The Ninth Annual National Prayer Breakfast in Honor of Israel
Sponsored annually by the Religious Roundtable, in conjunction with the meeting of the National Religious Broadcasters in Washington, D.C., the breakfast brings together over a thousand leaders of the Christian community who come to express support for Israel and the Jewish people and to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps. 122:6).
Israeli Ambassador to the United States Moshe Arad led a delegation of Israeli and Jewish dignitaries. President Bush was represented by Jack Kemp, Secretary of H.U.D., who brought the keynote address. Among a host of Senators, Congressmen, government officials, and representatives of foreign governments were Senator Albert Gore and former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese.
As a result of reading the “Intifada” issue of Israel My Glory, Mr. Ed McAteer, President of the Religious Roundtable, requested permission to reprint Dr. Renald E. Showers’ article, “Five Things Which You Should Know About Israel’” for distribution to every person attending the breakfast. Rennie was also asked to be an honored guest at the breakfast. Later Mr. McAteer issued an invitation to our Executive Director, Elwood McQuaid, to be one of the speakers. His assigned topic was “Why Christians Should Love Israel.”
Elwood’s remarks were selected to represent not only his personal feelings but those of everyone making up The Friends of Israel family. “Israel’s right to a national homeland in the Middle East,” he said, “is a right given to them by God. The land is theirs in perpetuity by divine right.”
He followed up by giving four reasons why believers should love Israel and the Jewish people.
Israel was the chosen instrument through which our Savior/Messiah entered the world. Thus, we owe the Jewish people an immense debt of gratitude.
God loves the Jewish people with an “everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3), and we must love them too.
Fulfilled prophetic promises to Israel are an affirmation to us of the faithfulness of God through His inerrant Word.
We share a common destiny through Jehovah’s program for Israel and those who will reign with Him in the coming kingdom era.
(A few weeks after the breakfast, we received word that Elwood’s remarks had been aired during a report on the event in Israel over the nation’s “most popular” evening news broadcast. The segment reportedly received a very positive response.)
Ambassador Arad was obviously deeply moved as he rose to respond on behalf of Israel to the speakers’ presentations. His words emphasized once again how Israel and the Jewish people are pressed with a feeling of isolation in an increasingly inhospitable world. “It is not easy to stand here this morning” he said, “to follow such eloquent speakers as you heard and to say to you that it doesn’t happen often to an ambassador of Israel to be received like this. We are not privileged with many warm receptions like this one this morning … I sense the electricity, the spirit in this room … ”
The ambassador’s words were, at the same time, a confirmation and a challenge: a confirmation of our commission to communicate God’s great love for His Chosen People to them, and a challenge to stand against the forces dedicated to their destruction.