Dear prayer partners,
“The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” (Ruth 2:12)
It is a long-held custom to close our eyes when we pray. But why? Well, first of all it helps us eliminate distractions and focus on what we want to say. It also shows respect for God, to whom our prayers are directed. Finally, closing our natural eyes helps us see with eyes of faith.
The Bible is clear that God is invisible (1 Timothy 1:17). Yet, with our eyes of faith we are able to see Him. The book of Hebrews says of Moses that “by faith, he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen” (Hebrews 11:27). In fact, the unseen realm is more real and permanent than the visible world. The Apostle Paul taught that “… we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Even so, the natural world does provide us with evidence of God’s existence, as well as His wonderful attributes and immense power, which we can see in His handiwork all around us (Romans 1:20). And today, we have even more visible proof of His handiwork in the restoration of natural Israel.
The modern-day rebirth of the Jewish nation has been miraculous and at times totally inexplicable. Yet it was also foreseen and promised by a God who fully identified Himself with ancient Israel. In fact, throughout the Bible He repeatedly calls Himself the “God of Israel”. The saints of old prayed to Him as the “God of Israel”, and the Lord answered those prayers. We see this in the prayers of David (2 Samuel 7:27), Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:15), and Elijah (1 Kings 18:36). The prophet Ezekiel beheld “the glory of the God of Israel” (Ezekiel 8:4). And Boaz – upon hearing of the many kindnesses which the Gentile woman Ruth had shown towards his kin Naomi – blessed her “by the Lord God of Israel” (Ruth 2:12).
So let us always look at the restored nation of Israel with spiritual eyes and see the handiwork of God. And let us pray to the God of Israel, knowing that He rewards those with a heart for His people.
Vice President and Senior Spokesman
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem