Prayer Penetrates the Darkness

04 July 2017 Written by  Dr. Michael Herts

Dr. Michael Herts is the New York Regional Director for Chosen People Ministries

Do we truly understand how spiritually dark the world is around us? People really do need Yeshua and they are lost without Him (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). But what can we do about it? While there is much that can we done, the place to start is prayer including prayer for the lost. People cannot penetrate the darkness unless they become a follower of Yeshua, unless they have a saving faith in Him. They need to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

In the following three passages we see Yeshua’s and Rabbi Sha’ul’s (Apostle Paul) heart for the Jewish people who do not yet believe in Messiah.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Luke 13:34, TLV)

Now Yeshua was going around all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness. When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest that He may send out workers into His harvest field.”” (Matthew 9:35–38, TLV)

Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for Israel is for their salvation.” (Romans 10:1, TLV)

Are our hearts broken for those who do not yet believe like Yeshua’s heart, like Rabbi Sha’ul’s heart? Do we act like their eternity is not our concern? If it is a concern for Yeshua it should be a concern for those who follow Yeshua. The issues that break His heart should also break our hearts.

The place to start bringing light into dark places is prayer. No ministry or outreach to those who do not yet believe in Yeshua can be truly effective unless it is undergirded by prayer. Throughout history great revivals and awakenings can trace their roots to prayer meetings such as:[1]

  • First Great Awakening (1730-1740): 50,000 people came to the Lord in New England. Since New England had 34,000 people, almost 15% of the population came to the Lord.
  • Second Great Awakening (1790-1830): In three counties in Virginia 3200 people came to the Lord in a three month span.
  • Prayer Revival of 1857-1858: 50,000 people came to the Lord a week. Holy Trinity Church in Chicago went from 157 members to 1400 members. In New York City 10,000 people were coming to Messiah a week.
Concerning prayer, Leonard Ravenhill wrote “No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.”[2] 

I have never met anyone who claims they spend too much time in prayer. I know I surely do not spend too much time in prayer. Next week I will be at Camp Kesher where I am one of the Directors of a Messianic Jewish camp for children and teenagers 8-16 year old. Soon after that I will be with our Shalom Brooklyn outreach with teams sharing the good news of Messiah with our Jewish people on the streets throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. These ministries are intended to penetrate the darkness and bring our Jewish people to faith in the Jewish Messiah. While there is a lot of planning and preparation involved, the most important preparation involves spending hours in prayer. Prayer prepares the spiritual battlefield. Prayer lays the foundation for victory. It is through prayer that we cry out to Yeshua who has all power in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).

May we pray earnestly for revival among our Jewish people. Who knows, perhaps we are due for the next major revival. I believe we are due for the next great outpouring of the Spirit of God. Let us pray …

[1] Byron Paulus, Onecry: A Nationwide Call for Spiritual Awakening (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2014), 54-55.

[2] Accessed July 2, 2017.

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