The Mid-East Crisis

October 17, 2023

We all agree—the happenings in the Middle East are disturbing, even horrific. But there are many different thoughts about WHY it’s happening. Of course, there are individual incidents with an explanation unique to the situation. But because the entire situation is so counter-intuitive—continual warring in a way that endangers everything and everyone you love—seems foreign to us. It doesn’t make sense.

To really understand the roots of the conflict, you have to go back thousands of years to when Abraham became impatient with God’s plan for him to become a father. He stepped out on his own to handle it and had a son with a slave woman his wife “gave him” to be a surrogate mother. Not surprisingly, the women never got along, and the sons they eventually each birthed had enmity from the beginning. All through history they have been at odds.

It is the same for you and me when we become impatient with God’s plan and purpose for our life, doubt His goodness and His character, and take matters into our own hands. The results may likely last far longer and ripple wider than we could have imagined. Abraham’s family bitterness continues into our world, many generations later, and we all are pulled into it.

Their situation and our own affect us and the generations that follow. We need to remember that in our own choices, but also pray for the wide impact of this continuing conflict.

How can we pray? People most closely involved in the situation and who have significant knowledge about it urge us to pray in these ways:

1. For a restoration of order and security throughout Israel and Gaza.

2. For the leaders of Hamas to cease any further terrorist attacks on Israel.

3. For the leaders of Israel to focus on defense of the Israeli people and not on revenge.

4. For the protection and safe return of all who are being held hostage.

5. For the healing and restoration of all who have been injured and traumatized by the senseless violence.

6. For comfort for all who have lost loved ones.

7. For those who feel that violence is their only option and for those who feel powerless and vulnerable.

8. For protection and strength for those providing vital treatment, care, and relief.

9. For guidance for all who are involved in diplomacy to end the immediate conflict and prevent any external efforts to provoke continued violence.

10. For the restoration of conditions in both Israel and Palestine in which the longer-term issues of sustainable peace and justice for all can be addressed.

11. For the strengthening and witness of the Church in Israel and Palestine.

12. For the world—that even today, people in this region and across the globe would choose to follow Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.