Hannah, wife of Elkanah, a Kohathite of the tribe of Levi, must have felt a great sense of despair when, month after month, she remained barren. Hannah might have felt that by not bearing a child with Elkanah, she lacked status and merit in his eyes. Author and professor Dr. Noreen Jacks wrote of the stigma of barrenness: “Barren women were habitually taunted and ridiculed, made to feel like second class citizens, and were considered a public embarrassment to their husbands. The shame of barrenness was always on the minds of infertile couples. In some societies, husbands were free to acquire secondary wives or concubines to fulfill their need for progeny, preferably a male heir.”
A childless couple faced an uncertain future with no offspring to work the fields, tend the herds, and assist with the daily chores in the home. Even worse, who would care for the couple in old age, mourn their passing, bury them with dignity, memorialize them annually, and carry the family name to the next generation and beyond? Such were the time-honored duties of one’s loyal children. With critical needs of this magnitude, it is not surprising that desperate people in the ancient world were obsessed with reproduction of the species.
It must have been emotionally draining for both Hannah and her husband that she had failed to present him with a child from their union. Being from the tribe of Levi, Elkanah was likely among those responsible for leading praise and worship in the tabernacle at Shiloh. Each year he was summoned for several weeks to serve Jehovah. As a faithful and devout wife, Hannah often accompanied him. While Elkanah fulfilled his duties in the tabernacle, Hannah would slip away to a quiet place in the tabernacle to petition for Jehovah’s favor and for an end to her infertility.
One day as she prayed fervently, she was in such despair that her lips moved silently as tears rained unchecked down her cheeks. Only a barren woman can totally understand Hannah’s sense of frustration and unhappiness and her petition for a son in her despair. When Eli, the high priest, saw her he came to the erroneous conclusion that the woman was drunk and had no place in the vicinity of the tabernacle. He marched over to where Hannah bowed beneath her burden of hopelessness, reprimanded her, and then shamed her drunken state.
Aghast at his rebuke, Hannah responded: “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:15, ESV). Eli then blessed her and sent her on her way with the inexplicable sense of peace and hope that Jehovah had heard her prayer. Assuredly He had; soon Hannah was able to reveal to Elkanah that she was with child, and not many months later, she presented Elkanah with a child that she had named Samuel, which means “God heard.”
The time has come for Christians everywhere to stand up and “Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly” (Joel 2:15). There is a gap, a breach to be filled, and a price to be paid. Dedicated watchmen are needed on every wall. God’s Word is rife with examples of intercessors who prevailed against the Enemy, the prayer warriors of Hebrews 11 who subdued kingdoms, shut the mouths of lions, set armies to flight, raised the dead, and secured the promises of God—all through faith in God and prayer!
Daniel put his life on the line by praying three times a day despite the king’s order to abstain. Prayer is a priority we cannot and must not overlook. Israel’s, and indeed America’s, future hope lies in the hands of prayer warriors, those who will take up the banner and commit to prayer. Prayer is not the last resort; it is the first step in winning the battle against the evil that stalks this world today.
If Daniel prayed and mighty angels were sent to do battle against demon spirits, so can you and I. Since Daniel lived in the Babylonian Empire, it is quite possible that the prince of Persia he fought in the spirit realm was one of the same spirits at work today to bring death and destruction. Regardless of which spirits are now involved or how many there are, the clarion call goes out to God-fearing people everywhere to man the battle stations and fight the war in prayer.
Just as America has been forced to take the war on terrorism to the battlefields of the nations that sponsor it, we must take our fight to the battlefield in the spiritual realm to defeat the demons that sponsor it. We must take the battle to the Enemy and defeat them through prayer in the name of Jesus! Prayer is the only exploit that takes hold of eternity. It is the action that touches heaven and moves earth.
Prayer pierces the heart of God, turns the head of God, and moves the hand of God. It’s worth repeating again: for a Christian, prayer is not the last resort. Prayer must always be the first line of defense! Through prayer, we must do everything possible to overthrow kingdoms of darkness, shut the mouths of the lions of terror, and quench the flames of hell by the power of almighty God! How you and I respond to God’s call to pray will determine whether we succeed or fail. The people of God have been called to intercede for our world. Will you accept the call?
