Perkins, Leaders Call Believers to Pray and Stand for Israel ‘Until We See Victory’
On Sunday, Family Research Council hosted an event at Village Church to pray for and stand with Israel. FRC President Tony Perkins was joined by founding Pastor Erik Estep, FRC Board Chair Michele Bachmann, FRC Executive Vice President Lt. General (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, and Chad Connelly, the founder of Faith Wins. The objective was to educate believers about what’s happening in Israel with two overarching themes: staying persistent in prayer and standing firm on the word of God.
Perkins insisted there is a spiritual battle “raging” around the world. “We see it in our own country … at every level of government … in our communities … in Washington, D.C., and we certainly see it in the Middle East,” he stated. “God’s people are called to stand for truth.”
In a video shown near the start of the evening, David Friedman, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, shared, “[W]e need to get back to work. We need to win. We need to prevail.” He continued, “This is an existential battle … between good and evil. … It’s a battle for our Christian and Jewish souls. … [W]e need to pray to God, and we need to seek God’s mercy.” He shared how “no one … in Israel is sleeping” as soldiers protect the borders and civilians fear for their lives. But he emphasized, “God is not sleeping either, and God is with us, and … will protect us.”
Bachmann shared how the Bible makes it clear this war is an “event that has power.” She continued, “If you read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, you understand the broader narrative of what God is doing. God is the number one character of the Bible. Israel is the second.” She explained how the entire Bible is about redemption “and God’s sovereign hand comes through Israel.”
For believers today, Bachmann added, we have the gift of redemption through the Messiah, and “God gave that gift to us through Israel” by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their 12 sons. She also emphasized that Satan has sought to bring about Israel’s destruction since the beginning — first in the Garden of Eden. “[B]eloved, we shouldn’t be shocked and surprised that Satan is still at his same goal, which is the destruction of the Jewish people and … the Jewish state.”
As Bachmann went on to explain, “Hamas” in Hebrew means “violence,” and in Arabic it means “Islamic resistance.” For Bachmann, the heinous acts the world witnessed in Israel are inevitable given Hamas’s hatred of the Jewish people, and believers need to stand up against it. “At minimum, we pray,” she said. “[But] we need to do more than pray. We need to act. Israel needs us now more than in her 75-year history since the Holocaust. And so, we need … to see this through to victory.”
“Don’t let Hamas win,” Boykin added. “[S]tand up against these evil people. … And let’s stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters.” For Boykin, it all comes back to a spiritual battle that has been happening “for a long time.” People all over the world do not believe in the Bible and therefore do not read it, he explained, and “it’s easy to lose your way when you don’t know what the history of something is.” Perkins added, “We can’t look at this without looking at history and biblical prophecy.”
As Boykin urged, “It is time for us to really put on the armor of God and get in this battle and stay in this battle until we see victory.”
Following several minutes of dedicated prayer for the hostages held by Hamas, Perkins prayed that the Lord “would break our hearts for what breaks” his, and that our spirits would be stirred. “May we carry the burden as well,” he said.
Considering this, Estep shared how it is the job of the church — “of all people” — to stand firm on the word of God and with Israel. “I’m telling you,” he said, “not many other people are.” For Estep, a lot of the blame for “what is happening, even politically,” is due to dwindling church leadership because, as he put it, “we have this desire to appease and be popular with everyone.” Connelly agreed and stated that pastors are being “milquetoast and cotton candy behind the pulpit.” He continued, “Now is the time for the church to stand up and take back the righteous ground.”
Connelly emphasized, “[S]tay persistent in prayer, because when this gets messy, a lot of the world that’s with Israel right now may turn on them. And they’re going to need your prayers more than ever before.”
Estep went on to convey an important message for Christians: “For Hamas, they had a day of rage,” he said. “I think the best thing that we can do as Christians and as a church [is] … demonstrate who Christ is [and] have a day of prayer … expecting and believing that God’s power will come through.”
As Bachmann said, if Israel is to win, “it’s going to be God who brings it about. And that’s why it’s imperative for us to stand with prayers.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.