This week we continue praying for the salvation of Israel one city at a time. As the ceasefire continues we felt led by the Holy Spirit to pray for the city that has been most devastated by the conflict thus far. No matter your stance on who started what, Gaza has paid a heavy price, but most people have no idea what Gaza used to be like before Hamas, or what its Biblical history and blueprint is. As we pray for the salvation of the people living there, let’s find out more about how to pray.
Gaza in Scripture
Biblically speaking, Gaza was once a part of the land of the tribe of Judah, and was also the place where Sampson was captured by the Philistines before his infamous and heroic death (Judges 16). In other Scriptures, Gaza does not fare well in terms of prophecy with Amos 1:6-7 and Zephaniah 2:4 both saying that Adonai would destroy the city utterly, as has been the case many times throughout history and without exception today. Although Gaza is famous for the Philistines, after so much conquest their descendants have been scattered and integrated into the many empires that have come after. In a more joyful outlook in Scripture, when Phillip was on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, he met the Eunuch in charge of the treasuries of the Queen of Ethiopia who he baptised along the road as a new believer in Yeshua as Messiah.
Name Origin and History
The name Gaza originally comes from the Hebrew word “Azzah” loosely meaning “Strong City.” At the close of the 1948 Arab Israeli War, Egypt was given control over the territory after Israel’s victory, then in 1967 Israel gained control over Gaza as well as many other pieces of strategic land after being attacked from essentially every country in the Middle East at the same time, and remained completely under Israel’s control until 2005 when, in a bid for peace, Israel’s military and people were removed from the land by order of then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. That peace was clearly never going to happen, but at least Israel can say they tried. While Hamas remains the governing body of the population in Gaza, it is still considered Israeli territory with the Israeli military controlling its land and sea borders, and the inflow of all imports and exports out of the strip due to the continued threat from Hamas.
A Land Of Flowers
Another thing most people do not know about Gaza is 1/3 of the land is arable and outfitted with irrigation. It is especially famous world wide for its impressive flower cultivation which was once exported around the world. Director general of marketing and crossings at the Ministry of Agriculture Tahsin al-Sakka told Al-Monitor that flower cultivation began in the Gaza Strip in the late 1970s and ended almost completely in 2014. It peaked in 2000 with 625 planted dunams (150 Acres) all around the Gaza Strip, reaching export revenues of 50 million dollars for multiple years. However, since the major militarisation of Hamas and the war in 2008 and the following conflicts and wars, Israel has sought to suffocate any available funding to Hamas who uses that money to build rockets, tunnels, and other military infrastructure to accomplish their main goal which is to kill the Jews and destroy the Jewish State. Meanwhile, regardless of ones political or religious motivation, the innocent people of Gaza are the ones who suffer the most.
The only answer to this conflict is Yeshua. Only His perfect love can bring reconciliation and oneness between people who so often see themselves as arch enemies. It is time we band together to pray for the veil of deception, hate, fear, and confusion to be lifted from the people of Gaza, for the place that is now a desolation to become a garden once more, and for salvation to explode in what the world considers the most unlikely of places, but the place where Adonai says what better place than here! There are on fire believers in Gaza as we speak, and thousands more who are ready to be awakened in their destinies to pave the way for the return of the king of glory. We pray for miracles, signs and wonders to go forth from Gaza so that no longer is it known as a desolation and place of hate, but as the epicenter of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, the risen Son of God showing up in people’s homes, in their dreams, on the street, and for all nine fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit to be manifested in those who believe He is the Messiah. Let us join together in unison this week, continuing to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the salvation of Israel with our focus to pray being led by the heart of the Father for Gaza. Adonai bless you and keep you!