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Prayer Letter for the Third Week of January 2021

Isaiah 62 Prayer Campaign

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Isaiah 62 Prayer Letter - Third Week of January 2021

Dear prayer partners,

Thank you for faithfully standing with us in prayer for Israel, the nations and our ministry. We are entering the third week of January, a month we have devoted to prayer and seeking the Lord as we begin the new year. As we look ahead, we may have our plans and visions, we may have our expectations, but we would do well to humble ourselves and acknowledge that without God, we can do nothing. Last year demonstrated the truth of James’ admonition:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

So, let us humble ourselves, and the Lord will lift us up. Let us examine our lives and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us.

We can do what a gardener does when he looks at the trees in his garden, examining the fruit that they bore over the last year, and considering what should be done to keep the trees healthy and fruitful in the coming season. Jesus tells us that we are like trees in that we bear fruit, but he adds “every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit; a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit” (Matthew 7:17-18). The good fruit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22). Let us allow the Holy Spirit to show us which kind of fruit we actually produced and where we can improve.

In order for a tree to bear good fruit, first it must have good roots. Without healthy roots, there can be no healthy tree and no good fruit. Roots supply the tree with nourishment, and without roots the tree withers and dies. Jesus explains in the Parable of the Sower that it is not enough to hear the word and receive it with joy; the person who is likened to the seed sown on stony places “has no root in himself, and endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles” (Matthew 13:10-21). Only the seed which took root brought forth good and abundant fruit.

The trouble with roots is that they are invisible. They grow in the dark, in secret, and it takes time for them to develop. The roots represent our struggles, the development of our character, the discipline, the transformation of our mind. Things that are between you and God. Through this invisible process, the foundation for visible fruit is laid.

The good news is that we are not called to walk this way alone. We cannot rely on our own roots, on our own strength. On the contrary, we are called to abandon our roots and fully rely on a different source of strength. Jesus says: “I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) He is the only source, He is the true root, and our main effort should be to abide in Him, to keep this life-giving connection. When we do, fruit appears in due time.

Paul puts it in a similar way, using another gardening parable: “You, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree” (Romans 11:17). In this case, it is the whole godly heritage of Israel, into which we have been grafted. This is no coincidence, because Jesus is the “root and offspring of David” (Revelation 22:18); He is “the Lion of Judah and the root of David” (Revelation 5:5). He is the root of the good olive tree. Jesus and Israel are inseparable. Lest we, as believers from Gentile nations, think that Israel is none of our concern, Paul includes a warning: “do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.” (Romans 11:18) It is the mission of the ICEJ to remind believers all over the world of this vital connection and encourage them to bear the fruit of comforting the people of Israel.

So, as you examine the tree that you are at present, first make sure that you are connected to the source. That you abide in Jesus every day and remember your godly roots with a grateful heart (Ephesians 2). The Psalmist says: Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing. (Psalm 92:12-14)

May the Lord strengthen your roots and guide you throughout this year through His word, which is a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path (Psalm 119:105).

May the Lord bless you from Zion!

Mojmir Kallus
Vice President – International Affairs
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem

PS: As the new year opens, our third day of prayer for the Isaiah 62 Prayer Campaign will be on Wednesday, 20 January 2021. That same day, we also will be hosting our online Global Prayer Gathering, at 4:00 PM (Israel time). Please join us there at on.icej.org/ICEJGlobalPrayer

 

The next day of prayer and fasting in our Isaiah 62 Global Prayer Campaign will be

Wednesday, January 20, 2020.

Please join us!

 

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