Prayer vigil for PalestineWritten by ACT Palestine Forum
February 21, 2013
Please join this ACT Palestine Forum prayer vigil for the Christian communities in Palestine and Israel, for all those who are suffering in the Holy Land, for Palestinians and Israelis, and for peace in the Middle East and the world.
- Pray together as a family, as office/parish colleagues, or as a congregation, on the 24th of each month.
- Partner with other churches located in your area to host a service of prayer on the 24th of the month and also invite speakers from the Middle East, show a video, organize a discussion group, have a meal together, or write advocacy letters.
- Share prayers and worship resources you have developed with other congregations in your community or send them to us for posting on the website.
- Promote participation in the prayer vigil through church bulletins, newsletters, and electronic media.
- Connect with others! Sign up your congregation, parish, synod, diocese, denomination, etc. to be listed on the Web as a participant in the prayer vigil.
This global ecumenical prayer vigil begins on 24 December 2012 and will continue across the globe, on the 24th of every month, until the Israeli occupation is dismantled, violence in the Middle East ends, and all can celebrate a just and lasting negotiated resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
By engaging in this vigil we are declaring that God’s grace is the source of all peace and through prayer we are humbling ourselves to God’s will for all creation. We offer this prayer vigil as an opportunity for congregations to incorporate the welfare of the people of the Middle East into the heart of their church life: in their worship, in their learning, and in their advocacy.
We urge people to see this prayer vigil as an outpouring of concern for Palestinians and Israelis – Christians, Muslims, and Jews – whose lives are overtaken by broken relationships and the conflict that flows from these divisions.
A suggested text follows:
Prayer Vigil for Peace in the Middle East
24th of every month
Leader 1: (introduction) In this season of Lent, as we make our spiritual journey through the wilderness and prepare as a faith community to meet the risen Christ at Easter, we are reminded that God calls us to lives rooted in justice. We pray for a change of heart that we may be in right relationship with God and neighbor. Our fast is from indifference to people living in poverty and suffering oppression. On this day, we pray with and for our sisters and brothers in Palestine and Israel who have called for an ecumenical prayer vigil across the globe on the 24th of every month that will continue until we all can celebrate an end to the occupation and a just and lasting resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Leader 2: Let us pray for the peace of Jerusalem, of Israel, and of Palestine.
L1: O God, source of all goodness and compassion . . .
L2: Where people live with suspicion and fear, uncertainty and upheaval as their constant companions,
Congregation (C): grant that your holy and life-giving Spirit may move among us, breaking down walls that divide, giving light and courage to the refugee and the most vulnerable in society, and ushering in the day that all may live in safety and security.
L1: God of hope . . .
L2: when hearts are discouraged and tired, where political prisoners are separated from their loved ones, when husbands and wives are not permitted to live together in Jerusalem because of unjust laws, when whole families despair because they have been forced out of their homes,
C: grant that your love and life-sustaining power will flow, encouraging, energizing, freeing, uniting and protecting all your children who struggle to keep hope alive.
L1: O God, our creator . . .
L2: Where unemployment is staggeringly high, where many have difficult access to medical care and basic necessities, where land and water and other resources are taken illegally,
C: reveal your justice and life-preserving grace to us, opening our eyes, inspiring leaders to work for the common good. Embolden advocates and activists to speak truth to power. Strengthen teachers, social workers, pastors and bishops, scientists and lawyers, farmers and laborers, and all who help in the delivery of humanitarian services to ensure that everyone may enjoy a fair portion of the abundance of the earth.
L1: God of peace . . .
L2: Where there is reliance on the force of arms to frighten, harm or subjugate a neighbor, where children cannot walk to school without the threat of being attacked along the way, where farmers cannot harvest their crops without being harassed,
C: grant that your righteousness and life-affirming presence be proclaimed, challenging Israelis and Palestinians to follow a nonviolent path toward the end of the occupation, agitating for the protection of human rights, and comforting those whose lives have been afflicted by abuse and violence.
L1: God of reconciliation . . .
L2: Where relationships are broken, where people are isolated – from each other and also from goods and services that alleviate suffering – and where political processes meant to restore dignity produce cynicism and anger,
C: grant that your mercy and life-restoring steadfastness may astound us, animating in us an eagerness to forgive and be forgiven. Empower individuals, communities, and nations to be generous and tenderhearted. Bless Palestinians and Israelis who dare to take risks for peace. Guide and refresh all those who accompany them.
L1: All this, and everything else that is needed for wholeness in the Holy Land, we pray, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
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