Today marks the first general election in Iraq since the defeat of ISIL within Iraq’s borders. There are many different factions vying for power, and make no mistake, the outcome of the election will have major ramifications across the middle east. Iraq sits in a strategic, if not precarious position geographically with Iran on its eastern border, Turkey and Syria on the Northeast and Northwestern border, Jordan on the western border, and Saudi Arabia on the Southern Border. The election comes at a time when multiple nations that have traditionally been open enemies of Israel, even going so far as to deny that it is a country, have come out in support of Israel.
Most recently, the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE have been vocal supporters of Israel and its fight against the likes of Iran and its proxies in Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza. The crown Prince of Saudi Arabia just last month was quoted in a published interview as saying that Israelis were entitled to live peacefully on their own land. In another sign of support for Israel, Bahrain and the UAE sent cycling teams to Israel to compete in the first leg of Giro d’Italia cycling race, openly wearing their countries colors, something unheard of, and a first for these two nations. Lastly, just over a week ago, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister said this regarding Iran’s missile strike from Syria targeting the Golan Heights: “As long as Iran continues the current status quo of its forces and rockets operating in the region, then any country, including Israel, has the right to defend itself by eliminating the source of danger.”
Regarding May 14th, the 70th anniversary of the independence of Israel, as well as the day of the commencement of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, tensions are set to be at a historic high. Yahya Sinwar, the Gaza-based leader of Hamas, said that “The riot next week planned for May 14, will be “decisive”, and that “We can’t stop these protests. We are supporting, even leading, them,” Sinwar said. The riots will be “like a tiger running in all directions,” he said. So, Hamas who’s goal is to destroy Israel, has been fueling, supporting and leading the riots that have cost the lives of nearly 50 people thus far, fueling the fire of anti-Israel rhetoric helping Hezbollah gain victory in parliamentary elections, while Iran fires missiles form Syria at the Golan heights.
We say all of this not to insight uncertainty or fear, as we are solid in our identity in Christ and Him in us, but to lay out in a simple terms what to be praying for as we all intercede for Israel and the nations of the world. Please pray for the elections that are taking place in Iraq. Pray that the nations of the world align themselves with Israel as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE have done. And pray for the peace of Jerusalem for such a time as this, that the schemes and traps laid by the forces of the fallen kingdom of darkness come to nothing and are turned against themselves. We must never forget that when we pray that “it is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies” (Zechariah 4:6), and when we let Him fight our battles, the“Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” (Psalm 118:15).