Perkins Calls Pastors to Pray for Israel and for Congress
On Friday, the Speaker of the House chair remained vacant while Israel continued its war with the terrorist group Hamas, a battle that is steadily escalating by the day. Over 1,200 Israeli civilians have been murdered, with dozens held hostage. Security has been heightened around the world, including in the U.S., as Islam called for a “Day of Jihad.” Family Research Council hosted a call with its network of pastors across America to discuss this ongoing crisis in Israel and the leadership vacuum in the House.
The House is “nowhere near a place yet to rally around a speaker candidate,” FRC President Tony Perkins shared. This decision “needs prayer, because ... what we saw in Israel shows what happens when America is not leading.” There is “great division” with Republicans, Perkins noted, “And … these are 221 Republican congressmen who represent various districts across this country that are … vastly different. … [T]rying to bring all of them together is quite a challenge.”
He continued, “[O]ur Congress is paralyzed. They can do nothing without a speaker. … And so, we’re at a very critical moment.” Considering the position America is sitting in, particularly without a speaker, Perkins encouraged Americans to use not only prayer but their right of freedom of speech to stand boldly for Israel.
“[Israel is] facing a crisis and a challenge, the likes of which they have never faced before,” said David Friedman, former President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Israel. “This is not a time to equivocate. We must stand with Israel 100%.” He brought attention to King David, who said at the end of Psalm 29, “May the Lord give strength unto his people, and may the Lord bless his nation with peace.” Friedman added, “It’s an odd phrasing, right? [W]hy is David asking for strength first and then for peace?”
He continued, “I think the message is very clear. We don’t have peace in this world if we’re not strong.” He went on to share how neither the Jewish people in Israel nor the American people will have peace if they do not first have strength, with prayer being central to this effort. “And I would add that that strength first starts in that relationship with God,” Perkins said. “[I]t’s that moral strength that gives us the ability for political and cultural greatness, but we’ve got to have that foundation.”
Moreover, alongside prayers, Perkins brought light to the need to be aware — both of Israel’s division leading up to this war as well as what is being are seeing in America. He stated, “Israel was very divided, very much like the United States is.” He explained how Israel had been “divided over judicial reform issues, and that division was a distraction.” Despite having some of the “best intelligence in the world,” they did not see this attack coming. “We have to be praying about our own country and the distractions … and the vulnerabilities that we have,” he added.
But taking this horrific situation in the context of “the days in which we are living,” Perkins underscored the call for pastors to be emphasizing this message: “[T]his is what the Lord warned us of. We need to be prepared.” Perkins, understanding the Lord has warned of this, believes we do not have to live in fear or anxiety, “but we need to be confident in what the Lord has shown us.”
For Perkins, this is a time to “stand firm” by being confident in the Lord, responsive in prayer, and filled with strength and peace. This applies to believers in an out of Israel, he made clear. Perkins concluded, “[A]s we pray for Israel on Sunday, we cannot separate that from the need for leadership here in the United States. And so, praying for Congress that they would come to a God ordained consensus around the leader is absolutely critical.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.