Purim, the Prince of Persia and Iran

“…Celebrate yearly the 14th and 15th days of the month of Adar, as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy.” (Esther 9:21) The holiday of Purim, based on the book of Esther, falls this year on March 7-8. Purim commemorates God’s miraculous rescue of the Jewish people in the face of an attempted annihilation against them. Today, in 2012, Israel needs yet another Purim miracle—and this time you can be an important part!

Needed: Another Purim

In the 5th century BC, an evil ruler named Haman persuaded the king of Persia to decree a genocidal murder of Jews throughout his vast empire. The king was not aware that his beloved queen, namely Esther, was herself a Jew—until she courageously interceded on behalf of her people. In a divine interplay of events, the king ordered Haman and his household destroyed instead of the Jews.

The story of Purim has a happy ending. Today the holiday is the most joyful in the Jewish calendar. Yet the sober, if not chilling, reality faced by Israel in 2012 echoes the events recounted in the ancient book of Esther. This year, top officials in the Islamic Republic of Iran have announced their intent, louder than ever, to wipe Israel off the map. Not coincidentally, modern Iran is ancient Persia. Iran has probably reached Israel’s red line: reports indicate the Islamic Republic is now capable of building a nuclear bomb.

The prophetic parallels are too profound to ignore. Israel needs another Purim miracle not unlike the first. As a result, we’re calling for action. When darkness covers the earth, God’s glory rises upon you! Therefore, we’re asking you to arise in the spirit of Esther. Following are some simple ways you can be part of the “Esther Company” God is raising up on the earth.

Action Plan: Be Part of “Esther Company 2012”

FIRST: For the next 7 weeks, from February 17 until Passover on April 7, you can intercede for Israel according to 7 specific prayer points. The 7 points are listed at the end of this letter, one for each day of the week, based on 7 parallels to the book Esther. We believe there is a divine summons to pray with wholehearted focus up to Passover for two main reasons: (1) The innate urgency of the matter; and (2) Esther’s fast did not actually take place when it is observed today, ie, the day before Purim, but at Passover. (See Esther 3:12-4:16, 8:7-12.) The Bible suggests certain powers and principalities relate to time, as well as territory; therefore, it can be efficacious to synch our prayers to these time periods. Feel free to let us know if you are praying these 7 points and share with us any insights you may get in prayer.  

SECOND: You can unite with the Israeli Body of Messiah in prayer and fasting on March 6, one day prior to Purim. The Jewish people traditionally fast the day before Purim to commemorate the fast in Esther 4:16. Some Israeli Messianic leaders are asking believers worldwide to join them this year in prayer on March 6. To unite with them, we will hold a conference call prayer meeting, free of charge, on March 6 at 10 pm-midnight EST, or 7-9 pm PST. (Chinese prayer will go from midnight-11 am EST on March 7.) To join us from the US, simply call 1.760.569.7676. When asked for the password, dial 291204#. We’ll send international Skype information shortly.

THIRD: Please pray for Sandy’s participates on March 3 in Washington DC’s “Capitol Cry Sacred Assembly.” This is a strategic intercessory gathering of DC area believers organized by our friends Jon and Jolene Hamill. Though normally unable to divert from her book writing, she felt strongly led to accept this invitation to lead prayer regarding Israel. As it turns out, Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Perez will be meeting that week with President Obama, in Washington, on the topic of Iran. We urge those of you living in the DC area to seriously consider coming. For details, click here. Meanwhile, please pray for Sandy’s strength, focus, anointing, and protection.

FOURTH: You can join us March 3-4 in our monthly 24 hour prayer meeting via free US conference call or Skype. Sandy will be at the Washington DC assembly, but Kerry and the other prayer leaders will be on the phone/Skype line. Sessions will be in English and Chinese, from 5 am to 5 am, EST. We’ll send details soon.

Prayer Points: 7 points for 7 days for 7 weeks

1. Sunday – Esther 8:17: “Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them.”God’s defeat of Haman’s (and the devil’s) plan to destroy the Jews sparked revival throughout the Middle East! We’re praying for another Purim revival in our day. We believe many in Iran and the Islamic world are called to worship the God of Israel.

PRAY that God will be glorified in the Israel-Iran crisis. In the end, the book of Esther is about His deliverance not only of the Jewish people, but all peoples. God wants to exalt Himself in a manner that shatters strongholds of Islam. He wants to spare Israel—but Israel must give Him the glory. He wants revival in the Middle East and a global harvest of souls. He wants to give nations an opportunity to stand with, not against, the Jews. He wants to refine His Church by doing the same. Let’s joyfully stand in the gap for His purposes!

2. Monday – Esther 4:14-16: “If you [Esther] remain silent at this time, deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? … And so I [Esther] will go to the king, which is against the law, and if I perish, I perish!”

