Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Wave of Prayer – Thursday 26th March

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of Aid Watch Palestine (AWP). This is an independent Palestinian organisation which seeks to stimulate and channel international aid effectively. It has recently helped farmers in Gaza to access aid after 29% of agricultural land in Gaza was destroyed by the 2014 Israeli bombardment.

  • Lord, we pray for the work of organisations like AWP, which seek to help those in need and to make good use of precious resources. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The COVID-19 Coronavirus continues to spread around the world. There are now more than 250,000 confirmed cases with over 11,000 deaths worldwide. Life worldwide is becoming more and more restricted as governments attempt to slow the spread of the virus and allow medical staff time to respond to the unprecedented levels of people needing treatment.

  • Lord of healing, we pray that you strengthen everyone around the world as they attempt to find a new way to live in the face of the current pandemic. Grant your restoring grace to all those medical workers who are putting their own health and the health of their families at risk to treat those sickest among us. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Palestinians from the West Bank who work in Israel are being made to find accommodation for up to two months or are forced to give up their jobs and remain in the West Bank. During the current pandemic these workers are being forced to live between different and complicated Israeli and Palestinian regulations put in place to combat the virus.

  • O God, at this time of uncertainty and challenge, be with all those workers who are forced to follow two different sets of rules in order to earn money for their families. Be with those who must live away from their families to earn money and cast your protective and assuring presence over their families at this difficult time. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Despite the restrictions on movement and gathering enforced against both Israelis and Palestinians, Israeli occupation forces continue to demolish homes, conduct night raids to arrest children and young men, and harass communities (especially the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya where the Israeli NGO B’Tselem notes that forces “invade the neighbourhood daily, even at night, and more so on weekends, for no apparent reason.” At the same time, illegal Israeli settlers uproot Olive trees and create new illegal outposts in the Jordan Valley.

  • God of the oppressed and the vulnerable, be with all those who are threatened not only by the ongoing pandemic but also by the harassment and unjust actions of the Israeli occupation forces and illegal settlers. Grant the courage and conviction to the international community so that they may stand up and take action against this ongoing injustice. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Palestinian prisoners serving sentences in Israeli jails for security-related offences are threatening to go on a hunger strike to protest measures enforced by the Israel Prison Service, seeking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The prisoners object to searches conducted in their cells by prison guards without any protective gloves or face masks, as well as a ban on leaving cells and meeting their attorneys and family members, who the prison service fears might infect prisoners or guards with the virus if allowed into prisons.

  • Lord of all, be with all prisoners at this time as they worry about the high risk of contracting the Coronavirus from each other or prison guards. Be with all those who are unjustly held without trial or reason, may they gain solace from your continuing presence. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary prayer

John 11:1-45

Holy God, Creator of Life,

you call us out of our dark places under occupation and pandemic,

offering us the grace of new life.

When we see nothing but hopelessness,

you surprise us with the breath of your spirit.

Call us out of our complacency and routines,

set us free from our self-imposed bonds,

and fill us with your spirit of life, compassion, and peace,

In the name of Jesus, your anointed one, we pray.

Amen.

Wave of Prayer – Thursday 19th March

Week 22 of the Kumi Now initiative is now online (https://kuminow.com/al-haq). This Kumi week, we are focusing on natural resource exploitation in the occupied Palestinian territory. This means we want to take the time to read about Al-Haq, their work, and Na’imah Mohammed Dabak’s story before taking part in the Kumi Action for this week to raise awareness of this exploitation.

  • Gracious Lord, we pray that Israel stops the theft of Palestinian resources, the resources you have given to our land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The closure due to COVID-19 continues in Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, and Beit Jala. In other areas Israel is putting in place stricter and stronger restrictions as the number of cases continues to rise. At present there are no known cases in Gaza, where any cases would put a huge strain on an already over-stretched healthcare system.

  • Lord, your son Jesus Christ, travelled through the towns and villages of this land “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Grant your grace in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love. Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday 11th March, Palestinian teenager, Mohammed Hamayel, 15, was killed after being hit in the face by live ammunition fired by Israeli occupation forces during clashes in the village of Beita, south of the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank.

  • O Lord be with the family of Mohammed as they mourn their loss. Grant them grace and peace to grieve and remember this young man whose life was so cruelly cut short. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Palestine Olympic Committee (POC) President General Jibril Rajoub has praised the contribution of the organisation’s female staff. He gathered with the women who work at the POC to pay tribute to the impact that they make, saying “we honour the Palestinian women who have been able to impose their presence with their hard determination to serve their country and their cause…women are mothers and sisters that we cherish, and their pride and effort has made a prominent contribution to the sports system.”

  • Dear God, we thank you for women everywhere, and pray for their continued strength and determination. Lay your hand upon them and guide them in their constant struggle towards peace and justice, for themselves, their families, and their countries. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Thursday 12th March, Israeli occupation forces demolished a Palestinian-owned house in Freidis village, in the occupied West Bank, east of the city of Bethlehem, according to a local source. Forces raided the area and proceeded to demolish the one floor, 130-square-metre house, which belonged to Hazem Abu Muhaimid, under the pretext it was built without Israeli permission which isn’t required in the West Bank under Palestinian control.

