Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Sept. 14, 2020
On the 9th of September, the Jerusalem District Court ordered the eviction of the Palestinian family of Nasser Rajabi from their residential property of three apartments in the Batan Al-Hawa neighbourhood of Silwan in Occupied East Jerusalem. There are thirty family members living in these apartments who will soon be facing homelessness, along with eighty other residents in the area. In January the Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court ordered the family to leave their property following a lawsuit brought by the Ateret Cohanim Settler Association. The settlers claim the properties belong to the Benvenisti Trust which was set up in the nineteenth century to house Jews fleeing from the Yemen.
Lord, we pray for the dozens of Palestinian families threatened with eviction in East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers supported by the Israeli legal system. We pray that the legal system will stop sowing seeds of injustice by denying the rights of Palestinians to reclaim their properties, while granting historical claims to Jewish settlers. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
The Jewish High Court of Justice is in dispute with the Israeli government over the stay order placed on the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village near Jerusalem in the Occupied West Bank. The government cited the pandemic threat and diplomatic issues to request a six-month postponement. The court has granted a two-month delay to a hearing about the demolition. The Al-Jahhalin Bedouin live in 26 communities in the area. The Khan Al-Ahmar village is blocking the expansion of the nearby illegal Israeli settlement, Ma’ale Adumim ,which is home to more than 37,000 settlers.
Dear Lord, we pray for the Bedouin communities who are being forced away from their land. We pray that the village of Khan Al-Ahmar will not be demolished by bulldozers. We pray for an end to the destructive actions of the settlers and the Israeli authorities as they grab more and more land from the Palestinian people. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
The World Council of Churches and the Middle East Council of Churches are calling for a week of prayer for peace in Palestine and Israel during this third week of September. While both Councils recognize the extreme fragility of the situation in the Holy Land, they are asking people to show ‘creative solidarity’ as a sign of hope in the work to restore peace and justice to the land.
In the words of a prayer quoted from the World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel: ‘Lord Jesus, open our eyes to see the pain of others who are struggling to survive, use our hands to help rebuild those whose lives have been torn apart because of conflict and war, use our voices to draw attention to acts of injustice inflicted upon the powerless by the powerful. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.
Sabeel is holding Bible study meetings on Zoom for their Bible Study facilitators on Wednesdays each week.
Lord, we are so thankful for the virtual meetings we can hold online during this time of pandemic and particularly for the Zoom Bible Studies led by Sabeel. We pray that sharing the word of life will help the Bible Study facilitators to ‘shine as lights in the world’,(Phil 2:15), even through these dark and difficult times. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.
The Palestinian Prisoner Society reported that two Palestinian prisoners, being held on administrative detention, suffered a marked deterioration in their physical condition on Wednesday, the 9th of September. Both prisoners are on hunger strike in protest at their incarceration. Maher al-Akhras from Jenin was recently transferred to an Israeli hospital after a hunger strike of 45 days. Abdul- Rahman Shuaibat from Bethlehem has deteriorated after being transferred to Eshel prison and is now refusing to take fluids.
Lord, we pray for the lives of Maher and Abdul-Rahman which now hang in the balance. We pray for their release from detention to enable them to recover their health. We pray that the Israeli authorities will cease to condemn Palestinian prisoners to unlimited imprisonment under administrative detention orders. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
The US, Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain announced a deal to normalize diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Israel. Bahrain will join the UAE on the 15th of September to sign a peace treaty with Israel at the White House. Unfortunately, the normalization between the two countries disregards the root of the conflict in the Middle East, the suffering of the Palestinian people and their cry for a just peace.
Oh Lord Most High, we turn to you to find refuge in the face of worldly deception. We continue to live in your shelter and abide in your shadow. We trust in you Lord to be our refuge and fortress in the face of terror, pestilence and destruction. (Taken from Psalm 91:1-7) Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.
We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.