With Iran on the brink of obtaining nuclear power and its proxies – Hamas and Hezbollah – bearing down on Israel’s borders, this is a crucial season to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
But, as the founder of the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast (JPB) noted in an interview with ALL ISRAEL NEWS, the government of Israel also faces pressing challenges from within.
“Every week we see no-confidence votes to pull down the government,” said Albert Veksler, director of the JPB. “But we need to pray – and that is the theme of this Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast – that a new stability, or a new order would emerge for Israel so that we could enjoy a time of stability for our people.”
“It is really a critical time especially with all these threats we see around us,” he said.
The timing couldn’t be better. The sixth Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast is taking place in Israel on June 1 and 2. And despite being stymied by the coronavirus pandemic for the past two years, the Jerusalem-based conference is expecting some 300 dignitaries and government officials arriving from nations around the world for the two-day event. As of a month ago, only 80 people had signed up, but when Israel rolled back even more restrictions this month, registration for the JPB boomed and Veksler said they had to find a larger venue.
Some 15 JPBs have been held abroad including most recently in Dallas in March and in Estonia in February, just before the region broke into war.
While always focused on praying for the peace of Jerusalem, this year’s JPB will also focus on unity.
“The theme is unity for the nation of Israel,” Veksler said referring to a fractured government that has a 60-60 split in its coalition vs. majority. “We have to see how Israel will come out of this unhealthy polarization and we need to see government stability.”
In an amazing parallel that was unintentional, the two Knesset members who invited the JPB to the parliament come from both the coalition and the opposition.
“For the first time – and this is the sixth Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast taking place in Jerusalem – we have two Knesset co-hosts for the event,” Veksler said. “And, for the first time ever we have both sides represented inviting us to the Knesset, which is huge.”
Tatiana Mazarsky of the Yesh Atid party and Gila Gamliel of Likud will host the delegation at the Knesset for a time of speeches, prayer and song – yes, at the Israeli parliament.
“We are coming to pray for the peace of Jerusalem – where else is there a better place?” Veksler said.
The JPB started in 2016 as a joint Jewish-Christian initiative - a prayer movement initiated and chaired by the former Knesset Member Robert Ilatov, co-chaired by U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and administrated by the JPB director Albert Veksler. The event has born much fruit over the years.
“We’ve seen it throughout these years, whenever Jews and Christians come and pray together and work together, history is made,” Veksler said. “Our expectation is really high to see something good come to Israel, to Jerusalem and to the nations who are represented.”
This year, Nick Vujicic – an Australian-American motivational speaker born without arms or legs – is a keynote speaker. ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel Rosenberg is also scheduled to speak at the “Celebrate Jerusalem Concert.” Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Knesset Member Matan Kahana will also speak.
In addition to the Knesset visit and a briefing by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the delegation will dedicate a life-size lion sculpture to the Municipality of Jerusalem, attend seminars and, as the name implies, a breakfast.
Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are expected to address the attendees at the Knesset. Israeli President Isaac Herzog, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Young Hoon Lee, pastor of the world’s largest church in Korea, are expected to offer video greetings during the conference.
“The vision of the Prayer Breakfast is to mobilize the global church to pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” Veksler said. “But there is the point that it is a two-way street because as the nations come to bless the seed of Abraham and pray for the peace of Jerusalem, there is a blessing over them.”
“Peace in Jerusalem means peace in the world,” Veksler said.
Veksler invites those who cannot attend in person to join online for the concert which will be live streamed or check into opportunities to register for full access. https://www.jerusalemprayerbreakfast.org
Nicole Jansezian was the news editor and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS.