Jerusalem Prayer List August 3, 2018

The Torah reading this Shabbat is called “Ekev” – which in English is translated “Because.”  These two words, one in Hebrew and the other in English are words that carry forward the logic of the sentence in the broader context of the text.  I really believe that this Torah portion is probably the most important Torah text for the Western Church today.  Why? Before I answer this question, I must state a clear disclaimer:  I believe in God’s blessings and I believe in living a good life and a prosperous life in the world and eternally spent with God and with Yeshua and with all the saints of history.  I don’t believe in misery or suffering to be virtues that men ought to aspire for, but I also don’t believe that a believer a disciple of Yeshua will always be rich and happy and prosperous in this world. Lack of prosperity is not a sign of sin and punishment. It can be boot-camp for the men of God, like Elijah the prophet, to train for bigger tasks and mission from God.

Now that I have said this clearly let me share with you the first message of this text from Deuteronomy.  Here is the opening verses from Deuteronomy 7:12 – 16,

““Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you. You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock. And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you. Also, you shall destroy all the peoples whom the LORD your God delivers over to you; your eye shall have no pity on them; nor shall you serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.”

If you check the rest of the Word of God always when there is a promise of blessings from God, there is also a demand for obedience.  Let me share a few of these texts:

“Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.” (Deuteronomy 29:9 NKJV)

To “keep the words of this covenant” does means to do the words of the covenant.

One more example from a later text: “Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the LORD charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (1Chr. 22:13)

There is a reward for doing in every camp where human beings are a community.  There is never in the Bible a promise for prosperity for human beings who are not obedient or not preforming their duties.  There is also never a promise of prosperity for receiving grace or forgiveness for sinning or doing something wrong or bad.

There is a strange teaching or marketing or manipulation that some churches and pastors use to encourage their parishioners to give money to the church or the pastor with a promise that they will prosper and be rewarded, and their wealth will be multiplied and increased by 100%.  The texts that these preachers use is taken from the Gospel of Luke.  Let me bring this text here and analyze it a bit.

“Therefore, be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”” (Luke 6:36–38 NKJV)

This text from the Sermon on The Mountain in the Gospel of Luke have the right words, “give and it will be given to you!”  The way this text is used today is that if you give money to the church you will prosper financially, and it will be given to you “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. . .”  The context of this text in Luke is not giving money at all.  Start with verse 36, “be merciful” – your Father also is merciful.  “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”  And here it comes: “Give and it will be given to you. . .” abundantly running over and it will be put into your bosom.  This last phrase means that you will not have to work for it – it will be actually brought to you personally.   So, when you see the context all the formula follows through.  I understand it like this: Whatever you sow that is what you will harvest, with God’s blessing for your doing the right thing.  What does this text not say: It does not say what you give! It does not say to whom you give!  It does say that things like forgiveness, mercy, not judging your fellow man, are the things that you give and the things that God our Father will multiply to you.  It could include charity of money it could include even given money to the church, but what it does not include or teach is that your motivation for giving in any of the above cases is to receive, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.  The giving of good things or money with the motivation of selfish gain is exactly what this text does not teach. How do I know that to be truth?  Look at the conclusion of this text in Luke 6:38, “For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” In other words, if you give with the wrong motivation of selfish desire what you are going to get from others will be their insincerity in double measure, shaken together right into your bosom.  I don’t think anyone will enjoy receiving any measure of hierocracy and insincerity.   Even to God, or especially to God, don’t give in order to gain for your selfish desires.  Give to God from all your heart and with honest and faithful desire to be a blessing without calculation of what you are going to gain for yourself.  When you this right you will see how God will sincerely bless you in more ways that you can imagine.

The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has made a law that has the semblance of a racial law.  The law said that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people of Israel and that the government will promote Jewish settlements. What this law does not mention is the equality of all citizens, the freedom of religion and conscience, and other things that are basic to a country of all its citizens. The result of this law is a polarization of several communities, the main one that is objecting to this law is the Druz community in Israel. The Druz are Arabs who have a mystery religion and have been faithful soldiers in partnership with the Jewish people and the State of Israel even before the State of Israel existed. The statistics are that the Druz young men have the largest percentage joining the Israeli Military. The Jewish Community is barely having 50% of the youth going to the Israeli army. Of the Druz youth 83% join the Israeli army. Because the Druz are very brave soldiers the percentage of casualties among them is also higher. Now, because of this law the Druz feel like they have been made second class citizens and that the State has betrayed them and taken away their equality and made them second class citizens. Tomorrow evening they are planning a major demonstration in Tel-Aviv and demand the repeal of this unnecessary law.  I am asking you to pray for this government of Israel. Pray that the Lord will give wisdom to our government to take down this law that makes Israel at least look like an Apartheid government who has intention to discriminate those who are not Jews.  This is a bad law in my opinion and it will bring bad fruit to Israel and condemnation by many of our friends.

