The focus of our upcoming Epicenter Conference in Israel in May is from the biblical Book of Joel in which the Hebrew prophet warns us that “the Day of the Lord is coming” and “surely it is near.” That day of great trial and judgment seems closer this week as we see events around the world going from bad to worse. Bible prophecy tells us that the Lord is trying to get our attention. He is seeking to focus all nations on our desperate need for His love and His mercy. Is the world listening? Are you?
JAPAN: The situation in Japan is horrific and deteriorating. With multiple nuclear reactors in various stages of meltdown, Japan is bracing for a potential radiation catastrophe. Meanwhile, news reports say thousands of people are still missing after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, “millions short of power and water” and “fear [is] everywhere.” The quake, one of the worst in recorded history, “shifted Japan coast about 13 feet” and “knocked the Earth 6.5 inches off its axis,” say experts. Please pray for the people of Japan. Pray that the Lord would have mercy on them and comfort them and provide for their immediate needs. Pray, too, that the Lord would draw their attention to Himself, and they would turn to Him alone for hope and life in these desperate times.
The Lord Jesus Christ said that in the last days, “there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven….There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Luke 21:11,25,26) Why? To get our attention. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22, KJV) This will intensify towards the end. And what have we seen in recent years? Consider just a few recent examples:
ISRAEL: Five years ago this week, IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was captured by the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza. Evidence suggests he is still alive, but he has not yet been found and there seems little sign that Hamas will release him. Israelis are still grieving his loss. They are remembering Gilad this week, even as Iran tries to smuggle 50 tons of arms to Hamas to capture or kill more Israelis. Christians around the world need to remember Gilad, too. If you don’t know anything about him, please click here. If you’ve never prayed for him, please start. If you have prayed for him, would you pray for him every day for the rest of this month?
Pray that the Lord God of Israel would rescue him, and redeem him, and comfort him and his family and his nation. Let us remember the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for” (Isaiah 40:1-2)
PALESTINIANS: Please pray, too, that the Lord would rescue and transform members of Hamas as well, and bring their leaders and followers out of bondage to radical Islam, just as he has saved and rescued Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of one of the founders of Hamas. Amidst so many wars, and rumors of wars, and lawlessness and heartbreak — including the slaughter of an entire Israeli family by Palestinian terrorists this week — please pray that the Lord would draw the attention of all Israelis and Palestinians to Himself in these last days, and cause them to read His Word and receive Him into their hearts as the only way of peace and eternal security.
LIBYA: Gaddafi and his evil forces are winning. Libyans are dying. The world is doing virtually nothing. Please pray for the people of Libya to be set free from this evil tyrant and for all Libyans to turn their attention to the Lord and to the good news of His great love, revealed through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. And pray for the Lord to strengthen the persecuted believers there.
BAHRAIN: Please pray for the Lord’s will to be done in the Persian Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain, home of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet. The king there is a Sunni Muslim, while 70% of the population is Shia. Now Bahrain is experiencing serious unrest, protests and riots in recent weeks, all encouraged by Iran. The Saudis — who are Sunnis — have sent troops to help quash the Shias. [UPDATE from NYT: Forces Rout Protesters From Bahrain Square.] The Shia regime in Iran is crying foul. There are serious implications for U.S. if Bahrain falls to Iran. Please especially pray for the people of Bahrain to turn their eyes to the Lord and — like all the people of the epicenter — to hear the gospel and choose faith in Jesus Christ. Pray, too, for the persecuted Church in Bahrain.