January 12th, 2017

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

When the Israeli occupation forces turned up to demolish a home in the West Bank village of Budrus on January 6th they were met with an unexpected obstacle: dozens of Palestinian women protecting the house with their bodies. Over 1100 homes and structures have been destroyed by the Israeli army in 2016.

  • Lord, we thank you for all the grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, daughters, neighbors and friends who stood hand in hand in solidarity and refused to let the army demolish that family’s home. We pray that such beautiful actions of solidarity and nonviolent resistance will continue to spread in our communities. Lord in your mercy…

Gaza has been suffering from a chronic power deficit for years amid Israel’s blockade – a situation that worsened after the 2014 Israeli assault, which destroyed Gaza’s power plant. Even before the war, Israeli-supplied electricity to Gaza met less than half of the territory’s estimated needs.

  • Lord, you are the light of the world and Gaza won’t stay in darkness. Thank you lord for the 320 days of sunlight per year. Thank you for the innovative minds and dedications of the “Empower Gaza” initiative- that aims to install solar panels in major hospitals throughout the territory. Lord in your mercy…

A group of Israeli settlers on Sunday morning took over a Palestinian residential building in Silwan, East Jerusalem. The settlers reportedly took over the building while accompanied by Special Israeli forces. The building is the property of a Palestinian man, who is currently in Jordan. The settlers took over his home as well.

  • Lord, Israeli settlers continue to be blinded by extremism and greed. Grant us Lord the wisdom needed to deal with the settlers, the courage required to defend the Palestinian victims and the full commitment to nonviolence as the only tool of resistance. Lord in your mercy…

Dozens of female cancer patients in the Gaza Strip have launched a protest against Israel’s refusal to allow them to cross to the West Bank to seek medical treatment. The women say the ban or delay of their treatments is a “premeditated death sentence.”

  • Lord, let the cries of the cancer patients reach the deaf ears of the decision makers in Israel and the world. We have faith in you Lord and in your healing powers. Heal the hearts of the Israeli leaders with compassion and mercy. Lord in your mercy…

  • We join the World Council of Churches in praying for the countries of Iran, Iraq and Syria. Lord in your mercy…

January 5th, 2017

Lord, from the land of your Holy Son we thank you for this New Year and for all the  potential it holds. Come and kindle in us your mighty flame as we recommit ourselves to work for the coming of your kingdom

  • Help us Lord to use our faith this year as a source of liberation rather than a tool of oppression and discrimination. May our faith open our eyes to see your image in the people who differ from us. Grant us lord the courage to let go of our privileges to see equality prevail among all humans. May we humans be more gentle to your creation and preserve this Earth we call mother. Lord in your mercy…

 

  • May our faith this year enable us to do justice and have mercy. May we challenge the economic systems that make few people rich and many people poor. May we challenge the politics of empire, where gold is cherished and the poor and marginalized are ignored. May we advocate for restorative justice to make true peace as we seek the reconciliation among all your children. Lord in your mercy…

 

  • May this year be a year where we see violence disappear from our hearts, our communities, our countries and the entire world. Help us Lord to stand for our cause without picking up the sword. Help us lord to replace fear with love. We pray for an end to the violent Israeli occupation, let this year be the year where the guns in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Egypt and all areas of conflict in the world become silent. Lord in your mercy…
  •  We join the World Council of Churches in praying for the countries of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. Lord in your mercy…

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Dec. 29th, 2016

Palestinian prisoners Ahmad Abu Farah and Anas Shadid announced the suspension of their 90 day hunger strike on Thursday, following an agreement with the Israeli military prosecution that the two would be released after one final renewal of their administrative detentions.

  • Lord, we remember Palestinian political detainees and prisoners in Israeli jails. Administrative detention contravenes International Humanitarian Law. It is the right of every prisoner to be charged and tried. Help us Lord to set the captives free, put an end to the occupation and proclaim your will to the world. Lord in your mercy…

The UN Security Council (UNSC) made a stand for justice last week. However, Friday’s UN resolution condemning Israel’s settlement policies may not result in immediate changes on the ground, as the Israeli Jerusalem zoning committee is expected to approve construction permits for hundreds of new Jewish-only settlement homes in East Jerusalem.

  • Lord, we give thanks to all the people in the world who still believe that peace is possible between Palestine and Israel. We remember all our Israeli friends, international advocates and Palestinian activists who are working vigorously to dismantle all obstacles to ending this evil occupation. Lord in your mercy…

In the midst of the fear of extremism and terrorism in the world, tolerance prevailed in Palestine as hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Muslims joined with their Christian brothers and sisters in their Christmas celebrations.

