GPC First Friday Newsletter – April 2019
Dear praying Friends,
I would like to share this videoclip with Rick Ridings with you as the basis for our First Friday prayer this month. It was recorded directly in Jerusalem by Alpha & Omega TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMYhA4_Ctl4
Rick Ridings and I will be the main moderators for the upcoming GPC Conference in Jerusalem. I would like to formally invite you to this conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50JmtoEiTKE
In light of the upcoming European Union elections, please prayerfully consider my comments presented below regarding prayer for europe!
Prayer for Europe – before the upcoming European Union (EU) elections
Theodor Heuss, the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany, is credited with the following famous saying: “Europe is built on three hills: the Acropolis, Golgotha and the Capitol”, in other words, Greek humanistic philosophy, Biblical Christianity and the Roman legal system. Historically speaking, there is a lot of truth to that statement. Spiritually speaking, it points out Europe’s subtle but significant tectonic divide: Hellenism and humanism on the one hand and the Judeo-Christian view of God, man and the world on the other. These are ultimately in opposition to one another. As the prophet Zechariah clearly states in Chapter 9, verse 13b: “I will rouse your sons, Zion, against your sons, Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword.“
The “spirit of Greece” or the “spirit of Zion”?
To put it in simple terms, after the two world wars, Europe’s Christian influence and some of its leading individuals took first decisive steps toward reconciliation. But over time, the spirit of humanism got the upper hand. The first significant changes in that direction took place in the course of the 1970’s as the nations of Western Europe increasingly gave in to the economic pressures from the Arabian oil-producing countries, distanced themselves from Israel and gave themselves over to humanistic, secularistic pragmatism. The main thing was that the economy flourished. Values, at least the Judeo-Christina ones, played an ever diminishing role. The same was true of a growth-oriented relationship to Israel.
The East-West conflict within the EU
Over about the last 10-20 years, humanistic secularistic pragmatism has grown more and more dominant - showing the first indications of becoming an “opinion dictatorship”. This tendency is a major reason for the conservative half of Great Britain wanting to leave the EU. It is also a major reason for the tension between the EU core nations (Germany, France, etc.) and the Eastern European EU members. In the recent past, the Eastern Europeans have survived two historic experiences which impact them to this day: on the one hand the existential threat of Islam (“The Turks” – Ottoman Empire) and, on the other, life under a humanistic-secularistic dictator. They are only now again able to begin to come to terms with their Christian roots. Because of that history, they have an instinctive negative reaction to Islam and secular humanism - both of which produce great tension in the modern European Union.
How can we pray?
On the positive side, the “Brexit challenge” and the historically influenced reactions of the Eastern Europeans, present an opportunity for the EU. There are many citizen and voters, but also an increasing number of politicians, who perceive the arrogant development of the EU as a threat. Even so, the desire is not to dissolve the EU, but rather to reform it according to their basic Christian origins and values (In the past, Great Britain had proposed very concrete resolutions along these lines which, ultimately, did not pass). This creates a new opportunity to reaffirm the original positive stance of Central European nations toward Israel (like that of France before 1967, for example). The Eastern Europeans could be an encouragement to the “Core European Countries” in this regard. I my opinion, this is a constructive and positive item for Prayer.
Two current Prayer Initiatives
In light of the above, there are two prayer initiatives that I would like to recommend to you:
- The “Pray and Vote” initiative from the European Coalition for Israel (ECI) (https://www.ec4i.org/prayandvote2019)
Although I am no longer personally on the Board, I am still very much united with them in Spirit.
- Second, I would like to invite you to attend our Global Prayer Callconference from May 3rd to the 5th, 2019, in the historically significant city of San Remo, Italy. We will be praying for Israel and for our own nation’s relationship to the land and the people of Israel. (http://www.globalprayercall.org)
Harald Eckert, Founder of the Global Prayer Call