Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of May 15, 2023

Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of May 15, 2023

The Kumi online gathering on Tuesday, the 16th of May, focused on the ‘ongoing Nakba’ suffered by Palestinians who are displaced from their homes by Israeli annexation. The UN celebrates World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on Friday, the 19th of May. Week 21 of Kumi Now will consider how tolerance and cultural diversity could hold the key to developing the dialogue necessary to achieve peace and sustainable development in the Holy Land.

·        Lord, you delight in diversity and creativity. Help us to find ways to reach out to those from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds with tolerance, trust and respect. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Palestinians are commemorating the Nakba this week. May 15th reminds them of the catastrophe which began seventy-five years ago, in 1948 when five hundred and thirty Palestinian villages and towns were destroyed and over seven hundred and fifty thousand Palestinians were expelled from their homes and villages or fled for their lives. A whole generation of Palestinians have now been constrained to live out their lives as refugees.

·        God of love and justice, as we commemorate the Palestinian Nakba (May 15th) this week, our hearts break with the grief of 75 years of different forms of injustice and suffering in Palestine. Though our hearts break, we remain steadfast. Keep our courage and resilience strong and renew within the Palestinian people the will and the hope for strategic peaceful resistance to on-going abuses. Lord, we cry out that the continuing Nakba of Palestinian dispossession and suffering must end! We pray for all Palestinians at home and abroad, especially refugees driven from their homes in 1948, they still long to return to their rightful homes. How long, O Lord, will this continue?
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Recent data from the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF), an Arab-Jewish NGO advocating for Bedouins in the Naqab Desert, show approximately 15,000 buildings have been razed in the last six years in the Bedouin areas of the Naqab. This year has already seen a sharp rise in demolitions with the Israel Lands Authority (ILA) distributing 450 demolition notices to residents across Naqab in February.

‘Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of the destitute,

Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ (Prov.31:8-9)

  • Lord, we pray for the Palestinian Bedouin villagers who see their homes bulldozed by the Israeli authorities, time after time. We pray that many people in Palestine, Israel and around the world will speak out for the rights of these destitute people to live undisturbed on their land, free from such relentless harassment. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Saturday May 13th, Israel and Islamic Jihad agreed to a ceasefire, after days of violence that have claimed the lives of at least 35 people – almost all of them Palestinians.

  • Lord, we thank you for all the people involved in the negotiations to bring about the ceasefire and to deescalate the mounting violence. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

The Israeli Government will advance a bill that could end funding for most East Jerusalem schools. The Co-sponsored bill by far-right lawmaker Simcha Rothman would ban funding for East Jerusalem schools teaching the official Palestinian curriculum, arguing that it includes ‘incitement to terrorism’.

  •  Lord, we are asked to deny ourselves and forget our narratives in order to receive our rightful funds! We pray for the steadfastness of our schools as they face financial crises to remain faithful to the message of education. Lord, evil tempts us with our own money but we know your will of truth and justice will be done. Lord in your mercy… 

The Israeli army ordered four Palestinian families to leave their homes in Hamsa al-Foqa in the northern Jordan Valley because the Israeli military intends to carry out exercises in that area, a local activist said on Tuesday. Rights groups said that the military drills are actually intended to drive Palestinians out of their homes and out of the occupied Jordan Valley as a whole, which Israel hopes to annex one day, and house it with Jewish settlers.

  •  Lord, we pray for an end to the constant harassment and disruption caused by the Israeli military to the lives of the Bedouin people in the Jordan Valley. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails conducted a one-day hunger strike demanding the immediate release of sick Palestinian prisoner Walid Daqqa and an end of the Israeli policy of solitary confinement. Daqqa is a Palestinian writer and activist who has been imprisoned by Israel since 1986.

  •  We pray for people around the world who are courageously choosing to resist injustice in creative ways, like hunger strikes. We pray especially for the Palestinian prisoners who are under administrative detention who have been detained without charge or trial. Lord please sustain all the hunger-strikers, and protect them. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  •  We join the World Council of Churches prayer cycle and pray for the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan and  Nepal. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.