Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Nov. 8, 2021

Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Nov. 8, 2021

Last week’s Kumi Now online gathering reflected on how we can confront antisemitism, as well as other forms of racism, to help bring about healing and reconciliation in our communities. The Kumi Now gathering on Tuesday, the 16th of November will focus on the rights of Palestinian children. The Universal Children’s Day is celebrated on Saturday, the 20th of November, but Palestinian children are often denied the rights and opportunities available to children elsewhere in the world and only a short distance away in the settlements and in Israel.

  • Lord, so many Palestinian children suffer violence living under the Israeli occupation. Many see their homes and schools demolished, hundreds are arrested each year and endure trials and imprisonment far from their families. We pray for an end to the Israeli occupation and an end to the abuse of the rights of Palestinian children. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

The Roman Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa welcomed Catholic worshippers from many different Catholic Churches in the Holy Land to the small shrine at Deir Rafat on Saturday, the 30th of October. He spoke to the worshippers about the synodal journey, ‘First: we want to set out, just like the two disciples of Emmaus. Second: we want to do it together, as Church, as community. That is why I find it beautiful and significant that in all parts of our Churches (Galilee, Palestine, Jordan and Cyprus), we are at this moment gathered together’. He urged the worshippers, Palestinians, migrants and asylum seekers from different backgrounds and traditions to come together, to get to know one another and to witness as Christians in the Holy Land.

  • Lord Jesus, in the midst of war and hatred, walls, occupation and discrimination, fear and rejection, instruct us how to be instruments of justice and peace, pardon and reconciliation.’ (Father David Neuhaus.SJ). Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

During these past few weeks the 26th UN Climate Change Conference has been taking place in Glasgow in the U.K. We remember the Palestinian organizations working to find ways of protecting their environment. We give thanks for the work done by the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University to protect the al-Makhrour Valley, south of Jerusalem from urban encroachment and biodiversity loss.

  • Lord God, you spread out the earth and what comes from it, (Is 42:5), help us to care for your creation and to do all in our power to look after the world we live in, balancing the needs of nature and the people living in the land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers. 

Miqdad al-Qawasmi, a 24-year-old Palestinian from Hebron, has been on hunger strike for 103 days in protest of his administrative detention order. This order allows the Israeli authorities to detain Palestinians without charge or trial for renewable periods of three to six months. They are denied any right of appeal or any information about the reason for their detention. Along with seven other Palestinian prisoners, Miqdad has been driven to starve himself to draw attention to his desperate plight. Currently 544 Palestinian prisoners are being held on administrative detention.

  • Dear Lord, we bring before you the Palestinian prisoners living under administrative detention, especially those on hunger strike. We pray that the Israeli Prison Services will release the hunger strikers and revoke these harsh detention orders. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Philippe Lazzarini, Head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees,(UNRWA), has warned that the cuts imposed by international donors to the agency have brought it close to collapse. The agency is now struggling to deliver its most essential services and Palestinian refugees are being left with a deep sense of abandonment. The U.K. government has cut its relief grant by more than half. At a special conference in Brussels this month, the agency will ask international donors to reconsider.

  • Lord, we pray that international governments will contribute towards the core funding of UNRWA. The agency covers the costs of thousands of teachers and health workers who help to invest in the future of Palestinian refugees. Without the work of  UNRWA, the long term stability of the region will be in jeopardy. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On Thursday, the 4th of November, Pope Francis met with the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas. The Pope and other Vatican officials were keen to urge the resumption of peace talks with Israel. The Vatican stated, ‘It is absolutely necessary to reactivate direct dialogue’ and suggested that the international community should help with  ‘more vigorous effort’.

  • Lord, we long for the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. We pray that international governments would help Israel and Palestine to engage in dialogue and work towards a just and sustainable peace. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Abdallah Jildeh, a 23-year-old Gazan, has just become the first Palestinian to be invested at the Institute of the Incarnate Word. He trusts that his priestly vocation is a gift from God and looks forward to serving God and the church in the world.

  • Lord, we give thanks for Abdallah’s vocation and we pray for all the people of Gaza who live under very difficult conditions. Lord, we ask with Abdallah for your protection ‘for the many people who have no shelter or home’. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Oceania: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia (Mao-hi Nui), Kanaky, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.