The Jerusalem Prayer List – August 20, 2009

How we take care of our old folk, widows, and orphans, seems to be very high on God’s agenda. If you just look at the prophets of Israel and the Apostles and how they defined “true religion” you will see that it is defined as: “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 This is a special prayer request. We have in our congregation a group of wonderful aging men and women who have stood with the Lord for years and have proven to be faithful servants of the King of the Jews. A few of our old-timers are soon arriving to a position that they can’t live alone any longer. We have to take care of these old soldiers of the Kingdom of God. I pray that we will be able to find a solution that is fitting and honorable for these dear brothers and sisters. One such possibility would be to rent a home that would house several of our older brothers and sisters, staff it, and run it as a home of God’s goodness and grace for those who have served and stood faithfully with the Messiah. I believe that this kind of action

would be a wonderful witness to all around us. Thanking care of our old people is a very biblical and Jewish thing to do, and if we faithfully stand on this “true grace” of the Body of the Messiah the true blessing from God will be seen by both brothers and enemies of the Good News of Yeshua.

Today Hannah our dear office manager showed me the financial picture of Netivyah. We have cut down a significant amount of our expenses but we have not cut down one ounce of activity or charity or soup-kitchen or any other aspect of our ministry like publications and research. We are not in debt at all, but we have been spending each month more than we have been receiving and a person does not have to be a genius to know that this kind of situation can not continue for long. Although we have cut down expenses and we probably can cut down some more expenses we still have received some 25% less in contributions than we did for the same period last year. Of course we understand that the whole world is suffering financially and we are in no way complaining about anything, but we are sharing with those who pray for us and love Israel and want to see Israel receive their King the Messiah Son of David. Just think of how you would like to grow old. Would you like to grow old with brothers and sisters who have the same faith and understanding like you and may be have an opportunity to share and educate the younger generation from the rich experiences that you cary with you as luggage of small priceless treasures.

Today a couple of octogenarians called me today and said to me that they have this vision of spending the rest of their lives in Jerusalem with their fellow disciples of Yeshua and that they don’t want to go to a regular old-folk home where people don’t believe in Yeshua the Messiah. These octogenarians have a vision and a dream for Jerusalem’s older brothers and sisters. They think of a home that will be a kind of a light house for both the younger generation of brothers and also a mirror reflecting the life of the Messiah to the Jewish community at large. At least pray with us for this vision and ask the Almighty God of Israel to help us have that “pure religion” that the letter of James is speaking about: “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)

Here are some more prayer requests from Netivyah:

Israel has been awash with such a wave of violent acts that one can not ignore the words of our Minister of Justice a couple of days ago, “We have become like Sodom and Gomorrah.” In one week there were ten gruesome murders. Just a few minutes ago it was announced that one of Israel’s number one entertainers who was the king of Television rating just died in prison by hanging himself in the shower. This is a person who had everything but nothing was ever enough for him and he ordered a gang of criminals to go and beat up some of competitors. Violence has become a standard of behavior in so much of our culture and all the talk of Psychologists and Sociologists is generally speaking just vain platitudes that don’t really help in other parts of the world and will not help here either. The tragedy is that we, the Jewish people, have the Words of Yeshua that can and do really help when they are applied into our lives. The words of Yeshua are not strange to the Jewish eyes. I say “eyes” because every Orthodox Jew who prays three times per day sees those words in the prayer book at the end of the most important Jewish prayer that is called “the eighteen benedictions.” I say “sees” and to the “eyes” because I don’t really know how much we as a people “hear” and “listen” and take to heart the words that we as Jews pray. Here is how the “eighteen benedictions” end with these words: “My God, keep my tongue and my lips from speaking deceit, and to them that curse me let my soul be silent, and like dust to all. Open my heart in Your Torah, and after [in] Thy commandments let me [my soul] pursue. As for those that think evil of [against] me speedily thwart their counsel and destroy their plots. Do [this] for Thy name’s sake, do this for Thy right hand’s sake, do this for the sake of Thy holiness, do this for the sake of Thy Torah. That Thy beloved ones may rejoice, let Thy right hand bring on help [salvation] and answer me… May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Eternal, my rock and my redeemer.”

I ask you to pray for a miracle, but a very plausible miracle that can happen in just one second in the heart and mind of every Jewish person who prays this prayer. You please pray that at the very moment that Jews pray this prayer in every place in the World God himself will enlighten their hearts to see that the Spirit of Yeshua is hidden in this prayer and give everyone of us the strength and the faith and the desire to live according to this Spirit and see who is “my rock and my redeemer” sitting by the right hand of the Almighty One of Israel. We need Yeshua’s teaching so much, and when I say, “We” I mean the Jewish people and the Christians for sure and in fact all of mankind! In fact we need Yeshua’s teaching much more than we need religions because religions drive people apart and make them more radical and Yeshua and His teaching makes us all ONE with God.

We still have to deal with our sick and suffering. As I see our older generation failing in their health I just want to cry out to God for healing and strength and comfort for the sick. You join me in this cry for all the sick that you know personally and also for our sick brothers and sisters all around the world:

In Israel – Sara and Zvi, Ahuva, Leah, Ilana, Sarit, Miriam, David, Antonina, and Marcia. Marcia’s hand is still non-functional, but we hope for better very soon. In the USA – Ruby, Sean, Liz, Mary, and June my mother-in-law. In Brazil – Paulo who is a very fine young man who needs a divine touch on his soul and mind for healing. In Japan – please pray for a very special lady with failing health named Kemi. Lift her up before the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in Yeshua’s name!

Pray for financial blessings upon all those whom you know that need Jobs and a financial breakthrough. We have people in Israel who’s business is failing and we have those who need jobs and we have a tide of people knocking on our door wanting to join the Soup-Kitchen and we just don’t have the means to make things grow. Every day we have old Russian immigrants who live on a very limited government pension that have to make a choice between buying food or buying meditations for their illness. They come to the office and they ask for help and they cry and say that their refrigerators are empty. My heart cry’s with these dear old Russian immigrants many of whom were medical doctors and engineers in Russia and now they came to Israel as their fatherland and have to suffer hunger. We are doing our best. One asked me, “God said that this is a land of milk and honey, yes?” I said to him “yes!” – So, he said to me, “than were is the milk for me? I don’t even ask for the honey, the milk would be enough.” What can I say to you my dear brothers and sisters all is that we are committed to do our very best to keep things going here with all our capability. We are not giving any religious material to these people and we are not speaking to them about anything of faith. All that we are doing is being a blessing to the poor and to the widows and to the orphans and to single mothers because being a blessing to each other and especially to Israel is what every disciple of Yeshua ought to be.

Well, it is time to send this letter and ask you to keep us in your prayers and keep all of Israel in your prayers and especially Jerusalem who has a promise to bless those who bless her and seek the peace of Jerusalem.

Best to you all,

Joseph Shulam

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