by Rob Parker
On April 13th we walked into Jerusalem having completed our prayer-walk assignment of Israel. There was much we learned in only such a short time and we all will have so many memories that will be with us all of our lives. It was a bit gruelling both physically and spiritually, but it was also fun and every day was filled with something new! The name “5 Smooth Stones” refers to the 5 men on the trip, myself (Rob Parker), our son, Robb, Gord Nicholson, David Vanderkwaak, and Dwayne Flamand. My wife, Fran, our daughter-in-law, Brandy, and our administrator Michele Cloutier completed our team besides our driver, Simantov Allalouf. This journey is something that I have felt to do for the past 10 years and only last fall did I have a sense that now was the time. The focus of this walk was: “Prepare the Way of the Lord.”
We began on March 29th, the eve of Passover and completed the walk on the 13th of April. We then travelled down to Eilat where we still sensed the need for vigilance and had some strategic prayer at the borders of Jordan and Egypt.
We began in the North of Israel in Metula at the Lebanese border. The only ice-skating rink in Israel is located here in an arena called ‘Canada Centre’ and therefore we felt that this was a fitting place to begin.
In two days of walking we were in Tiberius and then made our way towards Nazareth via Mt. Tabor. We then followed the Valley of Armageddon to Haifa where we completed our first week of walking. After a Sabbath rest we were on our way down towards Tel Aviv and then on to Beer Sheva. By the next Sabbath we were alongside the Dead Sea and beginning our trek north to Jericho. We completed the journey by ascending into Jerusalem where we met to pray at the Temple Mount area.
Hilda Chen and a group from the King of Kings House of Prayer hosted us in Jerusalem where we concluded our trip in prayer and were blessed by these brothers and sisters who washed our weary and blistered feet.
The way we were led to pray is probably the main part that I want to share with interested intercessors and also for the pastors and prayer leaders of Israel. It first needs to be clarified that none of us had the time before arriving to do any meaningful research regarding the areas we would be prayer-walking. If anyone was looking for a nice neat handout of how to pray for this area or that, they were out of luck. By the time we landed in Israel, we were still trying to catch our breath from the busy schedules we had left in Canada.
We became completely dependent on God to daily, even hourly, reveal to us how we are to pray in each of the areas we walked. For the first couple of days we tried all our ‘best prayers’ but soon found ourselves frustrated and feeling a bit empty. We began to listen more and speak a little less as we waited on God. Soon we sensed a burden lift as we realized that even if a small portion of our highway time was actually ‘anointed’ that that was good enough. As we walked this out we found ourselves now receiving more and more from the Lord in how to specifically pray. One example of intercession which became apparent was our connection with the actual land of Israel. I remembered reading a sermon by either George Whitefield or John Wesley from Jeremiah 22:29. The passage simply reads: “O land, land, land, hear the Word of the Lord.” I felt that praying this was something like the repeated strokes of a hammer that wherever people had hardened themselves and turned a deaf ear to the truths of God that they would be awakened to the repeated calls of a loving God to turn to Him before it is too late.
A couple of times we literally held the earth in our hands speaking the message of Jeremiah into it. I know this sounds a bit weird but it was later that Hilda Chen spoke into this for us saying that it was the very land of Israel that God had formed a covenant to keep and to bless. Now we were connecting with that covenant that all of God’s promises concerning this land would be yes and amen in Christ Jesus, which as you study Bible Prophecy, becomes a very sobering thought for the people living in Israel. Out of this came much prayer regarding the recent threats from hostile nations. The possibility of war this year was clearly seen on many of the people we visited with, leaving us with a sense that we really only have a small window of time to come and do what we were doing.
(Part 2 in tomorrow’s blog)