On Wednesday morning, a group of Knesset members, Evangelical Christians and Jewish leaders gathered at the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem to pray for the nation, the citizens, Israel Defense Forces and the hostages.
The Day of Prayer and Support for Israel was hosted by the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast team, at the request of Knesset Member Tatiana Mazarsky of the Yesh Atid party.
Several current and former Knesset members have been trying to get the Israeli government to call for a National Day of Prayer and fasting. As that hadn't happened yet, they exhibited typical Israeli independence and organized their own prayer event with the team from the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast.
Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast Director Albert Veksler, who served as the Master of Ceremonies, said Mazarsky requested the day of prayer because she recognized that “prayer is the most potent weapon we have and we need to use it.”
Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, the highest-level member of government to attend the prayer meeting, spoke to attendees, reminding them of the atrocities committed, not only by Hamas terrorists, but by unaffiliated residents of Gaza who acted as accomplices.
“On October 7, life ended for many Israelis, and life changed for all Israelis,” Ohana said.
“What’s even worse, the people that committed these atrocities did it with pure joy and a sense of pride,” Ohana continued.
“Coming here during our darkest hour, is something we greatly appreciate, a great demonstration of solidarity, friendship, and brotherhood,” Ohana told the guests.
I’m very grateful Israeli Knesset Speaker @AmirOhana personally addressed today’s prayer event and urged Jews and Evangelical Christians to pray and work together to get all the hostages out and stand against evil. Here’s a clip of his remarks. @all_israel_news pic.twitter.com/5w7MnImpj0— Joel C. Rosenberg (@JoelCRosenberg) November 29, 2023
Mazarsky gave a very emotional, and moving speech, telling of her own sorrow over the situation of the hostages in Gaza.
She spoke of the Bibas family, who were taken captive from their community on Kibbutz Nir Oz.
Yarden Bibas, his wife Shiri, and their two children, 4-year-old Ariel and 10-month-old baby Kfir were forced out of their homes by armed men from Gaza on Oct. 7.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister’s Office released a statement saying that Hamas claimed to no longer be holding the mother and two children. The group reportedly claimed it had turned them over to another terror group in the Gaza Strip.
Just hours after Mazarsky's heart-wrenching speech on Wednesday about her concern and prayers for the Bibas family, Hamas issued new statement informing Israel that Shiri, Ariel, and Kfir had been killed by an Israeli airstrike while in captivity. Israel has not yet confirmed the accuracy of the statement.
“We need you,” Mazarsky told the gathering. “Apply pressure with us, all possible pressure in every place of the world, so that the Bibas family can return home now.”
“I thank you that you came here today to the Knesset. The fact that you are found here in a time of war, demonstrates that you stand by our side,” Mazarsky said. “I thank you.”
Various speakers addressed the group, giving statements or prayers, expressing the growing awareness that a large number of Evangelical Christians have chosen to stand with Israel during a dark time.
ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel Rosenberg also addressed the gathering, offering a prayer based on selected passages of scripture.
“I want to say a prayer, but I don’t have any words of my own to offer,” Rosenberg said. “I want to say a prayer based on several scriptures that have been on my heart as we’ve been processing this.”
Several of the speakers referred to the upcoming holiday of Hanukkah, which celebrates the surprise victory of the Maccabees over the superior Greek forces, liberating the city of Jerusalem and restoring the Temple worship.
The holiday, referred to as the “Feast of Lights” in the New Testament, celebrates light conquering darkness.
Former Knesset Member Yehuda Glick reminded the prayer participants that Hanukkah, which happens during the darkest time of the year, focuses “on the light of the menorah from Zion.”
He encouraged each person to “continue that light.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.