Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of June 1, 2020

Sabeel_logo_small.pngIsraeli police have shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian near the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem. The slain man, 32-year-old Iyad el-Hallak, attended and worked at a school for people with special needs in the Old City, close to the spot where he was shot on Saturday morning. el-Hallak who is a person of disability was heading to the school when he was shot by several bullets and he was left on the ground bleeding for a while until he died. The shooting came a day after Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah who the Israeli occupation forces alleged had tried to ram them with his vehicle.

Dear Lord, we remember the family of Iyad as they grieve for the loss of their son. We pray that the Israeli soldiers and their commanders are held accountable for their crimes. Bless us God with courage and determination to continue to speak truth to power and our words never abandon the marginalized. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Kumi-Logo-01-e1536789062138.pngThis week’s Kumi Now initiative looks at the work of the Palestine Museum of Natural History, (PMNH) and the Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS). The mission of both these institutes is to research, conserve and disseminate knowledge about the cultural heritage and the natural environment of Palestine. Their joint aim is to use their knowledge to interact responsibly with their environment.

Dear Lord, everything you created is good (1Tim 4:4). We are so thankful for those who work for the PMNH and PIBS as they look carefully at the natural environment around them and care for it in a respectful way. We pray that their hearts will be filled with awe at the wonders they discover. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.

Even at the young age of twenty-nine years, Ayman Safiah was considered one of the most talented Arab Israeli dancers. Sadly, on Sunday, the 17th of May, he was swept away by strong currents when he was swimming off the coast off Neve Yam in northern part of the country. He managed to push his female companion back towards the shore, but he was unable to save himself. His body was found by Israeli police on Wednesday.

Dear Lord, we pray for the family of Ayman as they grieve their loss. Thank you that so many young people came forward to take part in the rescue search. We are saddened to know that a dancer of international renown has drowned at such a young age. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.

During the Sabeel general assembly meeting at the end of May, the newly elected Sabeel board was approved.

Dear lord, we pray for the Sabeel center new leadership as they take over their new responsibilities. We give thanks for the time and energy of all our past board members. May the ministry of Sabeel continue to serve all people, speak prophetically to the powerful and help the oppressed to demand their rights. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Médecins Sans Frontières, (MSF), reports that the combination of Covid19, the lockdown and its financial impact has seriously affected many Palestinian families living in the occupied territories. Those Palestinians living in the vicinity of Israeli settlements often experience high levels of violence. When you add to this further anxiety over the pandemic, it can lead to outbursts of anger and abuse within families.

Dear Lord, ‘You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble’; (Psalm 46:1). We pray for an end to the vicious cycle of violence experienced by Palestinians and an end to the brutal Israeli occupation. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.

The lockdown was set to remain in place in the West Bank until the 5th of June, but with fewer cases recorded in recent weeks restrictions were eased as of Tuesday, the 2nd of June. Places of worship, shops and factories have been allowed to open, but the authorities are asking people to exercise caution. As of the 22nd of May, four deaths from the pandemic have been reported in the West Bank, with 547 confirmed cases, including 139 in East Jerusalem. This week the Sabeel Offices are reopening.

Lord, we are thankful that the rate of infection in Palestine and Israel appears to be falling. We pray that the pandemic will soon die away in this country and in countries around the world. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.

The Israeli forces arrested Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, president of the Supreme Islamic Council and cleric of Al-Aqsa Mosque, after storming his house in occupied Jerusalem. Sheikh Sabri is 79 years old and was born in Qalqilya. He is the cleric of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the former grand mufti of Jerusalem and co-founder and president of the Supreme Islamic Council. Al-Aqsa Mosque is facing Judaization plans, as the temple organizations called to storm and occupy the holy site and divide prayer time and space between Muslims and Jews.

Dear God, we pray for the speedy release of Sheikh Ekirma Sabri from Israeli custody. We give thanks to all people of conscience who take the risk to speak truth to power and are willing to pay the costly price for their positions on justice. We pray for the safety of Jerusalem and all its children who continue to feel the brunt of unjust policies of the occupation. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.  

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.

 

First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday
Lectionary Prayer
Matthew 28:16-20 

Loving liberator of all peoples,
breathe your Holy Spirit on us
that we may become instruments for justice, peace and healing
in all places where oppression and fear reign

Teach us how to remain faithful to your words and teachings
so that we see your kingdom come
in our broken and troubled world where the powerful prioritize their greed and ambitions over the wellbeing of the people.

Amen.


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