By Rev. Bill Prankard, Ottawa, Ontario The city of Ottawa witnessed a powerful demonstration of unity and love for Israel on November 22nd.Christians from numerous churches, Messianic congregations, prayer groups and the National House of Prayer, as well as representatives from Ottawa’s Jewish community gathered together to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and for all people affected by the Israeli-Gaza conflict.
When we heard that the conflict was escalating and lives were in grave danger, we sent out a message, calling people to pray.My heart was touched to see how quickly and passionately everyone responded.Many spiritual leaders, including Rev. Barry Boucher of The Life Centre, Rob Parker of The National House of Prayer and myself led the congregation in strategic prayer for God’s protection over innocent lives caught in the midst of war, for wisdom and direction for the nations’ leaders and for His eternal purposes to be accomplished for His glory.
Brig. Gen. Eden Attias, the Israel Ministry of Defence Attaché to Canada, represented the government of Israel.For twenty-eight years Brig. Gen. Attias was in active military service in Israel, and most recently served as the “Nevatim” Air Base Commander in the southern part of Israel.He, more than most, has experienced the intensity of Israel’s enemies’ hatred firsthand. At the prayer gathering he said, “On behalf of the
Ambassador of Israel H.E. Miriam Ziv, and myselfand all the people of Israel, I would like to extend a sincere appreciationto you, the Evangelist[ic] community here in Canada for supporting Israel.Your community is part of that essential backbone; in times of peace, and especially in times of war, this support is viable and serves as a testament of our unity and belief in our righteous way.”
Pat and Mona Netser, who are Inuit spiritual and political leaders in Iqaluit, Nunavut, stirred and energized the congregation as they passionately prayed for Prime Minister Harper and government leaders who are standing in support of Israel.
Anna-Lee Chiprout, a representative of the Jewish community, read a letter of appreciation from Mark Adler, MP for York Centre.Mr. Adler is the first son of a Holocaust survivor to ever be elected as an MP.In his remarks, he emphasized how critically important Israel’s survival and right to exist is to him.
Anna-Lee commented, “Our shared values and beliefs, based on our common Judeo-Christian heritage, are the source of the strong ties between us.Just by you being here today, is an indication of the values that we hold dear.Your commitment to build the bridges between our communities, your devotion to the Jewish people means so much to us.On behalf of my people I want to say once again, “Todah Rabah” – “thank you” for your on going support in sewing the threads of respect and friendship between us.”
In a written greeting, Joseph C. Ben-Ami, President of the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies, publisher of the Canadian Observer, and also a Jew, commented, “Tonight…is not just about Christians standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel and the Jewish people; it’s about Israel and the Jewish people standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our Christian brothers and sisters too.Each of us is familiar with God’s promise that He will bless Israel.Let us also remember the words of King David who wrote (Psalm 133)…”Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.”Together, no matter how ferocious the storm becomes or how long it blows, with God’s blessing and His help, we will survive and emerge triumphant…May God bless you, and may He continue to bless this great dominion, the True North, strong and free.”
Following the prayer gathering, Anna-Lee sent the following greeting: “There are not enough words of thanks and appreciation to you and Barry for arranging such a wonderful rally last night. From the beginning to the end, I was just overcome with so much emotion, gratitude and thankfulness to hear everyone's heart for standing with Israel and the Jewish people, not just during these challenging times, but every day. Last night just touched my heart to the core.I am truly blessed to have you as a special friend in my life.Shalom and blessings.”
Christians, blessing Israel and praying for the peace of Jerusalem are not options.They are directives from the heart of God that carry these promises with them: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.” (Psalm 122:6).If we desire to blessed, and if Canada hopes to remain one of the most favoured and prosperous nations of the world, let’s keep praying for, and standing with Israel!