PRAY for a move of the Spirit to raise up many around the world in the spirit of Esther—and Mordecai her supporter, adviser and spiritual covering. Pray these Esthers (and Mordecais) will be endued with favor in the supernatural realm, and also in the natural realm of governments, media, finance, and the military. Pray these Esthers (and Mordecais) will be strengthened by the Spirit, stay focused and act with courage.  

3. Tuesday – Esther 3:8-11: “Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, ‘There is a certain people … and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore, it is not fitting for the king to let them remain. … So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman… ‘Do with them as seems good to you.'” King Ahasuerus naively relied on distorted information, supplied by a personal enemy of the Jews, when he decreed Israel’s destruction. The king was blinded to reality and probably didn’t want to be bothered with the facts. Like Ahasuerus, many of today’s key leaders have naively relied on distorted information supplied by enemies of the Jews.

PRAY for a divine disillusioning among them concerning the truth of fundamental Islam. The Iranian regime means it when they say they are duty-bound to usher in the Islamic [false] messiah, the mahdi, through regional war and Israel’s demise. To that end, they are willing to suffer any consequence. Therefore, they will likely not be deterred by anything other than military force—unless God intervenes. Pray also for the meetings in early March in Washington DC between Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Perez, with US President Obama. Pray specifically for other key leaders in Middle Eastern countries and among Iran’s chief supporters: North Korea, Russia and China.

4. Wednesday – Esther 7:7-8: “…Haman stood before Queen Esther pleading for his life…When the king returned from the palace garden to the place of the banquet of wine, Haman had fallen across the couch where Esther was. Then the king said, ‘Will he also assault the queen while I am in the house?’ As the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face [prepared him for execution].” Haman unwittingly sealed his fate by throwing himself at Esther. Similarly, intercessors in Israel recently began praying that God would lead Iran to commit strategic errors in order to expose its real agenda. Shortly after that, the Islamic Republic threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, creating a major international stir. Then, earlier this week, an Iranian terrorist literally (and sadly) shot himself—and the Islamic Republic—in the foot when a bomb he was carrying blew off both his legs.  

PRAY that God will draw Iran into more strategic errors, revealing to the world its true agenda. Pray that as a result many Islamists will repent and turn to Israel’s God.

5. Thursday – Esther 6:6-7: “So Haman came in, and the king asked him, ‘What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?’ Now Haman thought in his heart, ‘Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?'” Haman was a prideful man. Pride often leads to miscommunication and confusion. In Esther Chapter 6, King Ahasuerus was not asking Haman about himself, but rather Mordecai. Haman’s plan comically backfired when the king put him in charge of honoring Mordecai according to all of Haman’s self-aggrandizing suggestions. (Do you see God’s gracious opportunity here for Haman to humble himself and repent?) In our last 24 hour prayer call, the Holy Spirit showed us to pray specifically for confusion and miscommunication to scramble Iran’s nuclear program.

PRAY supernatural confusion and miscommunication into every aspect of Iran’s nuclear program, including human error, mechanical and electronic failures, misunderstandings, and sabotage. In this, ask God to graciously provide opportunities for many involved to repent.

6. Friday: Esther 8:5: ” … If it please the king … let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman.” An order sealed by the Persian king’s signet ring could not be repealed. Instead, another order would have to be issued to override the first. Esther and Mordecai therefore wrote a second decree, sealed with the royal signet ring, authorizing the Jews to defend themselves against any assault pursuant to Haman’s initial decree.

PRAY that a decree will be issued in the natural—and supernatural—realms overriding Iran’s death decree against Israel. God’s Word is the ultimate decree in this matter. But His Word tells us to watch and pray for His will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven. In this case, the battle is against a fierce demonic principality known in Scriptures as the prince of Persia. (Daniel 10:13, 20) Take note that Persia is often represented in the Bible by ancient Elam. The Scriptures prophesy a severe judgment and mercy on Elam in Jeremiah 49:35-39: “… Against Elam I will bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven. … I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies and before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them … until I have consumed them. I will set My throne in Elam. …” The conclusion of the matter is His glory. We suggest praying this passage. 

7. Saturday – Esther 9:15-16: “And the Jews who were in Shushan … killed 300 men at Shushan; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder. The remainder of the Jews in the king’s provinces … killed 75,000 of their enemies; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.”

PRAY that if a military strike is necessary and God’s will, Israel will be armed and divinely empowered to successfully take out or at least set back Iran’s nuclear program. Pray that Israeli soldiers and civilians will act righteously, giving honor to Him for any victory. Ask God to orchestrate events so as to glorify Himself and bring many to the embrace of His Son. Pray that any military operation will cause only minimal casualties, with minimum backlash against Israel.