concerned about this program is that once Iran’s scientists have produced a large quantity of enriched uranium, they could build a nuclear weapon within six months.  Such development could be hidden with relative ease, making it much more difficult for us to know that Iran is building weapons or stop them.  For instance, we didn’t know India was building a nuclear bomb until it tested such a weapon in 1974 and entered the “nuclear age.”

Such uncertainty is an accepted part of life in this tiny country.  Every Israeli I have ever met could easily live somewhere else.  Their excellent education system and language skills make them employable all over the world.  Nonetheless, they choose to live in this land promised by God to their people 40 centuries ago.  I admire them for their courage and commitment to their national survival and sovereignty.

At the same time, I pray daily for a great spiritual awakening in this Holy Land.  Missionaries to the Middle East have told me that more Jews have become Christians in the last 20 years than in the last 20 centuries.  The Scripture that calls us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” tells us how: “May those who love you be secure.  May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.  For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’  For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity” (Psalm 122:6-9).

God still loves the Jews, the Palestinians, and all nations.  He calls us to intercede for peace in this troubled land.  Have you obeyed his word yet today?