The Arch of Titus in Rome depicts the Roman victory over the Jews and destruction of the Second Temple on Tisha B’Av, 70 C.E.

By Pastor Jon Potter

Birmingham Pastor Jon Potter wrote the following prayer to encourage Christians to repent on Tisha B’av, a Jewish day of fasting, sadness and mourning, commemorating horrors and atrocities perpetrated against the Jewish people over the centuries, from the destruction of the First and Second Temples to numerous other catastrophic events. Potter is pastor of Birmingham’s Canvas Church and International Prayer Ambassador for JH Israel.

This year, Tisha B’Av is Sunday, August 11, and Potter has encouraged his church and prayer network, as well as Christians everywhere, to adopt the following prayer:

Father God, your word tells us in Leviticus 26:40-42, that if the nation of Israel would repent for the iniquity of their forefathers and the breaking of your holy covenant, that you would remember your covenant and restore promised blessings and heal their land. 

Lord, we understand that the principles of your Word are universal, and that in the same way, we believe that if the nations that have sinned against Israel, the Apple of your Eye, will own their atrocities and repent for them, that you will heal our lands as well. 

So, Lord, we humbly and circumspectly enter into this season of repentance of Tisha B’Av with the nation of Israel. Truly, we don’t even begin to know how to engage in this repentance, but trust that your Spirit will lead us as we try. We first join your servant David and ask you to search our hearts and see if there be any iniquity or evil way in us. 

Convict us of any prejudices and biases known and unknown against Israel and your people. Reveal any pride or root of bitterness that might be beneath the soil of our souls and we ask that you uproot these as you called Jeremiah to do. Forgive us personally for partnering with any deprecating conversation or coarse jesting about Jewish people or Jewish stereotypes. Forgive us for not honoring your people with the basic dignity owed to humankind. 

And for the collective atrocities against Israel through history, forgive we who are Christians for our ignorance, either inadvertent or deliberate, to cocoon ourselves from knowing the oppression your people have faced and upon being informed, remaining neutral or apathetic. 

Forgive our fathers and mothers and generations before who knew of Israel’s horrific oppression, yet remained silent with the excuse that your land, and your people, were too far away from being relevant in their daily lives.

Forgive every Christian, every denomination and every leader who have couched their apathy in the lie of replacement theology and defended and propagated it as sound doctrine. We repent for not aligning, and even more, not defending Israel every time her statehood was challenged. 

We repent for any tolerance of a two-state solution to a land which you declare is indivisible. 

Finally, you told us that “where your treasure is, so shall your heart be.” We repent for not partnering financially with Israel and with organizations that promote Zionism.

In all of this we ask humbly that you would hear our cries and that you would breathe upon these prayers and multiply their effect in the Earth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(Click for more on Birmingham’s Canvas Church.)