Prayer is as essential as air and water if we are to maintain a spiritual life of constant contact with God. If we don’t make that connection, no matter how sincere our intentions, we will not see a change in the circumstances of our life. We must pray! James 4:2 tells us: “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.”
During a dark hour of Israel’s history, the Assyrians demanded heavy tribute from King Hezekiah. In response, Hezekiah stripped the Temple of its gold and silver in order to meet that demand. Still, that was not enough; the Assyrians mounted an attack against the city of Jerusalem. When King Hezekiah was informed in a letter from the king of Assyria that Israel would be destroyed if the demands were not met, he took the letter to the Temple.
There, in the presence of God, he spread the letter on the altar and prayed: “O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. . . . Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone” (2 Kings 19:15–16, 19).
God answered the king’s prayer with an overwhelming victory! The Bible says the angel of the Lord killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night. In great gratitude for God’s mercy, Hezekiah cleansed, repaired, and reopened the Temple of God. Worship to Jehovah was restored, daily sacrifices were resumed, and the Passover Feast was again celebrated by the nation of Israel.
Years earlier, when King Solomon had prayed at the dedication of the Temple, God revealed himself and His plan to Solomon with great power: “Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually” (2 Chronicles 7:12–16).
Isaiah encouraged the Israelites with: “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am’” (Isaiah 58:9). God hears when we call on Him.
Prayer is an essential part of the life of a Believer. But just what is prayer? It has been described by some as practicing the presence of God. By others, it is defined as the abandonment of self-reliance and the admission of our need for and our total confidence in Jehovah. We humble ourselves, let our petitions rise heavenward, and release our faith and hope in almighty God.
Through prayer, mere man can touch the heart of God. When you have a great need in your life, circle it with prayer. What does that mean, and how is it accomplished? It is a metaphorical circle that allows you to focus on a particular need or needs according to Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (KJV). Prayer is not an attempt to manipulate God to our way of thinking. It is not trite, repetitious, ritualistic, or showy. Author and pastor Dr. Paul Chappell defines prayer: “Prayer is not a show nor a ritual. Prayer is you speaking directly to the Creator of the world about your deepest needs, desires, and burdens. It’s expressing your thankfulness for His goodness.”
It’s your privilege and honor as a Believer to pray—not just for yourself, but for others as well. In the Old Testament, God uses one of the most captivating images in the Bible—a watchman. What does that have to do with prayer? How can we learn about prayer by studying the watchman? The prophet Ezekiel delivers a cautionary word of warning from Jehovah in chapter 3, verse 17 (ESV): “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.”
The metaphor is drawn from the earliest days of agricultural societies when posts were erected overlooking crops to provide a tower for a watchman. The towers were designed to offer a view of thieves—man or animal—who would ransack the ripening harvests. For many, the harvest was a matter of life and death, of having food for the coming winter or starving. The man who was appointed as a watchman was crucial to the survival of his village. The same was true of cities. During times of impending attacks, watchmen would scour the horizon for invaders and then sound the warning to alert inhabitants to approaching danger. The city gates would be closed and barred, and defenders would take their positions on the battlements.
Just as a watchman warned the people of a coming enemy and was, therefore, the first line of defense, intercessory prayer warriors are the first line of spiritual defense for our nation and our communities. What happens when the watchmen fail to do their jobs? The prophet Ezekiel gives us insight: “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood” (Ezekiel 33:6, NIV).
A watchman cannot be apathetic; indifference will suffocate our faith. It must be replaced by steadfast prayer in order to revive our spiritual lives. Nothing is more important to God than prayer! God will do nothing without prayer. It is the fuel that moves the engine of humanity.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of sending out over two million Jew-hating comments to Facebook as part of a massive cyber-attack at Facebook in May.
Over three days, May 12-14, more hate messages poured into Facebook than any other time in its history. It was a very strange day for Facebook, as the messages were associated with the Jerusalem Prayer Team, the world’s largest Christian, pro-Israel Facebook page. It ranked 24th worldwide in engagement, with more than 77 million followers.
A similar page with 1,197,000 likes and 1,242,000 followers seemed a little strange. It looked like the Jerusalem Prayer Team, including a similar look and content, but was officially the Jerusalem Prayer Teams with an “s” added to the end of the name.
