Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of March 15, 2021
Olive trees will be the topic for discussion at the Kumi Now online gathering on Tuesday, March 16 at 6pm, Jerusalem time (noon Eastern US time). We will be joined by Father Raed Abu Sahlieh, founder of the Olive Branch Foundation.
- Lord, we pray for farmers who cultivate olive groves to earn their livelihood in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We pray for an end to the wanton destruction of the olive trees by Israeli settlers who seek to force the farmers off the land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
On Friday, the 5th of March it was announced that Professor Mahmoud Sirdah from Al Azhar University, Gaza, has won the prestigious Global Faculty Award. He is the Professor of Blood Pathophysiology and Molecular Genetics and the award recognizes the outstanding contribution he has made to his profession and to his students.
- Lord, we are thankful for the gifts of Professor Mahmoud Sirdah and for his achievements despite the constraints of living under blockade conditions in the Gaza enclave. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.
The President of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, (PCBS), Dr Ola Awad revealed on the 7th of March that women are responsible for running 11% of all Palestinian households. However, their participation in decision making positions is still very limited compared to that of Palestinian men.
- Lord, we give thanks for the commitment and endurance of so many Palestinian women who have worked hard to keep their families and wider communities safe and strong. We pray that more women will be included in decision making on different levels. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
On the 5th of March, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reported that 35 Palestinian owned structures were demolished or seized in the previous two weeks. Citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities went ahead with the demolitions which displaced 98 people, among them 53 children.
- Lord of compassion and mercy, we pray for an end to the Israeli demolitions which cause untold suffering and homelessness to so many Palestinian families. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
During Pope Francis’ recent visit to Iraq, he visited the ruined churches of Mosul, in an area formerly held by Islamic State militants. He celebrated Mass on Sunday, the 7th of March at a stadium in Irbil, saying that Iraq would remain in his heart.
- Lord, we bring the Iraqi people in general, and Iraqi Christians in particular, before you and thank you that Christians have had a presence in this country since the 1st century AD. So many Christians have been forced to leave the country to escape violence. We pray for those who remain, that they will be safe and granted equal rights with other Iraqi citizens. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
On Tuesday, the 9th of March, two boys were gunned down in the town of Jaljulia. They were sitting outside, just near the police station, when the attack occurred. The shooting killed 14-year-old Muhammad Ades and seriously injured 12-year-old Mustafa Hamed. Once again voices have been raised in protest over the ongoing violence in the Arab Israeli community. Muhammad is the twenty third Arab Israeli to die in violent circumstances this year.
- Lord, we pray for the family of Muhammad as they grieve his loss. We also pray for Hamed’s recovery from his gunshot wounds. We pray that the Israeli police will thoroughly investigate this violent crime. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
On Wednesday, the 10th of March, B’tselem activists filmed armed Israeli soldiers arresting five young Palestinian boys aged 8-12 years. They had been picking a seasonal wild plant, Akoub (common in Palestinian cooking), in the South Hebron Hills to sell to a local shopkeeper as their fathers had recently lost their jobs. Settlers from the nearby Havat Maon outpost started to harass them and then soldiers picked them up and forced them into a military jeep to be taken for questioning.
- Lord, we pray for an end to the attacks on Palestinian children by settlers and soldiers in the occupied Palestinian Territories. We pray that the international community will speak out over the arrest and detention of hundreds of Palestinian minors by Israel every year. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.
- 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 prayers.