By George Whitten, BosNewsLife Chief Middle East Correspondent reporting from Israel
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (BosNewsLife)–- A song written by American Christians to encourage embattled Israel, entitled, “A Prayer Under Fire,” has aired for the first time on Israeli radio and television, BosNewsLife learned Wednesday, January 14.
The song was aired by Israeli radio and then aired live on Israel’s broadcaster Channel 10. A recording of the song, with pictures from this conflict, was posted on the Internet’s YouTube channel.
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Anthony Chapman and his wife Irene, from Rhode Island, told Worthy News they wrote song in the middle of a recently troubled night when rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip into the Be’er Sheva area. “The first half of the song was written in the first few days after the first rockets fell in Beer Sheva. We knew rockets had been falling in Sderot for years, but when we heard the sirens for the first time, we really understood what they had been going through,” they told BosNewsLife.
The couple has been living in Israel for over two years, as Anthony Chapman has been studying for a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies at Ben Gurion University located in Be’er Sheva. They also volunteer as worship leaders at a local Messianic congregation.
Songwriting plays however an important part in Anthony Chapman’s life at a time when Israel is fighting Hamas militants across the border in the Gaza Strip.”I process my emotions through songwriting, and so this is what came out of that experience. The second verse is taken from Psalm 91, which in a way is a description of our situation here,” he said about the song.
“It speaks of seeking shelter [in bomb shelters and protected rooms], and traps of the enemy, such as tunnels and booby-trapped houses in the Gaza Strip. It also talks of fear in the night, such as sirens and explosions, because of incoming rockets from the Gaza Strip.” Chapman said he saw the song as “a personal answer from God.”
He said he hopes their song can speak to others in this war and other conflicts around the world. “It is a simple prayer for help to God that says “It’s horrible down here and we need You to help us – You’re the only one who can,” Chapman said.
He said that in the current conflict “it seems so obvious that God has been involved in protecting people in a major way. Every time there is a siren, I turn on the radio and almost every time they say, “the rockets fell within the city limits, but in open areas, and no one was hurt.”
He said when rockets hit buildings, many people got out just in time, although Israeli authorities have reported some deaths. “We know one teenager who should have been in a classroom that was hit by a rocket, but school was canceled a few hours before the rocket fell.”
That their song was aired, was something of a miracle, Anthony Chapman suggested. “We thought maybe others would like to hear the song, so we recorded it at home, and then sent it by email to various radio stations. When we didn’t get any response, we decided to go down to the station and see if we could play it for someone there. We just happened to run into the right person at the right time, and within an hour we were playing our song live on the radio.”
Since it was aired, they received a phone call from Channel 10. “They ask us us to come and play live on their morning news show.” The couple said they hope it will encourage people to trust God more than ever.
“War can be something that turns our hearts to God. What better or more natural response is there in times of difficulty than to pray?,” the couple said.