We thought it would be cool to film in an old olive grove in the Galilee. The gnarled trunks and endless rows of trees took us back in time. It was only when we met Moussa that we realized just how far back in time the olives had taken us.
Moussa (Arabic for Moses) noticed our activity in his olive grove. He greeted us without a trace of suspicion, and asked about our identity and subject matter. When we explained our fascination with his ancient trees he said “You haven’t seen anything yet. Come with me.” Chaim and I followed the 70-something Arab Israeli, who was clearly comfortable with the Hebrew language and with us as Jewish Israelis.
He unlocked a tall sliding metal door, revealing a sizeable warehouse, adjacent to the road and to the vast olive grove. “This is just a hobby,” Moussa explained with a smile, proceeding to introduce us to an impressive array of sophisticated machines designed to extract oil from olives. Frankly, I felt like a little kid being shown for the first time how an airplane works. There were mounds of “olive cakes,” the dried dregs from decades of olives being turned into rich oil. On the far wall, our host pointed up toward the ceiling. To our astonishment four huge earthenware containers were displayed, having long been retired from use.
“These vessels represent generation after generation of my family harvesting and processing olives,” Moussa pointed out, with warm, unboastful pride. We stared, trying to absorb the implications of what we were seeing. Here was the peaceful caretaker of olive trees with a history stretching back many centuries. Moussa pointed out that the name of his town, Rama, is similar to the Judean village Ramot referred to in I Samuel 8:4. This remarkably friendly man, as if grown from the very soil of his olive grove, was reaching out to us—enabling us to share in a history, geography, and agriculture that are all essential to our own heritage.
If ever one doubted the possibility of Jews and Arabs living in harmony, sharing a heritage that stretches back centuries and centuries, our time with Moussa dispelled such skepticism. I’m not saying that all of our Arab cousins are like Moussa. Nor am I negating the covenantal promises to the descendants of Jacob. But the Scriptures are also clear that we are to treat with respect the “ger”—the non-Jewish dweller in our land. “The stranger (ger) who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God (Leviticus 19:34). I’m looking forward to visiting Moussa again. In a heart-warming way he connected me at a deeper level with this unique land and its people.
NETWORK UPDATES from
John is a prisoner in a large Israeli jail complex. He became a believer while in prison and has been ministering there for many years. He has led many to the Lord and has discipled them in the faith. The Poriya Congregation supports John monthly, enabling him to make phone calls out of the prison. Every Friday he places a call to our congregation from the prison wall phone, and repeats what he hears to listening prisoners. The message is translated to Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and Amharic!
As a member of the leadership team of Kehilat Poriya, I began to dialogue with John about how we could do more to reach the prisoners. Since the Lord has used me to pray for many healings, we thought of offering them prayer for healing. John arranged a phone conference call to connect five prisons across Israel, and reported that a total of 390 prison residents participated. Many requested prayer. Prayer requests included freedom from fear, hopelessness, blood pressure, diabetes, cancer etc.
As we prayed, the Lord started to move. One inmate, while trying to avoid arrest, had broken his back. After we prayed for his back injuries, he and four others gave testimony that the Lord had removed all their pain and they were healed. Hallelujah! Then God began to heal frozen shoulders. Knees were next. Many inmates who could hardly walk were fully healed and walking. We allowed the Lord to lead and found ourselves praying for prostate cancer, arthritis, deafness, eyesight, hearts and migraine headaches.
The Lord gave us a word of knowledge that a man had horribly abused his sister when he was young. The man was able to admit that this was correct, and he felt terrible guilt and pain. The Lord spoke through us and said, “I have set you free and healed your heart and your sister’s heart; restoration is for today.”
Another man had been haunted by dreams of people he had murdered. He hadn’t slept normally for years. He told us that he had tried everything, including medicine. A few days later John reported that the man had been delivered and set free by the Lord. Now he is getting a full night’s sleep and having wonderful dreams–even about his mother baking bread for him. The dream was so powerful that he woke up in his cell still smelling fresh baked bread. John, who made the conference call possible, was not left out in the healing. He suffers from high blood pressure and took four pills a day. We prayed for him, and today he needs only one pill a day. What a wonderful God we serve!
Although the miracles were magnificent, I felt the most rewarding part was ministering to a man with a life sentence. He wanted to know what would happen after he died. How would he know if he would go to heaven? I was blown away as the Lord allowed us the privilege of giving a salvation message to 390 men in five prisons across Israel in response to this question. I am pleased to report that another telephone conference call will take place in the upcoming weeks. God has set the bar high, and we are excited to see what He has in store for the future.- Michael Zeitler
Open for Prayer
Towers are mentioned in many different places in the Scriptures.
The first tower, Babel, was an ambitious and infamous building project begun by Nimrod (according to rabbinic tradition). The objectives of that tower were revealed in the name of its architect. The name Nimrod comes from the word riot and rebellion. He and the other builders with him rebelled against the Creator and wanted to raise their own name “against the heavens.” When the Lord mingled their languages, the building process stopped. They couldn’t understand each other anymore and were “confused.” (The Hebrew word Babylon comes from a root word that means confusion.)
Scripture also tells about another tower whose builder made miscalculations regarding manpower and finances. As a result the building was not completed (Luke 14:28-30).
I wrote recently about a different kind of tower. I shared that we had received an unusual word from the Lord that seemed out of the ordinary: “to build a prayer tower—a prophetic studio.” Shavei Tzion has been involved in many endeavors, but focused intercessory prayer has not been one of them. As a ministry we have worked to develop Messianic theology in the Russian-speaking Jewish world, planted congregations for those returning to Zion, contributed to Aliyah (the return of Jewish exiles) and initiated educational projects. Hundreds of people have been and are involved in these projects. Of course we pray over all that we do and dedicate each new project to the Lord, but until now we have not had a specific prayer ministry.
After the first directive, the Lord told us more specifically to build a “Prophetic Studio.” To be honest, I had suffered in the past from the “post-charismatic age,” when the prophets prophesied falsely, the healers attempted to prove themselves by questionable means and the word of knowledge was reduced to manipulation. These were the consequences of the charismatic “invasion” to which the Former Soviet Union was subjected in the late 80s, and Israel in the early 90s. All of this created many walls inside us, and it takes time for these walls to come down.
However, recent developments and dynamics of various projects, including our internet TV broadcasting, the music school, the ministry to the needy, and the Haifa Theological Institute have shown us that we are in urgent need of the Spirit of the Lord and the manifestation of HIS glory and power. Thinking logically, it is clear that this is impossible without PRAYER.
I was also glad to hear from different people in Israel that they too have received a similar word and that they have begun to create similar dedicated prayer spaces.
So what is this room for? For prayer, of course. Yet there are different ways to go about setting up a prayer ministry. Some are organized 24/7 or 12/5. I am embarrassed to say that up until now I had not been so interested in the specifics. But we are thankful to God that He brought us all into agreement, and as a result we see that the prayer room— the Tower—in which people can listen to the Word of the Lord, is now ready.
How will we use it? The first words that the Spirit of the Lord gave us were “Be open and you will see how different people and groups, moved by the Spirit, will pass through and fill the place with His Presence and anointing.” (I find it hard to believe that I am saying such a thing!) But I am trusting this impulse, and we are ready to listen – to hear together with you, what the Lord is going to say…to you, to us, to Israel. Let us work together to promote the return of the Lord, expecting that Israel will clearly hear the footsteps of Yeshua coming home. May more and more people in our land raise their voices to the heavens with the ancient proclamation: “Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai” (Welcome in the name of the Lord).
We warmly invite you to visit and use our Prayer Tower. For more information write to: firstname.lastname@example.org