Another odd addition to the lookalike page was a picture of Netanyahu and Jerusalem Prayer Team Founder Mike Evans when they were both 28-years old. It was clearly a fake page. The content was fraudulent.
In addition, the usual posts of prayer and support for the Jewish people were replaced with violent anti-Semitic content. During the recent Hamas attacks, comments included, “Gaza under attack, Gaza under attack, Gaza under attack,” and a picture of the Hamas flag.
The violent content stood alongside devotional content from Evans and comments from Netanyahu.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, was allegedly involved in sending over 2 million hateful anti-Semitic comments to Facebook. The claim is laughable. Why would the Jerusalem Prayer Team become an anti-Semitic tool of Hamas? It’s one of the world’s largest Facebook pages.
But the event was no laughing matter. During this controversy, Facebook shut down the authentic Jerusalem Prayer Team Facebook page, ending prayers among the 77 million followers. There was no warning, and its ruling was deemed final. The only reason given was the allegation the page violated rules related to spam and unauthentic behavior.
Instead, the truth is that the event may have been the largest cyber-attack in Facebook’s history, and certainly the most anti-Semitic comments posted on a Facebook page in 72 hours. The Israeli prime minister’s picture or name is included in nearly every comment.
The real culprit is a man named Ahmed Saleh. He said, “I hacked the page because it did not reflect the real image of Zionism and to stand under His Majesty’s firm stance on the Al Aqsa mosque, Muslim holy site in Palestine, and Hashemite Kingdom. The page was created to glamorize the public image of Zionism, and mask its crimes.”
He added another post on Facebook saying he used botnets. They farmed a huge network of viruses, and they act according to orders from a troll center to add millions of likes to your pages. That’s how he added Netanyahu’s face on so many comments.
The Daily Pakistan website reported, “The rating of the social networking giant Facebook has dropped from 4.0 to 2.5 on Play Store after it was hammered by a large number of users for censoring the content related to the recent developments in Palestine and the massacre of unarmed civilians in Gaza at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces.”
The hacker gave an interview with a Jordanian news source. He has a picture of Facebook on his phone and shared with Jordan’s Ahmed Saleh on Saturday how he hacked the Jerusalem Prayer Team on Facebook, which allegedly garnered almost 76 million likes. “I received word that Facebook created a page in support of the Zionist and had falsely given 76 million likes on the page. You may not even view the page, but still could find that you are a friend and had liked it.” Saleh told Alghad, “I attacked the page because it did not reflect the real image of Zionism and to stand under our Majesty’s firm stance on the LX Hamas. The page has been officially shut down due to its unofficial support of the Zionist entity and for breaching the privacy of Facebook users by adding their likes to the page without notifying them.”
He added, “The social media platform used external applications which had been granted access to user accounts and managed to like the pages on their behalf.”
Ahmed Saleh is very clear about his motives. He’s seeking the destruction of Israel and wants Israelis killed. He has posted images of swastikas and Nazi symbols on his own Facebook, which is still active. During Operation Protective Edge, Saleh openly provided help to Hamas terrorist fighters by publicly supplying them with suggested locations to attack.
He provided images or screenshots to exact locations that he described as sensitive locations for the resistance of the target, including the site’s Patriot missile pads, and even including exact horizontal and vertical details of the location to help Hamas rocket launchers deliver precise targets.
Strangely, he only has 5,000 friends and 2,600 followers on Facebook, but then his new Facebook page has 77 million followers. It’s the Jerusalem Prayer Teams page (with an “s” added) that is protected by the monarchy in Jordan because he’s been a vocal, loyal supporter of the royal family.
The posts throughout the Middle East include glorious celebration. “We did it. We destroyed the virus, the Zionist,” one post said.
Another wrote, “Congratulations to our viewers. The Jerusalem Prayer Team, the Jew page, has been disabled and removed successfully from Facebook. Congratulations to all our viewers.”
They’re bragging and celebrating over the entire Islamic world over the biggest cyber-attack they have successfully pulled off.
