DALLAS–U.S. and Israeli government leaders, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas state representatives, members of the Knesset and numerous leaders of Christian ministries and Israel alliance organizations, headlined the first-ever Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast (JPB) in Dallas on Friday morning.
More than 800 Christians and Jews visiting from Israel, throughout Texas and across America attended the more than 3 ½-hour program, which included numerous prayers, readings from scripture and spiritual music representatives of both faiths.
“When Christians and Jews gather to pray together, history is made,” said Albert Veksler, JBP director and administrator of the event.
The Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast is a global prayer movement that brings together government leaders and key influencers worldwide in prayer for the nation of Israel and its people. Initiated and chaired by former Knesset Member Robert Ilatov and co-chaired by former U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, it has spread to more than a dozen strategic cities of the world since the inaugural breakfast held in Jerusalem in 2017.
“It is important at this time that we stand for what is right, what is just and what is true,” said U.S. Congressman Michael Cloud, “There is no moral equivalency when it comes to Israel – a nation that could be destroyed by its enemies in one day. That is why our government stands in support of Israel.”
Tennessee Pastor Steve Berger prayed, “Father, we stand before you as Jews and Christians united together in prayer for Jerusalem. We ask that You bless this gathering with Your presence, purpose, power and peace.”
“Who would have thought we would live to see the development of an erstwhile peace between Israel and its neighbors through the Abraham Accords,” Berger continued. “But none of us are surprised because we take Your Word seriously, and know things will come about if You promise them. May Jerusalem and Israel fulfill her destiny.”
Israeli Minister of Religious Services Matan Kahana shared stories of truth, justice and friendship in times of adversity he learned from his grandfather.
“Nations that share values of freedom and family choose light against the darkness, love against hate, life against a culture of death,” he said. “It is always possible to choose an alternative in the face of challenge. Through tears and terror, our grandfathers were victorious in the past, and their children and grandchildren will be victorious in the future to overcome today’s challenges.”
Knesset Member Tatiana Mazarsky, chair of the JPB Caucus in Israel, noted that “Prayer brings fresh miracles, and the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast changes realities. As we appeal to our Heavenly Father, the prayers of each of us and together will change attitudes in Israel and the United States.”
Mazarsky closed her prayer citing the call of Abram in Genesis 12:3, whom God promised to make a great nation: “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you; and all the peoples of the world will be blessed through you.”
Ilatov reinforced the mission of the gathering – to “pray for the peace of Israel, the peace of Zion and the peace of the people of Israel.”
“People ask, ‘Whose side are you on?’ We are on the side of God, and we are a nation on the side of the Lord; we are always on the right side. And I know whoever is with us is on the right side of history,” he said.
Bachmann offered a prayer for the nation of Israel that lasted more than 24 minutes.
“We say thank you to the Jewish people with whom You chose to make a covenant and gave Your law, prophets, glory, Kingdom and blessing,” she said. “Because of that blessing to your people, we, too can be blessed and grafted into that covenant with your people.”
“We are so blessed to live in this time when Your prophecies have been fulfilled – even in our lifetime,” Bachmann continued. “It says in Your Word, ‘Your banner over them and us is love; that one day you will bring Your people back into the land, just as the Scripture foretold…There is no city in Your Word for which we are commanded to pray than Jerusalem; and Your people are connected to Your land forever.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recalled the terror attack that took place in his state in January.
“We are besieged by turmoil and strife, but know God gives us strength to prevail in times of adversity. We saw the power of prayer in Colleyville, TX, earlier this year, when a terrorist took hostages at a synagogue – including the rabbi – all of whom were safely released,” he said.
“We see the blessings of freedom and the burdens of doing right in both Texas, born in the fire of the Alamo, and Israel, similarly born out of conflict,” Abbott added, noting the close partnership of the state and nation and reminding the audience that courage is needed at this time in history. “We recently passed a law prohibiting Texas companies from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.”
Israel President Isaac Herzog addressed attendees by video.
“Thank you for answering the call to pray for the city of Jerusalem and the nation of Israel, in which freedom of religion for all people will always be protected,” he said. “The United States is our greatest ally, and we thank you for your prayers and friendship from Jerusalem, the City of Peace.”
Cruz, the keynote speaker, said it was a privilege to join as Christians and Jews together prayed for and honored Israel and the Jewish people.
“But this is the first time I have ever attended a prayer breakfast that became a prayer lunch; and I am looking forward to the prayer dinner,” he quipped.
Cruz, who was introduced as the leading U.S. politician in defense of Israel, asked rhetorically, “What is it that produces peace in Israel?” He noted that certainly prayer and God’s favor and blessing are major factors, based on scripture. But he went on to explain that some of the policies of the previous U.S. administration – such as moving the U.S. Embassy to “the once and eternal capital” of Jerusalem – were considered controversial but produced successful results.
Cruz noted that both the United States and Israel are nations with interesting histories and an intertwined battle, known for providing hope amid suffering by welcoming people fleeing tyranny.
“We will continue to stand with Israel, because we want the blessings – and not the curses of those who curse Israel,” he said.
Afterwards, former Knesset member and rabbi, Yehuda Glick, offered a prayer for Cruz and his leadership.
The JPB continued throughout the day with a Leadership Luncheon, followed by breakout sessions throughout the afternoon, including an Inside Brief and Panel Discussion with Israel government leaders and workshops on building champions for Israel among the next generation and the Texas-Israel trade alliance, to name a few.
The day concluded with a Shabbat dinner for all participants. For more information on the JPB movement or archived livestream video of the event, visit Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast.
Larry Ross is founder and CEO of A. Larry Ross Communications; advisor to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington and numerous American evangelical leaders, including serving as personal media spokesman for evangelist Billy Graham for 34 years. A former consultant to The Jordan Tourism Board, he is an Advisory Board member of All Arab News and has participated in most of the Evangelical delegations into the Arab World led by Joel Rosenberg.