April 14, 2012 – Nazareth

Below are two accounts of a day spent praying throughout Nazareth

First account – Liz, a 23-year old Australian from a member of a School of Intercessory Prayer Team from France, wrote us a note with some of her and her teammate’s impressions from her time serving in Nazareth:

“It was a real blessing to visit Nazareth. It opened our eyes and gave us a new perspective on what is happening in Israel. When we first arrived to Nazareth we decided to start our trip with praise and worship. Through our worship time we received more love from God for the Muslims and people in Nazareth.

We then went to the downtown to the Catholic and Muslim area to pray and proclaim God’s Word. The area shocked us, with many religions in one place all trying to claim the land that the atmosphere felt thick of religious’ spirits. It opened our eyes to see what is actually happening in Nazareth. It gave us a greater understanding because before we came to the city we knew nothing of what we had seen and experienced.

We had opportunities to go on many prayer walks through different areas of Nazareth. We prayed for schools, through neighbourhoods, at temples and different key areas of the city. We read and proclaimed scripture verses over the area according to what God revealed to us and declaring the people would turn to Christ as their Saviour.

While we were in Nazareth we were exposed to the different cultures and also saw the spiritual battlefield that is going on in certain areas. In prayer it can be draining and heavy, but it is good to continue to praise and lift God up in all circumstances.

We also found that the people in Nazareth are very friendly and open to talk to tourists and even invite them into their homes. We were blessed to talk and share with many people who invited us into their homes while walking on the streets.

Visiting Nazareth was a great experience and gave us a greater understanding what is happening in the area.”

The second account - This note is from a Canadian couple who spent the day prayer walking with Bishara through the Old City of Nazareth and then praying up on a hill that overlooks the city:

““Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.  “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:22-24

Walking through Jesus’ hometown interceding for the deceived, disoriented, and dying souls residing under a shroud of heavy spiritual darkness was a distressing and exhausting experience, though not without its glimmer of hope.  We traced the streets of Nazareth, simultaneously waging war against the sinister principalities and powers temporarily presiding over the various neighborhoods.  We marched into highly religious and idolatrous and unbiblical Orthodox and Catholic churches with over-elaborate statues and paintings and sculptures of a kind of Goddess-like Mary erected all over the place.  We saw priests and other ‘enlightened’ sages with hats and robes looking very ‘official’ and strutting their stuff and flexing their spiritual muscles.  We saw deceived pilgrims mistakenly believing in a type of salvation achieved through pilgrimage, saintly rituals, and works.

We passed near several Mosques with immense banners hanging outside proclaiming judgment on all non-Muslims.  We, in turn, proclaimed the exclusive Lordship of Jesus even in spite of the haunting, echoing and noisy Muslim call to prayer resounding in the background and seemingly threatening to drown out our voices.

We passed through economically depressed neighborhoods where shops are closed, a kind of hopelessness is prevalent, and the Gospel has scarcely been communicated.

Afterward we made our way up a hill to a viewpoint overlooking the city and the surrounding areas.  This is allegedly the Biblical site where the inhabitants of Nazareth attempted to throw Jesus off a cliff when He incited their unbelief and anger subsequent to His Messiah claims in the synagogue.  What is particularly devastating to me is the reality that many people today are still rejecting Jesus, either openly and undeniably, or else sadly unknowingly.  Whatever the case, contemporary Nazareth is much the same as it was in Jesus’ time and it’s still evident that ‘no prophet is accepted in his hometown.’

Even so, Jesus also still reigns supreme over all the earth, including Israel, including Nazareth.  He is still building His church and the gates of hell will never prevail against it.  Knowing the outcome of the Story then, it was a privilege and even a joy to affect the Heavenly realms through prayer in a battle against the dominion of darkness in this place.  I pray that in future more Christians will come to join with the believers here in Nazareth to shatter the darkness through prayer and the power of the Gospel.  Who knows what God will do through a few individuals who are willing to step out in radical obedience to Christ?  Together, by faith, through prayer and supplication, we can move mountains!”

 

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