A popular mountain peak frequented by tourists in Israel is Mount Bental in the Golan Heights. From the top of this mountain, one can see into Lebanon to the northwest and into Syria to the east, bringing home just how small Israel is and how close are her enemies: Hezbollah in South Lebanon, ISIS and other jihadist groups in Syria, not to mention the Syrian Assad regime.
Looking down into Syria, one can see a modern highway built in the general vicinity of one of the ancient roads leading into Damascus. The conversion of Saul in Acts 9 took place on just such a road, so this is a great place to review that story and act upon its lesson.
Saul was an enemy of the believers in Jesus and had the authority of the high priest in Jerusalem to capture and bring them bound to Jerusalem.
The believers in Damascus were terrified and must have prayed much for Saul, because the next part of the story is nothing short of a miracle. Jesus appears to Saul before he even reaches the city and causes him to lose his sight. Ananias is then told to find Saul, lay hands on him, and pray for him to receive the Holy Spirit. Saul spends the rest of his life as: "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God" (Rom. 1:1).
Praying for Our Enemy
The lesson from this story is to pray for everyone—even one's enemies, who are bent on doing harm. Today, there is a great spiritual battle brewing over the region, and the same forces that want to destroy Israel and Christian communities are killing each other in the quest for control. Mount Bental is the perfect place from which to intercede for all the people caught up in this turmoil.
The Middle East, the birthplace of Christianity, was predominantly Christian before the Islamic forces invaded in the seventh century. A thousand years ago, there were more Christians in the Middle East than in Europe. Even a century ago, more than 20 percent of the region's population was Christian.
Today, estimates put the Christian population in the region at less than 5 percent and likely to become extinct. The second-largest Christian community in the Middle East, after the Copts of Egypt, is the Syriac/Assyrian Christians from Iraq, Syria and surrounding areas. They are now displaced; many are refugees and will never regain their community's size and strength.
Hearts should break over the human toll and suffering this conflict has and could still potentially cause. All the peoples of the Middle East—Jew, Christian and Muslim—are, in one way or another, victims of the spiritual stronghold over the region that causes hatred, violence and death.
There needs to be much prayer for the protection of Israel and the Christians, but also for the gospel to go forth throughout the region in even greater ways than it already is. Indications are that the region is more open to the gospel than ever before. Throughout the Muslim world, Jesus is appearing to people in dreams and visions, and they are turning to Him. What began as a small trickle in the early 1980s has mushroomed to now millions of Muslims who have turned to Christ.
God Chose Israel for Blessing
God loves all the peoples of the Middle East, as they are part of the world He loved and sent His Son to die for (John 3:16). This is just as true for the Arabs or Muslims, as it is for anyone else. God's choice of Israel was not to bless the Jewish people to the exclusion of others, but that through them He would bless all the families of the earth (see Gen. 12:3). In fact, it is because of God's love for the world that He brought into existence the nation of Israel through whom He would bring about His redemptive plan.
Millions of people are caught in the crossfire of the forces of evil that hate God, His plan and His people. Let's pray for them. A Damascus Road revelation of the Prince of Peace is their only hope.
For information on the ICEJ's tours to Israel go to www.icejusa.org/tours
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!
- Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
- Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
- God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
- Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
- HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!
Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details