Pray for all Israeli hostages being held captive by Hamas in Gaza. Pray for their sustaining and protection. As days turn into weeks that turn into months, concern for their wellbeing increases more and more. Pray for their families who are going through a horrendous ordeal.

Pray for the IDF as it continues its military operation inside Gaza. Israel has ordered the evacuation of Rafah in Gaza – one of the remaining Hamas strongholds. Pray that the IDF will be successful in rooting out the terrorists and forcing Hamas to surrender. Pray for Israel’s reputation, especially as international criticism mounts unjustifiably in response to Israel’s response to fight Hamas terrorists. Pray for limited civilian casualties and for the protection of every Israeli soldier.

Pray that Britain will continue to stand with Israel. The UK’s Foreign Secretary expressed some concerning views this week about wanting to recognise a Palestinian state before a peace agreement is negotiated. This unilateral thinking doesn’t support Israel’s fight against terror. He was also critical of Israel’s decision over 30 years to keep fighting – something that anyone with even a little understandinng of the conflict would be able to explain was a consequence of terrorist groups like Hamas. Pray for wise leadership, consistent support for Israel, and a move away from compromise.

Pray for our schools. The poll published this week shows that it is difficult for many secondary school teachers in Britain to address matters relating to the conflict, with half admitting to feeling unable to do so effectively. 11% of teachers said they had witnessed forms of antisemitism among pupils in the classroom (17% in London), and arguments among pupils is on the rise. This raises several prayer points: prayer for our teachers, especially Christian and Jewish teachers whose support for Israel might make addressing these matters challenging; prayer for our young people across the country who are processing the information they receive on social media and among their peers; for Jewish pupils who are confronted with anti-Israel/antisemitic views, and likewise for Christian pupils who also experience challenges in an environment where their views might be unpopular. The poll also showed that 7% of teachers know of pupils who attend pro-Palestinian demos, compared with 1% who know of pupils that have attended pro-Israel rallies. We need a significant shift with lies being replaced by truth, and a hunger among our young people to understand the facts. We all need to be ready to give answers to anyone – young or old – who ask us why we support Israel. May the Lord help us all in this mandate.

Thank you for praying with us today.

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