I’m Just going to paste the email I sent out without any modifications:
Okay, I’m having trouble keeping straight who I have and haven’t told about this. So, on the off-chance I’ve missed you, I’ll be in Israel from January 13-27 with Bridges for Peace.
I feel that I need prayer for this. Seems an obvious statement, I know, but this isn’t something I do often. So, let me preface this by saying I don’t consider anyone obligated to pray for me even once, just do what you feel is right. Now, onto the list.
Justin’s List o’ Prayer Requests:
1) I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little scared to be doing this. I’m an overly-cautious person by nature, and if I listened to that nature right now, I’d cancel this whole thing. Jerusalem isn’t exactly in one of the safer places in the world. However, I know that what I’m doing is what God wants. To quote the FAQ page over at Bridges for Peace: “Safety, therefore, is being in the center of God’s will for your life. It is not necessarily something we can fashion design according to our own will.” I’ve come to realize two things over the last several months: 1) Any feeling of “safety” I have is false, because 2) Life is a gift from God that he can take back at any time, regardless of whether I’m attempting to spread the Gospel or sitting at home watching TV. I know I can no longer waste this gift, but my fears say otherwise. So, prayer request #1 is that I don’t let my fears keep me from whatever God has planned.
2) I’m a master at ignoring God to follow my own path, even to the point that I don’t realize I’m doing it. However, to paraphrase an article at the Bridges for Peace website (that is down right now or I’d provide a link and a proper quote), people don’t choose to go to Israel, God invites them. The fact that my application went through as fast as it did has left me no doubt that the invitation has been extended, and has me fearful that I may miss the reason for the invitation entirely. So, prayer request #2 is that I’ll be 100% open to whatever God wants.
3) Oddly enough, this one doesn’t concern me much, but prayers for safe travel and whatnot probably wouldn’t hurt.
Since I’ve managed to exclude pretty much any scripture from this message, I think I can include a Psalm here:
Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem.
A Song of Ascents, of David.
I was glad when they said to me,”Let us go to the house of the LORD.” Our feet are standing Within your gates, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that is builtAs a city that is compact together; To which the tribes go up, even the tribes of the LORD–An ordinance for Israel–To give thanks to the name of the LORD. For there thrones were set for judgment,The thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. “May peace be within your walls, And prosperity within your palaces.” For the sake of my brothers and my friends,I will now say, “May peace be within you.” For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,I will seek your good.
I’m pretty sure “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.” Is an ample defense of this part of my email. If you disagree, take it up with God.
1) Pray for safety and peace of mind for the Israeli people. Between suicide bombings, missile attacks commanded by Bin Laden, a potential nuclear threat from Iran, and about a bajillion other threats, day to day life cannot be easy for the Israeli people. We can sit in our homes in “the land of plenty” saying “no weapon formed against you shall prosper” until we’re blue in the face, but unless the people know that there is a God that is protecting them and has not defaulted on his covenant, it’s all for naught.
2) Something I feel led to pray for that may not have gotten too much press: Tel Aviv is attempting to become the gay capital of the world. I copied and pasted an article about it to my blog, found here: http://insane-in-the-brain.blogspot.com/2005/11/tel-aviv-to-become-gay-capital-of.html. Regardless of what anyone says, homosexuality is an abomination, and has no place in Israel.
I’m sure there are other things I’ll think of immediately after sending this, but this should be enough for the next two weeks.