Sabeel Wave of Prayer- Thursday 4th April
Following rocket fire from Gaza and heavy bombardment by Israeli forces, the ‘Great March of Return’ on Friday was much smaller than normal. On Saturday 30th March, hundreds of thousands of mainly peaceful protestors marched at the fence to commemorate Land Day, and to call for the right to return to their lands. 207 protestors were injured by Israeli live fire and tear gas, with four young men killed.
- Lord we pray for those who protest peacefully for their rights. We mourn for those who have lost their lives and pray for those who were wounded. Grant to the Israeli forces and administration the wisdom to abide by international law and remove the oppressive restrictions placed on the people of Gaza. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
The Kumi Now initiative focuses this week on the work of the MA’AN Development Centre.
The Centre documents violations by Israel of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child including child arrests, exploitation, torture, denial of the right to play and access to education.
- Lord we pray for the work of the MA’AN Development Centre as they work to protect children, who are so vulnerable and defenseless in an occupied land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Palestinians at home and in the diaspora marked the 43rd anniversary of Land Day on Saturday, the 30th of March. On this day in 1976 Palestinians demonstrated against the Israeli government’s confiscation of 21,000 dunams, (5,189 acres) of their land.
- Lord, so many Palestinians have lost their homes and their land. They are being forced to survive in an ever-shrinking area, while Jewish-only settlements proliferate around them. We pray that international bodies would act against the illegal confiscation of land and the breaches in international law. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
The World Health Organization (WHO), has strongly condemned Israeli forces for killing the volunteer paramedic, Sajed Mizher. He was on duty on Wednesday, the 27th of March, at the Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem.
- Lord, we pray for the family of Sajed as they mourn his loss. We pray for the protection of the health workers who put their lives at risk to support and care for those in need. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Sabeel Jerusalem held an Easter Egg Hunt in Bethlehem for 120 children recognised by different charitable organisations as being at the margins of society.
- Lord, we thank you for this opportunity to share joy and laughter with children who have experienced much sadness in their young lives. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Fully armed Israeli soldiers forced their way into Haj Ziad Jaber School in the city of Hebron and took away a ten-year-old boy, claiming he had been throwing stones. Students in two elementary schools in Tuqu, southeast of Bethlehem, were frightened and had to be dismissed early after Israeli settlers, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, tried to force their way onto the school premises.
- Lord, you told us to “start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:5). We pray that children in Palestine be allowed to attend school and complete their education without these constant attacks and disruption by the Israeli occupying forces. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Israeli authorities announced the cancellation of all family visits from Gaza to Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons on Monday, the 25th of March, until further notice. According to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, Palestinians are entitled to family visits, which can “only be limited for security reasons, on a case by case basis, but never for strictly punitive or disciplinary purposes.”
- Lord, we pray for thousands of Palestinian prisoners and their family members. The families wait for so long to obtain permits to visit, they undertake long journeys to see their relatives and endure checks and delays while crossing Israeli checkpoints and at the prisons. Now families in Gaza have no hope of seeing their loved ones. We pray that this decision will soon be revoked. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
On Monday 8th April, Sabeel will hold their annual walk along the Contemporary Way of the Cross with the Palestinian community, in preparation for the Holy season of Easter. This walk joins together the suffering of Christ on the Cross with the suffering of Palestinians at present, and connects the stations of the Cross with contemporary issues of injustice within Israel and Palestine.
- God, we ask that you be with those attending this year’s walk. Send your Holy Spirit to guide them as they remember the suffering Christ experienced as he was being led to the cross, and as they link the present suffering of the Palestinian people to it. Remind them too, God, that the joy of Easter Sunday follows the pain of Good Friday, and so too the present injustices in the world will end and you will have the final victory. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
- We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of the Balkans- Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.