Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of April 3, 2023
Christians around the world celebrated Palm Sunday last week. Many Palestinian Christians dress in their traditional clothes and hold palm leaf branches as they attend church services to mark the beginning of Holy Week.
• Lord Jesus, humble and gentle one, you are our Saviour and King. Be not far from us and guide our feet into the way of peace. Lord, in your mercy..
Mr Ken Sparks, one of the leaders of Friends of Sabeel Australia for years, died peacefully in Brisbane on Monday the 3rd of April after a short struggle with cancer.
• Lord we pray for the family of our friend Ken. We are thankful for his life and his commitment to the cause of justice and peace inside the church and in Palestine. May your spirit comfort us all who mourn the loss of a kind and special person and friend. Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers
On Thursday, the 30th of March, Palestinians commemorated the First Land Day, which took place in 1976. A general strike and marches had been organized in Arab towns to protest against the forcible seizure of large swathes of Palestinian land by the Israeli authorities. At that time the Israeli army shot six unarmed Arab Israeli protestors, wounded more than a hundred others and arrested many more in the ensuing clashes.
• Merciful Lord, we bring the Palestinian people before you as they continue to endure suffering and oppression under the Israeli aggression. We pray that they will continue to hold onto their hope and vision for freedom from occupation and return to their homeland. Lord, in your mercy…
Sabeel will be hosting an Easter Service on the theme of the Resurrection on Tuesday, the 11th of April, at 5pm Palestine Time, (6pm Israeli Time). The service will be celebrated jointly by Rev. Dr. B. De Neice Welch and the Rev. Dr Naim Ateek. Dr De Neice Welch is Pastor of Bidwell Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh. Sabeel Jerusalem hosted a visiting group from Pittsburgh in early January this year.
• Lord, we remember that at the end of all the suffering on the Way of the Cross, we have the hope of resurrection on Easter Day. We pray that the Sabeel Easter Service will sound a note of hopefulness in these dark days in the Holy Land. Lord, in your mercy..
Israeli police disrupted a football match between Balata Center and Jabal Mukaber football teams at the Al-Husseini International Stadium in the northern West Bank last Thursday evening. They fired a barrage of tear gas canisters which affected children and adult spectators, as well as players. The fans were forced to flood onto the pitch to avoid the tear gas attack.
• Lord, we pray that those caught up in this assault will recover from the tear gas inhalation without suffering serious ill effects. We pray for an end to these unprovoked attacks on Palestinians by the Israeli army. Lord, in your mercy..
During the course of 2022 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem and the West Bank have suffered the demolition, or the seizure, of 953 of their buildings by the Israeli authorities. Building permits are rarely, if ever granted to Palestinians living in Israeli-controlled areas and their homes then become targets for demolition orders.
• Lord, we pray for Palestinian families, especially the children who have to witness their homes and schools torn down before their eyes. Lord, in your mercy..
B’Tselem has reported that a father of four children living in Gaza City has been denied a travel permit by the Israeli authorities, despite his critical state of health. Khaled Al Bahtini has kidney failure and has been on dialysis for the past sixteen years. He now needs to attend al-Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem to undergo an artery transplant to enable him to continue with further dialysis. Repeated requests for travel permits since December 2022 have been turned down by the Israeli authorities.
• Merciful Lord, we bring Khaled’s suffering and frustration before you as he awaits a travel permit to obtain life-saving treatment. We pray that the Israeli authorities will listen to requests from human rights organisations and grant the permit he so desperately needs. Lord, in your mercy…
• 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..