Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of March 23, 2020

Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of March 23, 2020

Sabeel_logo_small.pngThe COVID-19 Coronavirus continues to spread around the world. There are now more than 250,000 confirmed cases with over 11,000 deaths worldwide. Life worldwide is becoming more and more restricted as governments attempt to slow the spread of the virus and allow medical staff time to respond to the unprecedented levels of people needing treatment.

Lord of healing, we pray that you strengthen everyone around the world as they attempt to find a new way to live in the face of the current pandemic. Grant your restoring grace to all those medical workers who are putting their own health and the health of their families at risk to treat those sickest among us. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Kumi-Logo-01-e1536789062138.pngThis week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of Aid Watch Palestine (AWP). This is an independent Palestinian organization which seeks to stimulate and channel international aid effectively. It has recently helped farmers in Gaza to access aid after 29% of agricultural land in Gaza was destroyed by the 2014 Israeli bombardment.

Lord, we pray for the work of organizations like AWP, which seek to help those in need and to make good use of precious resources. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Palestinians from the West Bank who work in Israel are being made to find accommodation for up to two months or are forced to give up their jobs and remain in the West Bank. During the current pandemic these workers are being forced to live between different and complicated Israeli and Palestinian regulations put in place to combat the virus.

O God, at this time of uncertainty and challenge, be with all those workers who are forced to follow two different sets of rules in order to earn money for their families. Be with those who must live away from their families to earn money and cast your protective and assuring presence over their families at this difficult time. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Despite the restrictions on movement and gathering enforced against both Israelis and Palestinians, Israeli occupation forces continue to demolish homes, conduct night raids to arrest children and young men, and harass communities (especially the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya where the Israeli NGO B’Tselem notes that forces “invade the neighborhood daily, even at night, and more so on weekends, for no apparent reason.” At the same time, illegal Israeli settlers uproot Olive trees and create new illegal outposts in the Jordan Valley.

God of the oppressed and the vulnerable, be with all those who are threatened not only by the ongoing pandemic but also by the harassment and unjust actions of the Israeli occupation forces and illegal settlers. Grant the courage and conviction to the international community so that they may stand up and take action against this ongoing injustice. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Palestinian prisoners serving sentences in Israeli jails for security-related offenses are threatening to go on a hunger strike to protest measures enforced by the Israel Prison Service, seeking to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. The prisoners object to searches conducted in their cells by prison guards without any protective gloves or face masks, as well as a ban on leaving cells and meeting their attorneys and family members, who the prison service fears might infect prisoners or guards with the virus if allowed into prisons.

Lord of all, be with all prisoners at this time as they worry about the high risk of contracting the Coronavirus from each other or prison guards. Be with all those who are unjustly held without trial or reason, may they gain solace from your continuing presence. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary prayer

John 11:1-45

Holy God, Creator of Life,
you call us out of our dark places under occupation and pandemic,
offering us the grace of new life.

When we see nothing but hopelessness,
you surprise us with the breath of your spirit.

Call us out of our complacency and routines,
set us free from our self-imposed bonds,
and fill us with your spirit of life, compassion, and peace,

In the name of Jesus, your anointed one, we pray, Amen.