Others have become upset. Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, tweeted, “Facebook shut down the world’s biggest pro-Israel website, 77 million followers, rather than protect them from a massive cyber-attack by radical Islam.” Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted, “This… is…nuts.” Sean Hannity tweeted, “Facebook Shuts Down Prayers for Israel Page with Over 77 Million Followers.” Gov. Mike Huckabee tweeted, “Why does FB hate @Israel? And Christians who support it?”
On and on, the tweets continue. Gadi Taub tweeted, “This is outrageous. 77 million members have lost their forum. Is prayer for Jerusalem now against Facebook’s ‘community standards’? Because prayers for Israel’s destruction by murderous anti-Semites, such as Iran’s leaders, are somehow fine by those same standards.”
Many of the fake posts include a picture of Mike Evans alongside Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and his wife Tammy. The event celebrated the first anniversary of the embassy dedication hosted by Evans, who also hosted the official gala for the embassy dedication and put up 220 billboards in support of Donald Trump moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
What do Benjamin Netanyahu and the State of Israel do now? That’s the question. They have been slandered and accused of unspeakable crimes on a social media platform owned by a Jew named Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg could have stopped these posts in one hour. He didn’t have to wait 72 hours to act. His company had the tools to stop them. But he didn’t stop them. Why not? Why did he allow the biggest cyber-attack to take place over 72 hours despite more than a dozen appeals by Mike Evans’ team to stop it? They did nothing except notify Evans that he was going on vacation for a week and a half.
The attitude now seems to be that “since we have burned your house down and sacrificed you for ransom against a Hamas cyber-attack, don’t be upset. You’re just a pissant and nobody cares. Enjoy your life.”
Mike Evans and his son are receiving death threats. If the State of Israel does not have the hutzpah to stand up to Mark Zuckerberg, then shame on you.
Evans appealed on Newsmax on Thursday for every senator to sign up with Mike Pompeo to add their name to a letter to Zuckerberg after Mike Pompeo investigated all the facts. Israel could easily make that happen. The Israeli embassy is in touch with every one of those senators. With one click of a computer, that request could go out to every senator.
It’s time for Israel to fight cyber wars and win them. Mike Evans has been fighting them single handedly for years. He is the one that mobilized evangelicals who brought about all the astonishing feats in four years with Donald Trump. Evans was the one whispering into Donald Trump’s ear on matters related to Israel. He’s been a cherished friend of Netanyahu for 41 years.
Now Netanyahu and Evans, two of the world’s top supporters of Israel, are being labeled as two of the biggest anti-Semites ever thanks to a Jew named Mark Zuckerberg. How did Zuckerberg let this happen? Did he want to so he could show hundreds of millions of angry Muslims during the Gaza War that he was their friend? Was this motivated by money?
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, in Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1
A shocking study released in 2018 during the week of Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, revealed that the horrors of the Holocaust are being erased from people’s minds—especially the young. The survey revealed the two-thirds of American millennials (those aged between 22 and 37) could not identify what Auschwitz was. Perhaps even more startling was the revelation that more than one of every five millennials said that they either had not heard of the Holocaust or were not sure whether they had heard of it.
This news coupled with the rising tide of anti-Semitic threats and attacks in Europe, Africa, Asia, and even here in America, is a grim warning for the future. There are no guarantees that the horrors of the past will not be repeated. If the spirit and knowledge that motivated the pledge “Never Again” are forgotten, the evil that motivated the last attempt to destroy the Jewish people will return to power and attempt to finish the job.
The lack of knowledge about the Holocaust is partly the result of the success of Israel’s enemies in denying and downplaying the horrors of Hitler’s plot to exterminate the Jewish people. Partly it is the result of the passage of time. More than 70 years have gone by since the final death camps were liberated in 1945 and the wholesale slaughter brought to an end. And finally, this tragic lack of knowledge is partly from a failure of any particular plan to reach future generations with the truth.
The only major Christian ministry working to educate and activate millennials to support Israel is your Jerusalem Prayer Team. The wonderful news is that a huge portion of our online members are millennials who have taken up the cause of supporting Israel. Make no mistake—this is a crucial battle for Israel’s future. Today’s college and university campuses are hotbeds of anti-Semitism. If we sleep, the next generation of leaders will turn against Israel. There must be a powerful online program to educate and activate millennials…and that is exactly what we are doing.