It is difficult to know how to pray against pure evil. Sometimes anger and wrath can lead our prayers instead of God. I’ve often said Satan isn’t concerned with what side of an issue in which we choose to sin. If we sin, evil wins regardless of our position.
The nation of Israel is once again drawing the attention of the world. They are completely justified in their anger and their desire to protect their people. At the same time, God’s people are not to respond to evil with evil of their own.
I cannot imagine what it would be like to sit in a room and make decisions that will ultimately lead to people losing their lives. Can Israel fight their enemy without harming their own people? Will Israel seek God’s strength and wisdom or rely on their own? I was preparing to write this blog post and I searched for Bible verses about peace, enemies, end times, and wars in an effort to discern God’s truth for such terrible times.
At the end of my reading, praying, and study, I could only settle on one certain truth. As I pray for the people of Israel, some of whom have become personal friends over the past several years, I found my prayers and my answers in Proverbs 8 and 9.
We don’t know how to pray for Israel apart from God’s wisdom. The only thing we know is that the tiny nation that has been central to global politics from the beginning is making decisions that can alter our world. Their decisions can alter the character of our world as well. The one thing I know to pray for them, in addition to peace and divine protection, is that those who lead that nation need to seek and act with the wisdom only God can provide.
I often say our greatest need is to live a life God is able to bless. God’s blessings are available to those who will walk in his ways. I’m praying that Israel will seek God’s face and God’s righteousness as their first and greatest need.
If you have time, read both Proverbs 8 and 9 in their entirety. These proverbs are about the blessings of living with God’s wisdom. These proverbs personify wisdom and explain that wisdom is gained from knowing and walking with God.
My heart was drawn to Proverbs 8:12–21 as a prayer for those who are leading Israel right now. Wisdom causes us to think and feel about things like God would. If we can share the heart of God, we can pray with the thoughts of God.
This is the wisdom I am praying for those in the nation of Israel, from Proverbs 8:12–21.
1. Pray that those who lead Israel will dwell with God’s wisdom and discretion.
“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
and I find knowledge and discretion.” (v. 12)
2. Pray that God will produce their emotions, their character, and their example to the world.
“The fear of the Lᴏʀᴅ is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
and perverted speech I hate.” (v. 13)
3. Pray that Israel will recognize that their most important counsel and strategies will come from God. God’s justice is pure, and their leaders need to act in accordance with his direction.
“I have counsel and sound wisdom;
I have insight; I have strength.
By me kings reign,
and rulers decree what is just;
by me princes rule,
and nobles, all who govern justly.” (vv. 14–16)
4. Pray that Israel will understand that their greatest need and their greatest witness is to love God and seek his wisdom and will.
“I love those who love me,
and those who seek me diligently find me.
Riches and honor are with me,
enduring wealth and righteousness.” (vv. 17–18)
5. Pray that they will seek the Lord’s victories and justice ahead of their own.
“My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
and my yield than choice silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness,
in the paths of justice,
granting an inheritance to those who love me,
and filling their treasuries.” (vv. 19–21)
Proverbs 9 includes a sobering statement about what happens if we ignore the wisdom of God. God has provided his word and called his people to know it, respect it, and act upon it. There is no other road to success in this life apart from his wisdom.
Proverbs 9:10–12 makes clear, “The fear of the Lᴏʀᴅ is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.”
Israel’s search for wisdom should be our own as well
It seems as if the world is losing its soul. God’s people need to be praying, speaking, and acting with hearts aligned with the truth of God’s word. We shouldn’t be surprised at a world that is in decline spiritually. Jesus, Paul, and others warned us in Scripture that the decline would occur.
The world has seen evil before and evil will be part of this world until the end of time. Revelation 11 is the word from the seventh and final trumpet. Revelation 11:18 says, “The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
God’s servants will be rewarded and evil will be judged. Until that day, we are to fear God’s name, which means our job is to live submitted to his character and voice within us. The Holy Spirit needs to guide our thoughts, our words, and our actions. We can’t pray or speak correctly apart from the Spirit’s guidance.
Will you pray for the wisdom of God to guide the leaders and people of Israel?
Will you pray the same for your own life?
Wisdom is knowing God and walking in his ways rather than our own. Pray for wisdom to bring the blessing of peace. Pray for the Spirit of Jesus to once again walk among them on that land and offer his truth. Israel needs Jesus.
In his holy name, we pray for our friends and this chosen land . . . Amen.
For more on the war in Israel, please visit this collection of resources from Denison Ministries.