Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Sept. 30, 2019

Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Sept. 30, 2019

Sabeel_logo_small.pngOn 75th Friday of Great March of Return, Sahar Othman, 22, was killed and 109 civilians were injured as a result of the Israeli military’s continued use of excessive force against peaceful protests along the Gaza Strip’s eastern border; 39 children, a woman, 2 paramedics, and a journalist, were among those injured this Friday, 20 September 2019.

Lord, we pray for the family of Sahar as they grieve over their loss. We continue to pray for the safety of the protestors and for them to espouse non-violent means to achieve their demands of a right to return to their ancestral homes. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Kumi-Logo-01-e1536789062138.pngThis week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the difficulties Palestinians living in East Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories experience when they try to obtain building permits. This has happened to the Christian Palestinian Nassar family, who have owned and worked the land on their farm on a hilltop south-west of Bethlehem since 1916. The Israeli government have threatened the family with dispossession, have cut off their water and electricity supplies, and blocked their access road. Still, this Palestinian Christian family remain and ‘refuse to be enemies’, choosing instead the path of non-violent resistance.

Lord we pray that the Israeli government would release their stranglehold on permits for Palestinian building and development. We pray that all the people in the Holy Land would receive their rights and services in a just and equitable way. We pray, in particular, for the Christian witness of the Tent of Nations. We pray that the Nassar family and their supporters would be strengthened to keep faith and hope alive in their hearts, no matter what provocation they face. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Thursday, the 26th of September, the Provincial Synod of the Anglican Church of South Africa called for an end to Israel’s military occupation of Palestine and voiced its support for ‘well-directed Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions actions’. They described the situation in Palestine/Israel as, ‘in some respects worse than apartheid’. They also urged all church members who were considering a visit to the Holy Land to choose ‘an inclusive and balanced itinerary that includes contact with Palestinian Christians’.

Lord, we are thankful for the concerns expressed by the Anglican Church of South Africa in their recent Synod. We join with them in their prayers for Palestine, ‘God bless Palestine. Free all from oppression and bring justice and peace.’ Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer

In the last week of September, the Israeli government forced the cancellation of the FIFA Palestine Cup, without any reasonable explanation. They denied travel permits for the Gaza team to travel to play the Nablus team in the Palestinian National Football Club Championship. This is the second time the contest has had to be cancelled and calls into question whether Israel should be held to account for how it is treating Palestinian players, as a signatory to the International Convention Against Apartheid in Sport.

Lord, we pray that the enthusiasm and the hope of the Palestinian football players will remain undimmed despite this further disappointment. Lord, we pray too that international pressure will be brought to bear on Israel for its treatment of Palestinian sports’ teams. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On the 24th of September Turkey’s President Erdogan called on the UN to take action and enforce its many resolutions against Israel. He stated that, since 1947, Israel had seized Palestinian land ‘with the aim of eliminating the Palestinian state’ and that President Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ would support those territorial ambitions.

Lord, we pray for an end to the Israeli military occupation of Palestine and that the many injustices visited upon the Palestinian people would cease. We pray for renewed international efforts to help Palestinians and Israelis to live together in peace in the Holy Land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Monday, 30th September, Jews around the world celebrate Rosh Hashana – New Year. This is a time of renewal and recommitment celebrated by gathering with family and friends and enjoying the symbolic foods of apples and honey.

Lord, as the Jewish calendar moves from 5779 to 5780, we pray that all celebrating are inscribed with joy, justice, liberation, love, and hope for all. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also addressed the UN Assembly last week. He warned that any attempt to apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, as promised by Netanyahu in the recent electoral campaign, would lead to the cancellation of all diplomatic agreements between Palestine and Israel. He stated that the US could no longer act as peace broker in the region after its ‘unlawful’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and its support of Israeli aggression against Palestinians. He promised to call for long delayed elections in the areas of Palestine, which would be seen as forming a future state of Palestine.

Lord, we are thankful that the UN has been given clear warnings this week from politicians and humanitarian workers over the critical situation in Gaza and the Occupied Territories. We pray that the international community would be moved to respond to these warnings by providing urgent economic and political support for the Palestinians to avoid a catastrophe. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.