Please keep praying for Israel and the situation with Gaza.  Every day there are dozens of fires exported from Gaza by helium balloons to the agricultural fields of the North Negev.

Please pray for Netivyah and the Roeh Israel Congregation this August. Now Daniel and his daughter Shir-El are in Japan, and they will be in Korea also after Japan.  Marcia, Hannah, and I will be flying to Bulgaria for a seminar in Sofia, and Marcia and I will continue to the United States. This means that the office will have a very small staff for almost the whole month of August. Pray for Yehuda and for those who will be at home and in the office while we are traveling to teach the nations.

Please keep praying for the replacement of the vehicle of Netivyah.  We have a van that is very old and needs replacement. This van serves every aspect of the Netivyah Ministry, the HaMotzi food program, the youth, the old people in the congregation that need a ride to attend the congregation and many more needs.  Please consider contribution specified for the Van.  Another need is Netivyah general fund.  The general fund is the fund that pays salaries and pays postage and telephone and insurance and printing and medial work and much more.  So, those of you in the United States who need the tax credit contribute to the Netivyah USA account that way you will receive the tax credit and those of you outside of the United States contribute to Netivyah Israel.

Netivyah can’t do the Lord’s work without your prayers and without your financial help.

Please pray for Daniel and Shirel his daughter and for Marcia and me and Hannah traveling to Bulgaria this next Monday. Pray for the Lord to keep Marcia healthy and all of us safe from any harm or problems.

Eliezer, dear older brother new immigrant had yesterday a stint inserted in his heart artery.  Please pray for Rabbi Eliezer’s speedy recovery and strength.

We prayed for Esther a young lady with cancer.  Esther is gone.  May the Lord comfort and encourage the family, her husband and child, and her father and mother and the rest of her family. May the Lord bless those of the family who are living.

Keep praying for Jacob Dankani. His recovery will take some time, but praise the Lord Jacob is on the mend.

Please keep praying for Dr. Altamiro and Cassia, these are precious brothers in the Messiah who live in Belo-Horizonte, Brazil.

Please continue to ask you to pray for Marcia my wife and her health, her pain from the Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetic, and some memory issues.

Please continue praying for baby Lion from the Huch family in DFW that has been diagnosed with Leukemia.  Baby is fighting back, and the prayers of the saints are going up to heaven knocking on heaven’s door in behalf of this young Lion.

Please continue to pray for our Jewish brother Hillel from Helsinki.  Pray for Patty, Andrea and Tineke are all in Netherlands and need healing from God.

Continue to Pray for Julia and Victor our dear sister and brother who both need healing and God’s help.  Please keep praying for a dear sister named Zhou Wenlian living in China.

Keep praying for the planned conference in Portugal in May 2019.  This conference is to awaken governments and the world attention and press for the Restoration of the Anussim (Marranos) both spiritually and physically to their naturals home.

Please keep praying for my daughter Danah and granddaughter Noaam and their health and strength and provision.  They are so wonderful and need so much help from God and so much strength.  May the Lord God of Israel in the name of Yeshua help them.

Margareta is a dear Orthodox Jewish sister who needs deliverance and healing.  Please keep praying for dear Ruby.  Ruby has been diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer. She is now beginning the laborious process of tests and treatments for this cancer.

Pray for Um Abu-Eid is a dear old Arab sister.  Please pray for her healing and strength. The list is still the same Bida, George, Gary, Melanie, Aharon, Yuri Marianenko, Sarit, Ahuva, Leah, Ilana, Miraim, Yehuda H., David Stern, Paulo, Noami, Tim Tucker, Anne-Mirjami, Satu-Maria and Anna-Majia, Sinni Tuuli, Erki and Sirpa, Keijo and Salme, Evelina, Eva H., Horace and June Marcia’s father and mother, Marcelo’s parents. Curita Sensei, the Abe family, Toru, Takeo Sensei, Daisuke Sensei, Tomoko San, Sadako San, Yumi and her husband, and her family in Okinawa.  Please pray Ritva Huhtala and for sister Oksanen they need prayer for illness.

Please pray for Louisa and Tony in Hong Kong.  Louisa is a dear sister who needs healing from Cancer and Tony is a dear brother who needs healing emotionally and generally in his life and business.

I have special concern for our dear brother Goh and his family, and for Sister Christy, Sister Laurel, and for Brother Michael Knezevich.  I have a special request from a brother Moshe Daniel from Kenya for his ministry and for the brothers in Kenya.

God bless and keep HIS promises to Abraham and bless all those who bless the Children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Keep you all healthy, blessed, and happy in all that the Lord is doing for you and for the world around you!

Now is the time to seriously pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and believe in God’s promises!

Joseph Shulam

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