JERUSALEM, Israel - Not surprisingly, Iran topped the agenda of the recent International Prayer Conference in Jerusalem.
"This is something we've been praying into for about two years now," Intercessors for Israel Chairman Eliyahu Ben Haim told CBN News.
"Iran geographically is in an earthquake zone. And while there's not been a physical earthquake, there certainly has been a political earthquake in the past year, and it's not over yet," he said.
This conference marked the 25th consecutive year that Christian intercessors from Europe, the U.S., Australia, Singapore and Japan came here to pray. More than half of participants are returnees.
"Some people have been coming for 20 years or more and many for 10 years or more," Ben Haim said.
Click here for a message from IFI Director Chuck Cohen on what Christians should know about Israel.
This was the eighth conference for Dan Chapman and his wife, Vicki, from Chardon, Ohio, who said they appreciate the way the prayer sessions are structured. Chapman calls it "practical prayer."
"We're witnessing the fulfillment of biblical promises to Israel. The Lord is not returning until the Jewish people welcome Him back," he said.
"And if God doesn't keep His covenant with Israel, why should I believe He will keep it with me?" his wife said.
In 1992, Israel's economy was in rough shape. A man named Kjell Sjoberg, one of the fathers of the modern prayer movement who has since gone on to be with the Lord, had it on his heart to pray into the situation.
"Israel's economy was in the pits, and he had everybody in the conference go and get a half shekel coin," Ben Haim said. "It was a new coin at that point. People came and placed it on the bema [raised platform], and we prayed."
"Israel's economy has been one of the most stable in the Western world," Ben Haim said. "The shekel is stronger than the dollar or the euro or the pound. I mean it's miraculous. We haven't had an economic meltdown in the last two years, so there's [an answer to] prayer that's nearly 20 years old," he said.
Ben Haim brought those same coins - a reminder of the Lord's faithfulness - to the conference this year, where prayer for the economy focused on aliyah (immigration to Israel under the Law of Return) - that God would strengthen the economy even more to make Israel an attractive place for Jews to live.
Cooperating with God
"We don't have authority in the political realm - other than one vote each - but we can cooperate with God and ask that His will would be done on earth as He's already written it in heaven. We don't tell God what to do, but we can say 'Lord would you do this for us?' We can appeal to Him," he said.
"I mean it's a mystery. God could do it without us but He actually wants to do it with us," Ben Haim said, smiling.
On one of the last evenings of the five-day conference, Ofer Amitai, a pastor in Jerusalem, spoke of the centrality of Israel in God's Kingdom.
"When the Lord defends Zion, the nations will know the Lord is in the midst of Israel," Amitai said.
"Unless you get serious with God, walk with Him, fervent, you will not be able to bear up to the pressure that is coming. Turn fully to Yeshua [Jesus] and give an account to Him because you don't have the time you think you have - only time to get serious with God," he said.
"Don't go back just with information. Become a radical believer in your own place - in your own home. Find the Lord. Pray for your nation like you've never prayed before and God will get a harvest in your nation," he said.
"Walk after God with your whole heart - full of the Spirit," he said.