Removing the Stones Through Prayer
by Quay Messner
…Remove the stones.
– Isaiah 62:10b
There are numerous external stones — some boulder-sized — that resist the work of Aliyah. They attempt to hinder, delay, and prevent the Jewish people in exile from returning to the Land. As an Aliyah ministry, we undermine them and remove their influence against Aliyah spiritually through praise, proclamation of the Word, and prayer. A few examples are Freemasonry, Communism, Globalism, and recently Covid and lockdown restrictions. Two examples of hindering stones through the Church are anti-Semitism and Replacement Theology. These obstacles are formidable if we face them in our own strength, but as we come against them through our faith, His strength, and the power of the Spirit, they cannot and do not prevail against Aliyah.
The stones that are more pernicious than the external ones are those in the heart. Psalm 84:5 underscores the role of the heart in making Aliyah: “Blessed are those…in whose heart are the highways to Zion.” (ESV). The original context speaks of those making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Zion) for the thrice-yearly Feasts. It is not much of a stretch to correlate this with making Aliyah from the nations today. Assimilation in the host country is a heart issue. The roots can go down very deep.
Another “heart stone” in certain branches of Judaism is a strong “Anti-Israel” or “Anti-Zionist” belief system. One branch holds firmly to a religious belief that modern Israel is sinful, wicked, and ungodly; therefore, it is not legitimate in their view. Another branch is more secular and espouses humanistic and sometimes globalist attitudes, such as “Israel is unfair to Arab minorities” or “Israel ‘bullies’ its neighbors.” Both branches speak out with harsh and condemning words against Israel. Sometimes they demonstrate these heart attitudes through anti-Israel rallies that even include burning the flag of Israel. This information can be shocking to Christians, but it is not surprising to God, who is always searching the hearts of the inhabitants of the earth.
To our God, these heart attitudes are simply stones He foresaw and spoke of through the prophets. He has the remedy in which He has called us to participate! Whether it is assimilation, anti-Israel, anti-Zionism, or any other heart stone, He has provided for its removal. “And I will give you a new heart…I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a new heart…” Ezekiel 36:26, NLT. “I want you to understand this mystery…some of the people of Israel have hard hearts…and God’s mercy has come to you so that they too will share in God’s mercy.” Romans 11:25,31 NLT. It is such a joy to pray with great compassion and faith that God will remove these stones and give the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob a new heart according to His promise. He is not offended by their rabid unbelief — He has clearly outlined His intentions through His word. He simply needs us to be in full agreement and give of ourselves in prayer for them.
Pray with us for God to release His mercy to those afflicted with stones in their hearts. May they all have the blessing of “having the highways to Zion” in their hearts — then it will manifest in their literal return to the Land.