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Israel's U.S. Supporters Find Common Ground in Prayer for Jerusalem
Release Date:6/19/2007 12:00:00 AM

BUFFALO, June 19, 2007 – From Oregon to Ohio, and Pennsylvania to Florida, they’ve come – well, at least they’ve come to the website to sign up online (www.daytopray.com). U.S. Christians are joining the “Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem,” volunteering as coordinators for the upcoming international prayer initiative.

"There are a variety of reasons and ways for Americans to support Israel, but whatever those reasons, we are seeing so many new volunteers become passionate specifically about praying for the peace of Jerusalem,” said the Rev. Robert Stearns, president of Eagles’ Wings Ministries, which coordinates the annual international prayer initiative.

While most Christians mention the biblical mandate to pray for “God’s chosen people,” and for the city over which Jesus wept, others mention a special love they have developed for the Jewish people – many after having traveled to Israel. Some remember the day 40 years ago when Israel achieved reunification, and their parents rejoiced over prophecy fulfilled. And finally, these volunteers recognize that they receive a blessing in praying for Jerusalem.
But perhaps the most compelling reason for joining the effort and praying NOW is the situation in the Middle East. While that region continues to struggle for peace, believers recognize it as part of God’s plan for His Church to pray forth His purposes here on earth.

“Jerusalem and Israel are the center stage of God's master plan,” said Bill Fritzky, the volunteer prayer coordinator for northern New Jersey. “We must take action if we are to be in unity with our God.”

“Wars and politics haven't been able to secure peace, but God can do the impossible, only asking for our prayers,” added Betty Howard, coordinator for Boise, Ohio

“I know that everything God is doing in the nations today – and the church, for that matter – is centered around God’s sovereign work and His will for the Jews and Israel,” summarized West Virginia state coordinator Jayne Young.

While volunteers have various regions and cities in the country covered, there is still a specific need for state coordinators in Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, South Carolina and Wyoming. The coordinator’s job is to provide the existing Day of Prayer resources to local churches and help as many as possible get on board by the October prayer date.

Recently, several prominent African-Americans have added their voices to those raised in prayer for Jerusalem. Dr. Fred Price, senior pastor of Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles; Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C.; Dr. Glen Plummer, founder of Christian Television Network in Detroit; Dr. Myles Monroe, senior pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries International; and fellow musical artists Ron Kenoly and the multi-Grammy-winning Larnelle Harris have all publicly pledged their support for the initiative

"In the spirit of the powerful and righteous legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as an African American church leader, I will be calling on my church to stand with Israel and the Jewish people in their hour of need, just as many of them stood with us in ours,” Dr. Price said. “The first step in doing this is to pray for the peace of Jerusalem."

“Everyday I pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the city that God has chosen to establish His Name and His Presence, and we should all pray for Jerusalem and pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray for the peace and security of Israel,” Kenoly said. “It is something that I make a part of my daily prayer, to lift up the city and to lift up the nation of Israel.”

Dr. Monroe also believes that turmoil in the Middle East is more than enough reason to join the effort. “Right now, the way the world is, with all of the political movement, and economic and social upheavals, the cultural exchanges, all of the religious infighting – all of this is bringing together a culmination of God’s prophecy, that in the end time everything would gather together against Jerusalem,” Dr. Monroe said. “So we have to pray now more than ever that God's will be done not only in Jerusalem, but in Israel as a people, and in the whole plan He has on earth, so this is a time to for us to ask God to interfere like never before.”

Larnelle Harris has a far more personal reason for his participation in praying for Jerusalem. “I remember my first visit to Israel, to Jerusalem. I felt a kinship, I felt at home, I felt that I belonged there. Why would I not pray for peace for my homeland?” Harris concluded.

The international prayer effort Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem includes more than 150,000 churches in over 100 nations, partnering in prayer for the city of Jerusalem on the first Sunday of every October. The initiative is co-chaired by Dr. Jack Hayford, president of the Foursquare Denomination International and chancellor of The Kings College and Seminary, and Rev. Stearns.

The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem events, occurring on Oct. 7, take place first and foremost in the Sunday worship services of hundreds of thousands of churches across the globe. The day is also observed with a worldwide 24-hour teleconference call where Christians around the world join one another in “virtual prayer rooms.” In addition, there are regional observances with Israeli and Jewish representatives uniting with Christian leaders in worship and prayer; a Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem celebration service in Jerusalem, plus worldwide coverage of the Day of Prayer events on GodTV.

Information is available online at www.daytopray.com for use by churches in planning an entire service devoted to the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, or to include a short time of prayer in the middle of a regular service. Audio and video clips, bulletin inserts, sermons, articles and brochures are downloadable by participating churches and individuals. Volunteers can sign up to be coordinators and others can look up their local coordinator to affirm their commitment to pray or offer their assistance in recruiting others to pray.

The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem is just one of many initiatives sponsored by Eagles’ Wings Ministries in support of Israel and Christian discipleship. Others include “Watchman on the Wall” prayer training seminars and pilgrimages to Israel, student adventure trips for high school students and in-depth learning trips for college students to Israel, plus many teaching resources, internships, and conferences.

Note to Editors: Rev. Robert Stearns is available for interviews regarding the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem. Please contact Melany Ethridge at (214) 912-8934 or via Melany@alarryross.com, for more information or to arrange an interview.

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