"I know of no evangelical leader who has worked harder and stood more courageously beside the Jewish people. If there is any evangelical leader in America who understands the dilemma facing the city of Jerusalem and is knowledgeable on how to mobilize praying, God-fearing Americans to do something about it, it is Mike Evans. I consider him my friend, and more importantly, a friend of the nation of Israel." - Former Governor Fob James - Alabama.
His passion is unmistakable. Michael Evans truly loves the people of Jerusalem and the nation of Israel. He has visited the land 54 times, prayed with Jerusalem's mayors and most of Israel's prime ministers. This week, Evans is meeting with 40 Israeli leaders; he had a meeting with the mayor of Jerusalem Sunday, and met with Benjamin Netanyahu April 11 in Dallas. Evans has known Netanyahu since the former prime minister was 26.
Although Evans was uncertain during our interview whether a requested meeting with Ariel Sharon would be confirmed, he mentioned that he has met with Sharon several times in the past, and has known him since the early '80s. Evans also met Yasser Arafat in 1988 at the 43rd General Assembly in the United Nations.
"I have been in the nation when terrorism has taken place," Evans said. "I have attended probably 30 or 40 funerals of Jewish people. I was at the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, invited by the government along with 86 world leaders."
Such experiences and meetings have convinced Evans that the American church has a critical role to play in interceding for Israel. "The Church is God's salt and light. If the Church sleeps, there isn't any hope," Evans explained.
Jesus Not Jewish?
According to Evans, "If you are anti-Semitic, then you can't possibly love Jesus, because you can't hate a Jew and love this Jewish Jesus."
Of course, there is a loophole to that argument. Evans explained that some people in the Middle East don't consider Jesus Jewish, but a Christian. "I met a person back in Madrid in 1993 who said she was a Christian. But she believed Jesus was not Jewish, that He was born a Christian. Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem, a Moslem town. This woman believed that Christianity started in 632 B.C., as it is stated in the Egyptian textbooks. Many people in the Middle East believe this," Evans said.
Such thinking demonstrates that this is ultimately a spiritual battle, according to Evans. "If we intercede and pray, we don't believe it will only benefit the Jews. We believe that it can bring revival that will ultimately benefit the Palestinians and the Christians too."
Evans said he believes that a suicide bomber cannot commit an act of such insanity without being filled with the powers of hell. "For a child to blow herself up, the powers of hell had to be raging inside of her. We believe that prayer is the greatest instrument to deal with principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness. No matter if you are a Baptist or Methodist or Pentecostal, everyone understands that God wants us to pray. Jesus prayed and He did so in Jerusalem."
Terrorism Impacts Everyone
Every Jew in the nation of Israel has been impacted by this latest rash of terrorism, Netanyahu told Evans last week. "We are a tiny nation. You can't lose this many people to terrorism and not be impacted -- whether your child lost a friend from school, or you lost a grandson or an aunt or uncle," Netanyahu reportedly said. As a resident of Jerusalem, just 100 yards from his house, a café was blown up. Netanyahu also reportedly said that when he and his wife were going to the doctor's office, a suicide bomber blew himself up 30 yards from where they were walking.
According to Evans, Netanyahu explained to him that proportionally, the number of Jews who have been killed in the last year and a half, if you compare it to America per capita, would be 23,000 people. That would equate to not only the Twin Towers going down, but also the Sears Tower and several skyscrapers in Los Angeles.
Netanyahu reportedly told Evans that in 1968, Arafat hijacked an El Al plane. "Arafat became convinced this was a great card to play for blackmail, to achieve terror goals. The same can be said about a suicide bomber," Evans explained. "Once they are convinced in their own minds that they are achieving political and ideological goals, then they will continue doing it more aggressively."
Evans shared his own brush with terrorism. "I was in Beirut the night the marines were bombed. We were sharing our faith with marines and passing out Bibles to them. Within a few minutes, Hamas, which is on the U.S. government's terrorist list, blew up the barracks, killing 232 marines. The same Hamas organization blew up the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, and that same organization is active today and claimed responsibility for the latest suicide bombing."
Israel, in many ways, is a firewall to the West, according to Evans. "It's the last frontier before suicide bombers ship to the shores of America. Americans cannot afford to underestimate the seriousness of what's going on.
"It's affecting every Jew in this nation, this horrendous plague of terrorism," Evans concluded. "So what we see, we see the Jewish people experiencing the trauma that we experienced on Sept. 11. Remember back then? America was united. Almost every home was flying a flag and prayers were going up everywhere in our nation. Now the question is, will Americans unite behind the Jewish people?"
To learn more about the Jerusalem Prayer Team, visit www.jerusalemprayerteam.org