Praying for protection
Liberty’s Stand with ISRAEL club gathers together to pray for the Middle East
In order to show support for Israel and the Middle East, Liberty University’s Stand with ISRAEL club held a prayer meeting and vigil, bringing students together to pray for and discuss the issues surrounding the Middle East and the persecuted church.
The prayer meeting was held at the Jerry Falwell Library in the Active Learning classroom Nov. 3 from 7-8:30 p.m.
Dr. Randall Price, curator of the Liberty Biblical Museum, said the meeting was intended to cultivate a broken heart for a broken world.
“What moved me was the heart of the students here and to see the burden in the heart of the students for the persecuted church,” Price said.
The meeting focused specifically on the Arab-Israel conflict, the constant terrorist threat against Israel, the war in Syria, the refugee crisis and the worldwide persecution of the church.
“We care about the Middle East,” Melissa Robertson, cultural advocate for Stand with Israel, said.
“That is the day-to-day world Israel lives in. The troubles that they are facing are not just in their nation. It’s regional.”
Erica Tomlin, the president of Stand with ISRAEL, said the event was unique to other events hosted by Stand with ISRAEL.
She said this meeting was dedicated solely to prayer, which was something they had never done before.
Instead of having a guest speaker, every 15 minutes someone would present an issue facing the nation of Israel, and anyone was welcome to pray out loud over it.
There were five tables set up in the room that provided the attendees with statistics and information regarding each issue.
Note cards were made available for attendees to write down their prayers.
“We wanted to be very serious and direct about what we prayed about and what we talked about,” Tomlin said, “We wanted to set a tone for approaching God in prayer.”
Tomlin said that with the elections in the media spotlight, it is important to raise awareness about the situation in the Middle East and the persecuted church.
“The majority of the time I was in there praying for these situations, I was also subconsciously thanking God for my situation,” Tomlin said.
“Just the fact that he did place me in America for such a time as this makes me very thankful. … Why them and not me?”
Stand with ISRAEL was founded in 2005.
Tomlin said the club’s original focus was on lobbying and informing people on the political aspect of Israel.
This year, the club reworked its constitution, adding in a biblical and a cultural branch.
Doing so, Tomlin said, has allowed Stand with ISRAEL to connect with a broader range of students and touch on more pressing issues in the Middle East.
“The Bible still has a lot to say about God’s plan for Israel in the future,” Robertson said.
“We try and bring awareness to what the Bible says about Israel as well as understanding to the ancient history of Israel.”
After spending 10 days in Israel, Robertson said she saw the importance of learning and understanding the culture and history.
“It’s such an international conflict that I realized I have to understand,” Robertson said.
“Ever since last summer I’ve been trying to be active in the club and in learning everything I can.”
For more information on the club and its future events, visit the Stand with ISRAEL page on Facebook or contact email@example.com.
Kehrman is a news reporter.