Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of April 27, 2020

Sabeel_logo_small.pngThe drastic cut in US aid under the Trump Administration has left hospitals in East Jerusalem seriously under-equipped and ill-prepared to deal with the COVID-19 virus. The Israeli government has been slow to respond to requests for help, and, until recent weeks, had not registered the number of cases in East Jerusalem or majority Arab cities within Israel. As Israel begins to lift restrictions, identifying and treating those with the virus is becoming more and more important.

Lord, we cry out to you as we think of those living in cramped and impoverished places like East Jerusalem. We pray that this virus may not run like wildfire through such places. We pray too that the Israeli government will start to share their resources more equitably to limit the spread of the virus throughout the land. Lord in your mercy...hear our prayer.

Kumi-Logo-01-e1536789062138.pngThis week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Palestinian Center for  Development and Freedoms, MADA. It was established as a nonprofit organization in 2006, with its headquarters in Ramallah. It works to support and protect journalists in the Palestinian Territories. They are currently facing greater restrictions and suffer frequent assaults from the Israeli authorities as they try to go about their work.

Lord, we thank you for the work of the MADA centre as they seek to help journalists to continue their witness. We thank you too for the courage of journalists as they shed light on the darker aspects of the occupation of Palestine, even at the cost of their own liberty. Lord in your mercy...hear our prayer.

Since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown there has been a spike in the number of attacks by Jewish settlers, supported by the Israeli army, on Palestinians. There have already been twenty three settler attacks in April according to B’Tselem, despite the movement restrictions ordered countrywide.

Lord, we pray for an end to these violent settler attacks and for the Israeli government’s tacit support for such actions by providing military support. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.

On Monday the 20th of April virtual vandals disrupted the Holocaust Remembrance Zoom event organised by the Israeli Embassy in Germany. They posted anti-Semitic videos and images during the time they were logged in. The event, which hosted the Holocaust survivor Zvi Herschel, was suspended and reconvened shortly afterwards by invitation only. This incident was referred to as ‘Zoombombing’ and security measures are now being strengthened to protect such meetings.

Lord, we are deeply saddened by such incidents of slander and hate. We pray for an end to these outbursts of abuse online and in person. We must remember to, ‘keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit’, (Psalm 34:13). Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Benjamin Netanyahu has secured his tenure as Israel’s longest serving prime minister. He has come to an agreement with his main opponent Benny Gantz. The initial plan was to set up an emergency government for six months to deal with the Covid 19 virus, however, the agreement signed was for a full term government with Netanyahu serving as prime minister for one and a half years and then Benny Gantz taking over. The annexation of large swathes of Palestinian land in the West Bank will be brought to a vote in the cabinet and the Knesset, as early as the 1st of July.

Lord, we pray that international lawmakers and foreign governments around the world will speak out against the illegal land grab supported by Israel and the US. We pray that the Palestinian land will not be stolen while the world is distracted by the outbreak of the virus. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.

The level of water in the Sea of Galilee has reached a sixteen year record high after an unusually wet winter. The level of the freshwater lake is just five inches below its capacity.

If it reaches its peak, predicted in early May, the Degania Dam, which regulates water flow to the Jordan River, will be opened.

Lord, we look at the beautiful photographs of the Sea of Galilee this springtime in full flood with  trees appearing to grow out of the water. And yet the scenes are strangely empty and we remember the lockdown due to the virus and think of those confined to home and those suffering from lack of food and water. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia,Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Lord in your mercy...hear our prayer.

Lectionary Prayer
John 10:1-10

Patient and loving God, we stand at the gates of lockdown and peer through.
We keep creating our own ways,
believing that we know what is in our own best interest,
and we ignore the voice of the one Shepherd who will guide us to peace and hope.
We wander aimlessly and then wonder why we get so lost.
Help us stop and listen to the Shepherd’s voice.
Let us place our trust in the Shepherd who has never failed us,
who loves and guides our lives.
Forgive us our stubbornness and stupidity.
For we ask this in Christ’s Name.  Amen.


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