  • Lord, we give thanks to your spirit that brings your children together all year long. The Bible quote “Do not be afraid” continues to be echoed out loud in Palestine by the actions of our neighbors, friends and our wonderful Palestinian community. Lord in your mercy…

Members of St George’s Church in Bartella, Iraq, entered their church for the first time since it was liberated from ISIS. The Christian community in Bartella immediately began to worship in the churches of their ancestors after ISIS was driven out. Despite their hometown’s having been recently freed from ISIS, the Christians of Iraq are still in a state of mourning during this blessed period of Christmas.

  • Lord, many in the Middle East continue to yearn for the sound of Halleluiah and bells ringing in their Churches. We are given warmth by the church candles, strength from communion and steadfastness as we read your Gospels. Lord, be with the Middle East as we try to recover again from the ashes of war. Lord in your mercy…

  • We join the World Council of Churches in praying for the countries of Ghana and Nigeria. Lord in your mercy…

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December 22, 2016

The darkness in Syria continues. Hundreds of thousands are dead, millions are displaced and refugees continue to seek safety from land once was their home.

  • Lord, we pray for your spirit to move us as we have become apathetic to Syria. The storms of evil continue to blow in Syria leaving only ashes and smoke. Brothers turned against each other, the people are broken and the cities and villages are burned to the ground. Dear God, we long for the moment the words of your prophet Isaiah become a reality “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks (Isaiah 2:4)”. Lord in your mercy…

Israeli occupation forces have shot dead Ahmad Atta, a Palestinian teenager in the occupied West Bank. Israeli army officials said troops entered the village of Beit Rima, near Ramallah, on Sunday and were confronted by stone-throwing youths and the army responded by opening fire.

  • Lord, the violence continues to break the hearts of our mothers. We pray for an end to this madness, an end to the Israeli occupation and end to the tears of all mothers in the world. Lord in your mercy…

Sabeel Jerusalem and Nazareth offices are holding this week a two day staff retreat to prepare for the year of 2017.

  • Lord, we pray for the staff and volunteers of Sabeel Jerusalem and Sabeel Nazareth. We pray for the Sabeel Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. We give thanks for all the Friends of Sabeel groups around the world. Please bless their lives and work. Lord, in your mercy…

 

  • Lord, we give thanks for the fellowship experienced last Saturday during the Sabeel Annual Ecumenical Christmas Dinner. We are grateful for the prophetic message of Patriarch Sabah, the amazing Jerusalem Knights Choir, the dedication of our Jerusalem committee and for our many friends who made the Christmas dinner a great success.  We ask for the ecumenical spirit to be strengthened in the world “so in Christ we who are many are one body” Romans 12:5. Lord in your mercy…

 

  • We join the World Council of Churches in praying for the countries ofBenin, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo. Lord in your mercy…

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December 15th, 2016

Israeli lawmakers voted last week to advance a bill which would retroactively legalize settler homes built on private Palestinian land. All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and major stumbling blocks to peace efforts as they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.

  • Lord, the powerful in Israel continue to conspire against Palestine and its people. Our people feel helpless and lack a shepherd capable of defending their rights. Giveus God the energy we need to continue to march and cry out until the powerful see and hear our plight. Lord in your mercy…

On Sunday, an explosion killed at least 25 and wounded another 49 people, mainly women and children, during mass inside a Cairo church near the main Coptic Christian cathedral in Egypt. The Egyptian president declared three days of national mourning after the attack.

  • Dear God, the people are crying out “why are you silent?”. We pray for your interference in the Middle East and elsewhere to put an end to this madness. It is not revenge we seek, but comfort for our hearts. We beg you not to forsake us, as the faithful in this troubled land refuse to abandon their faith in you. Lord in your mercy…

  •  We pray for the Sabeel Jerusalem Christmas dinner on Saturday. Local clergy from different denominations, international workers, and community members from all walks of life will gather for fellowship, food and song.  We pray that God will be glorified by our celebration. Lord in your mercy…

Preparations continue for the Sabeel 10thInternational Conference to be held in March 2017. Participants continue to register for this important conference from Australia, Canada, Colombia, England, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, USA and many other countries.

  • We pray for wisdom for the conference coordinators. May their work be fruitful and may the conference inspire and motivate many participants from around the world. Lord in your mercy…

On December 10th, the world observed Human Rights Day, established sixty six years ago. It marks the anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948. This declaration states that respect for human rights and human dignity “is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

  • We pray that all countries of the world, including the state of Israel and Palestine, will respect and act on the values in this universal declaration. May the powerful respect the rights of the people, and may injustice vanish from our world. Lord in your mercy…

  • We join the World Council of Churches in praying for the countries of Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal. Lord in your mercy…

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December 8th, 2016

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Kairos Palestine is celebrating its 7th anniversary on the 8th and 9th of December in Dar Annadwa International Center of Bethlehem under the title ‘Faith, Sumud, Creative Resistance!’ (Sumud means steadfastness in Arabic.)

