Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of June 15, 2020

Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of June 15, 2020

Sabeel_logo_small.pngAccording to a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, dated the 2nd of June, there have been 630 Palestinians who have contracted COVID 19 in the occupied Palestinian Territories. The Palestinian Authority acted swiftly to curb the pandemic with curfews, travel bans, and school closures. These actions kept COVID 19 cases at a low level, with five deaths reported and only one of them occurring in Gaza. The state of emergency announced on the 5th of March was ended on the 25th of May and the lock-down was eased, though physical distancing and health protection measures are still advised.

Lord, we are thankful for the prompt action of the Palestinian Authority to protect those living in Palestine and Gaza. We pray for the many families across the world who have lost loved ones and we pray that, before long, the pandemic will cease to cause such devastation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Kumi-Logo-01-e1536789062138.pngKumi Now Online asked Jeff Halper, an Israeli anthropologist and head of the Israel Committee Against Home Demolitions, (ICAHD) to speak about how to help put a stop to the use of home demolitions as a collective punishment. Jeff is author of ‘War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification’. His talk took place on Tuesday, the 16th of June at 6pm, Jerusalem time. The Kumi Now Online sessions take place on a weekly basis and more information can be found here.  The next talk on the 23rd of June is entitled ‘Jerusalem Under Occupation’, led by Sabeel.

Dear Lord, we thank you for the work of ICAHD as it seeks to help Palestinians whose homes have been demolished by the Israeli authorities. We pray for an end to this merciless practice and for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

At the end of May more than 78,000 Palestinian 12th grade students commenced their Tawjihi, or General Secondary Education Certificate Examination. The Ministry of Education created an online platform of Tawjihi resources to enable students to prepare for their examinations during lock-down.

Thank you, Lord, that Palestinian students can complete their secondary education by taking their standardized exams. We pray that they may be able to focus on their studies and to fulfill their potential, despite concerns caused by the pandemic, occupation, and political uncertainties in their land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Yazan Alami, a 9th grade pupil at St George’s Anglican School in Jerusalem passed away on Thursday 11th June due to a long-term illness.

Lord, we pray for the family and friends of Yazan as they mourn their loss. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, the 3rd of June, the Palestinian Authority announced that it would reject the monthly taxes collected on their behalf by Israel. This amounts to almost half their income. The rejection is a protest against Israel’s plan to annex large swathes of the occupied Palestinian West Bank. The livelihoods of many Palestinians will be threatened at this time. The coronavirus has led to a sharp downturn in the economy and many living in the West Bank will have lost jobs in Israel. These factors, compounded by the lack of funds from the Palestinian Authority, will certainly lead to greater hardship and need in the wider Palestinian community.

Lord, you are our rock of refuge. We pray for those Palestinian families who face unemployment and hardship. We pray for resilience and determination in their communities to support one another through these difficult times. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Palestinian watermelon farmers in the northern Jordan Valley are struggling to make a living. Just when they harvest their crop in May, they find their markets flooded with cheap Israeli melons. They already struggle with access to water and, for decades, their land has been confiscated and given to settlers or had their land declared a ‘closed military zone’. Now they find it is uneconomic to harvest their crop when settlers, with access to free land and water, undercut their prices.

Lord of justice and righteousness, we pray for the plight of the Palestinian farmers. Lord, so many endure violence and unfair practices and now face the prospect of the illegal annexation of their land. We pray that, even at this late stage, international lawmakers and governments around the world would speak out and stay the hand of the Israeli government from implementing ‘the power of their hand’ (Micah 2:1). Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for Malawi and Zambia. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.