Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Jan. 4, 2021

Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Jan. 4, 2021

Sabeel_logo_small.png‘united as One’ is the title of a new song which has been released by 23 young Palestinian refugees to express their faith in the future. With the help of six musicians they have worked together to compose this song. The project was sponsored by the United Nations’ Relief and Works Agency, (UNWRA).

Lord, we thank you for the musical expression of the young Palestinian refugees and we pray that, despite the many challenges they face, they will never lose sight of hope in their lives. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Hundreds of Palestinian protesters gathered in the village of Beit Dajan, to the east of Nablus, to take part in a non-violent demonstration against Israeli settlement land theft on Friday, the 25th of December. The Israeli military dispersed them using tear gas and stun grenades.

Oh Lord, we pray for an end to the violence perpetrated against Palestinians by Israeli settlers and the Israeli authorities. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Israeli air strikes on central and southern Gaza on Saturday, the 26th of December, injured two young Gazans and caused widespread damage to property. The Israeli military claimed the strikes came in response to two missiles being fired from Gaza which fell in open spaces in southern Israel, without causing injury. Israeli warplanes fired five missiles in the al-Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City. The properties damaged in al-Tuffah included a pediatric hospital, a center for the disabled, and a sports club.

Lord, we pray for an end to the spiral of violence between Gaza and Israel. We pray that violence and oppression would be put away in Palestine/Israel and that all the people would seek justice and righteousness. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

On Saturday, the 26th of December, the Palestinian Ministry of Health spokesman, Kamal al-Shakhra, stated that the corona vaccine is expected to be made available in Palestine during the next few weeks. He also warned that the infection rate remained high as the virus had claimed 29 lives and infected 1,268 people in the previous 24 hours in the West Bank and Gaza.

Lord, we are thankful for the provision of vaccines to the occupied Palestinian Territories. We pray they would effectively curb the spread of the pandemic in these areas and in other countries around the world. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

The US Customs and Border Protection Agency announced on Wednesday, the 30th of December that all goods made in Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank are now to be labelled ‘Made in Israel’. This policy shift from the Trump administration will cover products made in Israeli settlements, deemed illegal by international law. The Palestinian human rights’ organization, Al Haq, has written to the European Parliament to seek their support for the banning of trade with illegal Israeli settlements.

Lord, we pray that international lawmakers will challenge the Israeli government’s attempts to conceal the provenance of their products. We pray that governments around the world will bring pressure to bear on Israel to stop the rapid expansion and economic development of its illegal settlements. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Hundreds of Israeli settlers gathered on Road no.1 in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday, the 27th of December. Israeli police stood by as the settlers attacked Palestinians, Palestinian homes and vehicles in the area.

Lord, we pray that these frequent outbreaks of Israeli settler violence against Palestinians will cease. We pray that the Israeli authorities will no longer stand by and allow such attacks, but will intervene to maintain law and order in all communities. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

The Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem has been badly hit by the pandemic. It provides specialized maternity and neonatal care to vulnerable families throughout Palestine. Employees at the hospital have elected to take on 12 hour shifts to cover the workload. Protective clothing and masks are being supplied by entrepreneurs in southern Palestine. Oxygen supplies have been donated by well-wishers in Switzerland and the US.

Lord, we thank you for the dedication of the staff at the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem. Please strengthen them as they continue to provide care for the mothers and babies in Palestine. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Reverend Naim Ateek is to be appointed as the Honorary Canon of the Cathedral of St Andrew, Honolulu, on the 3rd of January. He will be joining the Cathedral liturgy virtually from Texas. Rev. Ateek is a canon of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and a co- founder of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem.

Dear Lord Jesus, we give thanks for the vibrant witness of Reverend Naim Ateek. We celebrate with him as he receives this honor in recognition of his work to seek justice and reconciliation in Palestine/Israel. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Kumi-Logo-01-e1536789062138.pngThe Kumi Now Initiative focuses on the work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, (ELCJHL). As well as being a place of worship for many Palestinian Christians, the church works to educate and help those who are experiencing economic hardship and are becoming overwhelmed by the lack of freedom and security in their land. Many Palestinian Christians have been forced to emigrate, leaving an estimated few hundred thousand in the Holy Land.

Lord we pray for the strengthening of Christian leaders and peacemakers in Palestine. Lift up the light of your face upon them, Lord and put joy in their hearts, ( Psalm 4:6). Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.