  • Lord, we pray for all those who are forced to demolish their own homes or to have the Israeli government to demolish them in Palestine. We pray that this inhumane, unjust, and illegal policy will cease, and that Palestinians will be granted the right to build homes for their families. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki strongly criticized the labelling of Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem as “non-Israeli” and “Arab residents” in a US State Department report. The minister accused the United States of adopting the terms used by the right-wing government in Israel.

  • Lord, we pray that international law will triumph over those who seek to remove all rights and recognition of the Palestinian people, their culture, and history. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary Prayer

Fourth Sunday in Lent – John 9:1-41

Lord Jesus Christ – you are the light of the world. We are poor, miserable, wretched and blind. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Come and speak order into chaos, and light into darkness of occupation in Palestine. Heal us that we may see. And seeing — may we see you Jesus, the Son of Man, and believe in you. And believing, may we worship you — honouring you as the one who restores the sight of the blind that our eyes may see the salvation of God.

Amen

Wave of Prayer – Thursday 12th March

This week’s Kumi Now looks at the work of the YMCA/YWCA, Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI). This initiative helps to introduce international partners to life under occupation in Palestine through exchange programs and advocacy tours. It also organizes the Olive Tree Campaign which distributes olive saplings, sponsored by people around the world, to Palestinian farmers.

  • Lord, we thank you for the work of the JAI and especially for their work to restore precious olive trees to Palestinian farmers. We continue to trust in your protection and mercy Lord, ‘like a green olive tree in the house of God’ (Psalm52:8). Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Palestinian Authority called a 30-day state of emergency throughout the West Bank after twenty COVID-19 cases were confirmed in a Bethlehem hotel. Alongside this, Israeli authorities as part of their public health restrictions, in agreement with the Palestinian Authority, have closed checkpoints only allowing people to leave if they have to travel directly to the airport or have special permission.

  • Lord we pray for those in the frontline of treating this new virus. We pray for those who have been diagnosed with the virus. We also pray for those whose livelihoods have been affected by ongoing and constantly changing public health restrictions. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

As part of infection control measures in Palestine and Israel, many church services, gatherings, and events have been cancelled. On Sunday 8th March, to allow those in areas where churches are closed, a number of Palestinian clergy live-streamed their services on social media.

  • Lord, thank you for the ability of clergy to continue to reach out to their congregations despite the difficult conditions. We pray for all those involved in organizing events and gatherings as they make decisions about their event and do their best to meet the ever-changing conditions. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

At the Israeli election on Monday, the 2nd of March, Prime Minister Netanyahu did not secure a parliamentary majority to form the next government. His party and their allies secured 58 of the 120 seats in the Knesset. For Palestinians a government led by Netanyahu, or by his rival Benny Gantz, would still mean a continuation of the occupation.

  • Lord, we pray that the international community will speak out strongly over the Israeli occupation of Palestine and Israeli plans to annex, even more Palestinian territory. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Peace Now human rights group has disclosed that Amazon has been offering free deliveries to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, while charging neighboring Palestinian communities for its services, unless they select their address as being in Israel. Amazon has now confirmed that it will expand free deliveries to Palestinian addresses.

  • Lord, we thank you for the work of human rights’ groups such as Peace Now which draw attention to the way corporations legitimize illegal Israeli settlements and discriminate against Palestinians. Lord , in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Internationals in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are facing verbal and physical abuse stemming from fear caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. On Sunday, the 1st of March, a Palestinian woman assaulted a Japanese aid worker in Ramallah. The Palestinian woman was arrested after she was filmed pushing the Japanese woman and shouting ‘Corona, corona’ at her. Dr Nimer, the spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of the Interior denounced the attack, saying ‘it does not represent the morals and traditions of the Palestinian people and culture’.

  • Lord, you are compassionate and merciful, help us to learn from you and to be kind and tender-hearted towards others, and not allow fear to overwhelm us. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, the 4th of March, the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished part of a Palestinian owned home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mokabber . The Israeli bulldozers demolished the home of Iyad Fatafta, a Palestinian citizen, claiming it had been built without an Israeli permit.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for Mr Fatafta’s family, who are now homeless. We pray for all those Palestinians faced with the dilemma of needing to provide shelter for their families and yet being denied the permits to allow them to build. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer

A gas explosion on Thursday, 5th March in Nusseirat refugee camp, Gaza, has killed 12 people and injured at least 56 others including women and children. The explosion, in a bakery, caused severe damage to shops, homes, and stalls as well as putting pressure on an already over stretched healthcare system.

  • Lord, we pray for the families of those killed in the explosion and resulting fire. We pray that those injured will have a quick and full recovery from their injuries. Be with all those affected by this tragic event and give them the strength to cope and rebuild. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Prayer for 3rd Sunday of Lent

Dear Lord, we are all guilty of judging others. This keeps us from connecting with others in loving, healthy ways. We see threat from may angles, from others within our community, from those of different religions and from internationals. Help remove this tendency from our hearts. Help us to see our brothers and sisters the way you see them and to see the person rather than being led by fear.

Amen

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