The last leg of our prayer walk took us up to Jerusalem full of gladness on the first day of November. This joy was expressed by some of us as we walked the seemingly endless Hezekiah’s tunnel singing songs of praise. It sounded so good that a stranger following us recorded the sound! Spurred on by this, we went from strength to strength in another ‘echo-chamber’ (not the first one we found) singing in tongues with ‘angelic backing’ – in the church of St Anne’s which is well known for its ecoustics. Once again, this drew positive comment from a number of others visiting at the same time.
On Friday the 2nd, we visited the Temple Institute where we discovered the reported reason for the third temple not having been built. They are waiting for the ark of the covenant to be excavated and also for the red heifer to be genetically engineered so that the cleansing required of the High Priest etc can take place. One can’t help but wonder if the Messiah will solve this problem for them through another temple made of living stones by G-d Himself.
Next stop was the Western Wall. After paying our respects by gender, our guide led us into the tunnel which has been excavated from this famous site down to the bedrock at the Via Dolorosa. Just at the point which would have been the nearest to the original holy place on the Temple Mount above was a group of Jewish women travailing before the Lord – some in tears. As in the natural, so in the spiritual: this was a graphic picture to us of the intercessors in the church who go to the secret closet instead of the place where they can be seen by men (Matthew 6:5). That evening, we were blessed to receive a visit from an Ethiopian pastor Tal and from worship leaders Roy and Mary Kendall. As Tal shared his testimony, we realised that he was an answer to the prayers we prayed and funds we gave to Operation Exodus back in 1991! This joyful surprise was capped by the ministry in song, dance, testimony & teaching from the Kendalls. Space does not permit much detail about this; suffice it to say that we were inspired by the way in which simple obedience of faith has led to this couple being used in the highest courts of the Land. To illustrate, the Lord provided them with a 7 foot grand piano on making aliyah to Jerusalem 24 years ago – complete with harp inside. They wondered why the Lord had led them to establish a School of Worship in this part of Jerusalem until they asked Jill (who was assisting them at the time) what she thought. She pointed out that this was the location where David’s harp is commemorated. Their testimony? “The harp is back!”
Our first port of call on Shabbat was the Garden Tomb where we had a personal guide in the person of fellow- Aussie Fraser Harding. Imagine our surprise when we were joined by the Lighthorse tour (again)! The Lord had over-ruled their inflexible program to have them there at the same time as us. Just as the Lord had promised, the leaven was working in the lump. In this very special place & time – as we broke bread – the Lord provided fresh revelation on the Hebraic versus Greek mindset. Specifically, that the Greeks taught that the earth was a springboard to heaven; the Hebrews, that heaven was a springboard to earth. The return of the Jewish people to Israel, the recovery of Hebrew roots to the Church: these are all part of G-d’s plan not to destroy the earth by fire (instead of water) but to fill it with His glory instead. It will take the full cooperation of the soon & coming King together with human vessels such as the ‘Anz-axe’ from the ends of the earth – duly glorified – to fell the tree of Babylon (the fruit of Greek thinking once & for all).
From there, we went on to pray a-top the annointed Jerusalem House of Prayer for all Nations where the Lord led us in a time of deep repentance for the nations of Australia & New Zealand once again. Finally – appropriately so – we interceded at the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) for the Lord to be Israel’s defence in the face of the impossible odds she faces at this time.
If you are wondering why there are no photo’s in this particular update, it is because they are on my mobile which was pick-pocketed outside the House of Prayer! Taking place as it did on the last day of our tour, it brought us full circle to the handbag theft which happened on the first day in Athens. What can I say? We must have done somthing good….