Thank you for joining us in prayer for Israel.

This week, please pray about the legislation that has recently passed in UK parliament that seeks to prevent local authorities from boycotting Israel. It effectively means that local councils, universities and other public bodies cannot create their own foreign policy. This does not prevent local bodies from enforcing policies in line with the UK’s international sanctions, however this clearly doesn’t apply to the State of Israel, and therefore councils should not be allowed to boycott the Jewish state. The bill is expected to be approved in September, however this week the Scottish government has proposed issuing a veto. Whilst Scotland is required to adopt the UK’s foreign policy, matters relating to local authorities is a devolved matter (policies that Scotland can determine separate to UK government). This presents a constitutional problem. The SNP-led Scottish Government has voiced opposition to the bill, using a special veto measure reserved for devolved matters. It means the bill will now be passed back to Westminster Parliament, which will be required to take on board Scotland’s concerns. Please pray that this anti-BDS bill will not be hindered by the Scottish Government’s intervention. Pray also that Scotland will be united in the belief that Israel should not be boycotted in any way whatsoever. Pray for those in the Scottish Parliament who this week have rebuked the SNP for their stance, arguing that the bill is important for the Jewish community and in fighting antisemitism.

Pray for Paraguay’s new president Santiago Peña who was sworn in office this week and hours later met with Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen who said Peña will move the embassy to Jerusalem. During his presidential campaign, Peña pledged to reopen Paraguay’s embassy in Jerusalem after it was closed by his predecessor. His friendship with Israel seems to be highlighted by how quickly he met with the foreign minister of Israel, during which he described himself as “Israel’s greatest friend.” We have previously seen the weight of opposition that is directed at leaders who voice support for a Jerusalem embassy. Pray that Paraguay will go ahead with the move and that other countries will follow. Uruguay has announced this week that it will be opening a diplomatic office in Jerusalem, which we can pray will be a first step towards opening a complete embassy in the future.

Pray for Christians in Pakistan that have come under intense persecution this week. An angry Muslim mob attacked a dozen churches and nearly two dozen homes of Christians in the eastern city of Jaranwala, causing Christians to flee to safer places. The attacks were in retaliation to allegations that two Christian men defaced a Koran. Police have arrested 129 Muslims so far for the violence and also the two Christian men accused of the desecration under Pakistan’s blasphemy law. Pray for calm and that these suffering Christians will be comforted. Pray that displaced Christian families will be safe and return to their homes without the risk of further violence.

Thank you for praying with us today.

“And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” – Deuteronomy 31:8

This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.

We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.