Israel under attack: Prayer Alert

(Image courtesy Slavic Gospel Association)

(Image courtesy Slavic Gospel Association)

Israel (SGA) — Israel says nearly 1,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza since last Tuesday.

Thousands of people have fled homes in northern Gaza after an Israeli warning. Meanwhile, Israel has amassed thousands of troops on the border.

The current wave of violence followed the killing of three Israeli teenagers in June and the suspected revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem.

Slavic Gospel Association president Bob Provost issued a call for prayer in light of the rocket attacks on Israel:

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As I write this, the nation of Israel is once again under sustained rocket attack by radical Islamic terrorists in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli people–Arab and Jewish alike, as well as the Russian-speaking Christian congregations that SGA serves–are in serious personal danger. I am asking you to join the SGA family in sustained intercessory prayer for their safety and for peace to return.

Terrorists have even aimed rocket fire at Jerusalem, Israel’s historic capital and location of holy sites important to all faiths: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. Pray for peace!

The Gaza militants thus far have fired more than 225 rockets since the latest round of fighting intensified this past week. The cities of Ashkelon, Tel-Aviv, Haifa, Hadera, Ashdod, and even Jerusalem, have been under fire. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have responded by carrying out more than 160 airstrikes in Gaza to try and stop the rocket attacks. The death toll is some 27 people killed, with more than 130 wounded. Of the 225 rockets fired at Israel, the country’s “Iron Dome” defense system was able to intercept about 40 of them. The Israeli Navy has joined in the operation and has begun to implement a tight circle around Gaza from the sea. Reports say that Hamas commandos attempted an amphibious assault near Ashkelon, but the IDF stopped them.

I received a brief report from SGA’s director of Bible training in Israel, and he asks that we continue to pray about this grave situation.

He said, “The rockets are falling sometimes close to our apartment building, but we are safe in God’s hands. The sirens go off about 15 seconds before the rockets fall. When I was returning from a visit to Netanya, the train was not allowed to proceed to Ashkelon (the target of many rockets). Our building is shaking from the rockets landing, and my wife was nearly hit today while shopping for an elderly friend. We know that many want us to relocate to a safer place, but we want to stay here in Israel. Our children, grandchildren, and our ministry are here. Two days ago, we began a new Bible school close to the border with Lebanon. Thank you for helping us, and for your prayers.”

This situation truly grieves our hearts, yet we know that our Sovereign God has His divine, eternal purpose in what He allows. We also know that He has commanded us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). I trust you will join us in doing so.

In the United States, we have little notion these days of what it is like to hear the frightening, eerie sound of an air raid siren, and realizing that a bomb may be falling from the sky in mere seconds.. For many of us, even the childhood memory of school Cold War nuclear attack drills are a distant memory.

I have become aware of some electronic resources that can illustrate just what the Israeli people face routinely. If you are on Twitter, you can follow an account called @Alarmdarom. It sends out a tweet each time a rocket is launched at Israel and the air raid sirens sound. There is also a free app for iPhone and iPad called “Red Alert: Israel” that posts a notice when an attack is taking place. Besides the crisis-monitoring and illustrative capability, these unique resources can also remind us to pray continually for the safety of our brothers and sisters.

Thank you in advance for interceding in prayer.

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