  • Lord, we pray for the Kairos Conference in Bethlehem that it may be a reflective and motivating time for its local and international participants. Lord in your mercy…

 We are grateful to have the chance to experience another Advent, and celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world.

  • Lord we pray that the Christmas Message we published this week will inspire action and conversations around the world this holiday season (Available at http://sabeel.org/2016/12/02/4438/). Lord in your mercy…

Sabeel will hold several local programs during the Advent season: a) an Ecumenical Worship in Nazareth, b) Community Bible Studies, c) two solidarity visits to homes for children and the elderly, and d) an Ecumenical dinner in Jerusalem bringing together the Christian Community to celebrate Christmas.

  • Lord, we thank you for the beginning of Advent this weekend – for valuing humanity enough to become one of us, for taking on flesh and teaching us how to love.  God, we ask for your guidance so that we not only reflect on this time with hope, joy, peace, and love, but also act upon it.    Lord in your mercy…

 This week in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nazareth, Shefa ‘Amre and other towns and cities in Palestine and Israel, Christmas tree lightings were held for the whole community to enjoy. The tree lightings included the many Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land to rejoice in the birth of Jesus Christ.

  •  Lord, as we reflect on Advent and the love of God, we pray that the pilgrims’ eyes will be opened to the reality around them, where the Palestinians suffer from occupation and oppression by the State of Israel.  We pray that your love will give light to the darkness.  Lord in your mercy…

  •  We join the World Council of Churches in praying for the countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Lord in your mercy

 

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December 1st, 2016

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

December 1st, 2016

Strong winds and dry weather have fuelled hundreds of fires across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory last week. Tens of thousands of residents were evacuated from their homes. Major fires in Israel and Palestine are now under control.

  • We pray for all those affected by the fires that raged for days last week in Israel and Palestine. We especially pray for those who lost their homes, and for the rejuvenation of the destroyed land. We give thanks for those who worked hard to keep the fire at bay and for the many countries, near and far, who responded to the call for help to subdue the blaze. Lord in your mercy…

November 25th marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. According to statistics, the number of Arab women murdered in 2016 by family members and spouses has increased since 2015. On this occasion, Sixteen days of global activism kicked off.

  • Lord, as women across the globe face discrimination and violence, we pray for legal and societal changes which will curb the tide of violence against women. May we always be reminded of the daily struggle for justice that the majority of women around the world go through. We pray that perpetrators of violence against women will be held accountable for their actions. Lord in your mercy…
  • We pray that our new Sabeel edition of the Cornerstone, titled “Increase our Faith” which addresses the Issue of forgiveness will reach many people around the world. May justice prevail in our troubled land in order to achieve true peace and reconciliation. Lord, in your mercy…

November 29 was observed by the United Nations as International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.

  • Lord, our hearts are united with all people everywhere who say “enough” to the ongoing occupation and the violence and oppression that has kept its hold on this land for too long.  May this day not just heighten the world’s awareness of the injustice that is part of daily life in Palestine but also give those in positions of leadership the will and courage to act in ways that lead to a just peace. Lord, in your mercy…
  • We join the World Council of Churches by praying for the countries of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger. Lord in your mercy… 

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November 24, 2016

The Israeli High Court rejected the government’s request for another delay in implementing a court order to demolish Amona, an illegal Jewish settlement built on private Palestinian land. The justices ruled that Amona must be evacuated by December 25. Following threats on internet forums from extremist Israelis over Amona demolition decision, chief of Israeli Supreme Court received added security.

  • Lord, we give thanks for the people of conscience that have judged fairly. We pray for the Palestinian families as they rejoice in the hope of having their property returned. Lord in your mercy…

Ateret Cohanim, an organization that seeks to settle Jews in East Jerusalem, is seeking to evict seventy two Palestinian families living in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan. Nine families are under immediate threat of eviction.

  • Lord, the powerful and rich plot to evict us from our homes. Our Savior, we echo your words “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me (Luke 22:42)” for the sake of our children. Grant us lord the needed energy that we lack to overcome this threat. Lord in your mercy…

The students of the Rosary Sisters High School performed a magical dabkeh show in Jerusalem. All the students danced to mark the Palestinian day of independence.

