The Jerusalem Prayer List – August 27, 2009

There is intensive Israeli, Egyptian, and German negotiation with the Hamas in Gaza for the release of the Israeli soldier Gilaad Shalit who this week celebrates his forth birthday in the captivity of the Hamas in Gaza. Gilaad Shalit was a young Israeli soldier who was kidnaped four years ago by the Hamas Terrorist organization and abducted into Gaza. Negotiations have taken place numerous times and have failed every time because of the impossible demands of the Hamas to have some 450 prisoners exchanged for one Israeli soldier. In fact Israel has agreed on the number of 450 people for one Israeli soldier, the snag comes in the demand to have some of the most notorious murderers and terrorists and

hardened criminals who have planned and sent hundreds of suicide bombers to kill women and children in Israeli shopping centers and supermarkets. I think that in this very tragic circumstance one can see the difference in mentality and the difference in attitude between radical Islamic terrorists and the Jewish nation of Israel.

Saturday started the Muslim Holiday of Ramadan so I called several Arab friends to wish them a happy Ramadan Fast. I asked a few of my Arab friends, “what do you think if the situation were reversed and the Hamas held 450 Israeli soldiers and we had one Hamas captive. Do you think that the Hamas would have given 45 Israeli soldiers to release one of their own?” The answer of every one of my Arab Muslim friends was, “Are you crazy!” After the “Are you crazy!” my Arab friends added a few superlatives in Arabic that can not be repeated in this forum.

I ask you to pray for the release of Gilaad Shalit. His family has behaved so very nobly and many in all of Israel are praying for the end of this ordeal of the family and all of Israel. Please pray also for the release of Palestinian prisoners who have no “blood on their hands” from Israeli jails.

Israel values human life and even one soldier who is in captivity for us is a cause for national anguish. I pray for the hand of God to be upon our leaders and politicians so that they can first of all see through the eyes of God’s Word and understand the deep consequences of their actions for generations to come.

Please continue to pray for the poor people of Jerusalem. Next week our Soup-Kitchen staff will be taking their annual vacation. The Soup-Kitchen will be closed. Near 150 families a more than 300 people will have to take care of their own needs for s couple of weeks. We are making a big effort to double bless these people who come to us for food. I feel a real burden to pray for these people and to ask God to fulfill His word: “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.” (Psa. 34:6) also, “He has given freely to the poor, His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted in honor.” (Psa. 112:9)

The idea of a home for our older generation brothers and sisters in Jerusalem has received a very good response from all around. This is a real need for our congregation but also for all the congregations in the Jerusalem area. The only facility that exists in Israel for the older generation is in Haifa and it is administered by the Lutheran church. They are doing a very fine job but they are very small and limited in space and in fact they are in Haifa and not in Jerusalem. We are as disciples of Yeshua obligated to take care of our older brothers and sisters. The idea is not so far fetched and it can be accomplished with reasonable cost if a suitable place is rented and a staff is built from among the younger local brothers and sisters. This would also provide employment for several younger generation members and make room for volunteers from abroad to come and bless Israel. Please start to pray for this kind of a place to become a reality for Jerusalem.

The truth is that there are many millions of dollars being poured into foreign Christian organization that come here to show their love for Israel and claim to be “Zionist Christians” but may be a trickle of these millions is used to bless the local congregation and ministries. These organizations are mainly supporting Israel and non-messianic organization but it would be wonderful if they would turn around and support such “good deeds” like a home for the elderly brothers and sisters who have stood the test and gone through the fire and come out standing in the victory of the Lord. We don’t count on any of these organizations. We do count on the grace of our Lord and the goodness of God’s children to supply all that saints of Jerusalem need. If it is God’s will for such a home for the elderly to become a reality in Jerusalem I am sure that those whom God will touch will stand up and be counted and sufficient for this task. It is a very big mitzvah (good deed) to take care of the elderly. The Psalmist cries: “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails.” (Psa. 71:9)

Please continue to pray for the same sick people in Jerusalem, in Brazil for Paulo, in Oklahoma for Ruby, in Japan for Kemi, in Tennessee for June and Mary, in Georgia for Liz.

Please continue to pray for those younger families who need jobs and a bit of financial blessing. Netivyah helps the poor and University students who need a bit of financial encouragement to be able to do their studies. My churches of Christ training has brought good fruit in that we put the funds that the Lord provides and put these funds to work for His Kingdom. !

Blessings upon all of you my dear brothers and sisters. Please keep on praying for us and for the peace of Jerusalem!

Joseph Shulam

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