14 July 2012

Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

"Nazareth!  Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked.
"Come and see," said Philip...                                                     John 1:46

You may remember us sharing in May about the Global Day of Prayer event in Nazareth, where Arab and Jewish believers came together to worship, pray, and intercede for their nation, Israel.   We received a wonderful report from Rania Sayegh, the director of HOPE – House Of Prayer and Exploits, and coordinator of the GDOP in Nazareth.   Below is a summary of this and other testimonies we received:

Jewish & Arab believers come together for GDOP
The Global Day of Prayer 2012 was held on Pentecost (Shavuot) May 27th in the city of Nazareth at the Golden Crown Hotel under the auspices of HOPE - House Of Prayer & Exploits and the Evangelical Convention of the Churches in Israel.  Arab and Jewish believers, as well as foreigners from all over the Holy Land came to attend the day, celebrating their common love of the Messiah in three languages, Arabic, Hebrew and English.

Various Jewish and Arab pastors shared messages from their hearts, interspersed with Hebrew and Arabic worship from Adonai Roi and The Lord is my Banner congregations:

Pastor Avi Mizrachi shared a short word following the Hebrew worship from Judges 7-8, where he encouraged God's people to stand firm - Gideon won the battle against his enemies with only 300 people - we have a great God!   Avi then declared Psalm 24 - welcoming the King of Kings, Jesus, to Israel, to this place:  “Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!”

After a powerful time of praise in Arabic, Pastor Rajai Samawi shared from Revelation 1:2-6, highlighting the message of returning to our first love and preparing our hearts for repentance, giving a challenge to return to the foundation of the book of Acts by giving the Holy Spirit the full control and following after Him.

Arab & Jewish Pastors praying for each other
More worship was followed by a time of personal repentance, returning to first love and intimacy with God.  Pastors Edward Tannous (Arab) and Avi Mizrachi (Jewish) both publically prayed and repented to one another on behalf of their people groups, extending forgiveness to each other and embracing.  As they did this simple act, their sincerity allowed healing to flow in the hearts of the people, evidenced by the quiet weeping heard around the large room.  Arab and Jewish believers then paired off, praying for one another and asking the Holy Spirit to pour out over their land and their lives.

06 July 2012

A Young Jewish and Arab Revolution

Hundreds of teenagers and young people coming together to worship God is, in itself, newsworthy.  But when you know that this is taking place in Israel with Jewish and Arab youth, it is time to sit up and pay attention.

ELAV youth conference takes place in Israel every year, in the city of Tel Aviv. It is all about envisioning a new generation.  'Elav' means 'towards him' in Hebrew and this weekend of worship, prayer, teaching and fellowship inspires the young attendees to live their lives passionately for God - 'towards Him'.

Jewish & Arab young people praying for each other at ELAV
Youth are invited from Israeli Jewish and Arab communities and also from the West Bank and Gaza. About 500 Jewish and 150 Arab youth attend. For some of the Palestinian youth, it is the first time they have ever met a Jewish believer and this is an opportunity to break down barriers - to pray for each other, fellowship together and make friends.