  • Lord, as the boy Jesus amazed the people in the temple with his intelligent answers (Luke 2:47) we are amazed by the girls of Palestine. We give thanks for the creativity and hard work of the young people who lifted our spirits and showed us hope. Lord in your Mercy… 

On November 20th 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. On the same date in 1989, the UN General assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

  • Lord, we pray for the children of Palestine, who mostly know only wartime and occupation, that somehow they are able to imagine and work towards a world renewed.  We especially pray for Palestinian children between the ages of 10 and 18 who are arrested in the middle of the night, and imprisoned under harsh conditions, most often for crimes they did not commit.  We pray for these children and families who have been traumatized because of these extreme actions. Lord in your mercy…

 

  • We join the World Council of Churches by praying for the countries ofCameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea. Lord in your mercy…

November 17th, 2016

 Sabeel Wave of Prayer

November 15 marks Palestinian Independence Day. Unfortunately, 28 years since the state was declared, true independence remains a dream.

  • God, we offer thanks for all the people and organizations working to bring about a just peace that will allow Palestine to experience actual independence. We pray for transformation and freedom in this land. Lord in your mercy…

Mohammed Ja’abis was forced to demolish his house under the pretext of being built without a permit. “I demolished it with my own hands to avoid paying over $35,000 in demolition fees if Israeli bulldozers demolished it,” he said. Israel rarely provides Palestinians living in East Jerusalem with building permits forcing them to build structures “illegally”.

  • Lord, we pray for the family of the twelve people as they become homeless. We remember especially the six children as their entire life changes to the unknown. God we ask you not to allow the community of Jerusalem, Palestine and the rest of the world to surrender to hopelessness and apathy. Lord in your mercy…

Three Palestinian brothers have been on hunger strike for 14 days to protest being held in solitary confinement in an Israeli prison.

  • God, we continue to remember the Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. We ask your spirit to guide us to mobilize the efforts of the peacemakers to set the captives free and to put an end to this occupation. Lord in your mercy…

The Israeli organization Zochrot, with Erik Ader, a former ambassador of the Netherlands, is organizing an event for the destroyed and depopulated Palestinian village of Bayt Nattif. The event is organized to apologize for the fact that the Jewish National Fund has planted 1100 trees on the land of Bayt Nattif, to honour his father, the Reverend Bastiaan Jan Ader, who saved Jews during the 2nd World War. On Nov. 20th, in the village Far’ata near Qalqilia, the Olive Tree Campaign and the Dutch Plant an Olive Tree foundation, will have a ceremony of planting of 1100 olive trees, donated by Erik Ader on the anniversary of the death of his father, Nov. 20th 1944.

  • Lord, we pray for your blessing on this event, so that it will be a consolation for the families of Bayt Nattif and everybody who suffers until this day, the consequences of the Nakba. May this event contribute to a better understanding of the injustice done to the Palestinian people. We ask for such events to contribute to opening the eyes of the world to the Palestinian people’s just cause. Lord in your mercy… 
  • We join the World Council of Churches by praying for the countries of the Republic of Congo, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe. Lord in your mercy…

    This prayer ministry enables local and international friends of Sabeel to pray over regional concerns on a weekly basis. Sent to Sabeel’s network of supporters, the prayer is used in services around the world and during Sabeel’s Thursday Communion service; as each community in its respective time zone lifts these concerns in prayer at noon every Thursday, this “wave of prayer” washes over the world.

November 10, 2016

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

The leaders of the world’s Catholics and Lutherans have signed a joint declaration at an ecumenical prayer service commemorating the greatest schism in western Christianity. The declaration stated that what unites the two traditions is greater than that which divides them.

  • Lord, we are thankful for this joint declaration. We pray that the spirit continues to unite your children. May the Churches no longer ignore your commandment of love, tolerance and unity. Lord in your mercy…

Israeli authorities have demolished several graves in occupied East Jerusalem’s historical Bab al-Rahmeh Muslim cemetery. Parts of the ancient cemetery were confiscated in September 2015 by Israeli authorities to make way for a national park.

  • Lord, Palestinians are not able to either live or rest in peace. We pray for an end to the Israeli government’s greed and unjust measures. Help us God, to continue to seek the humanity of our oppressor. Lord in your mercy…

In Israel, the Carmiel municipality has canceled the screening of the movie “Junction 48”, following pressure of Israeli right wing deputy mayor Rotem Yanai. The film, on Israeli-Arab coexistence, is about two lovers navigating life in the Arab Israeli city of Lod.

  • Lord, grant us power to love each other regardless of the difference in religion, ethnicity or color. We pray that more people will be encouraged to see the movie in Israel and around the world. Lord in your mercy…

A UN report has found that Israel is denying Palestinians the right for development, causing rising poverty and despair. Michael Lynk, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), said Gaza has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the world and the situation is worsening as the economy stagnates.

  • Lord, have mercy on all those who are unemployed. We pray for an end to the destructive siege on the 1.8 million people of the Gaza Strip. May the international community stand against this humanitarian crisis and protect the people of Gaza, where more than half of the population is under 18 years of age. Lord in your mercy… 
  •  We join the World Council of Churches by praying for the countries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda. Lord in your mercy…