Sabeel Wave of Prayer
6th February 2020
Tensions between Israel and Gaza have been steadily rising over the past two weeks after a period of relative calm. The release of President Trump’s recent proposals, which heavily favoured Israel, fuelled fears of an escalation in the number of rockets and explosive balloons fired from Gaza. Late on Thursday three rockets were fired from Gaza at Southern Israel. In response the Israelis carried out air strikes in Gaza on Thursday and Friday.
- Dear Lord, we pray for an easing of tensions between Israel and Gaza and for a just and peaceable end to the blockade of Gaza. We pray that honest brokers will come forward with plans for peace talks which would respect international law and the human rights of the Palestinians in Gaza and in the Occupied Territories. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
This week is set aside for rest from the Kumi Now Initiative. Activists are encouraged to relax and take a break before re-engaging with the Initiative next week. We also encourage you to take this as an opportunity to do some reading around recent events.
- Dear Lord Jesus, we thank you for your words of encouragement at the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied’(Matthew5:6). Lord, in your mercy…hear our payer.
The new US proposals announced by President Trump on Tuesday, the 28th of January, have been condemned as ‘unworkable’ by the Elders (an NGO made up from noted worldwide public figures). Ban Ki Moon, Deputy Chair of the Elders and former UN Secretary General stated that the international community should condemn the proposal to allow Israel to annex swathes of the occupied Palestinian Territories. He stated that the move to confirm Jerusalem as the ‘undivided’ capital of Israel was ‘dangerous and provocative’ and noted ‘the absence of any credible plan for Gaza’.
- Lord, we turn to you and pray for help for the Palestinian people. Will the governments of the world look on silently as more land is illegally annexed from the Palestinian people? Will the rest of the world allow powerful governments to ride roughshod over international law? Will anyone speak out and condemn the imposition of apartheid in the Holy Land? Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
The death has been announced of Albert Aghazarian, a Palestinian-Armenian patriot and distinguished historian. He studied and worked at Birzeit University and provided simultaneous translation at conferences. In 1991 he worked closely with Dr Hanan Ashrawi at the Madrid Conference as a member of the Palestinian delegation. Dr Ashrawi called him ‘a son of Jerusalem and the streets of the old city will continue to echo with his voice and erudite persona’. His daughter Elise creates the Sabeel Wave of Prayer in Arabic every week and our condolences are with her and her family.
- Lord, we thank you for the life and service of Albert Aghazarian and especially for his outstanding linguistic gifts and his work as a historian, focusing on the city of Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
A couple from Gaza, Mohammad and Wafa Ralaban were caught up in the bureaucracy of occupation travel permits as they have been trying to care for their premature babies. Wafa was rushed to Makkased Hospital in East Jerusalem when her quadruplets were born prematurely. Sadly, three of the babies had died before Mohammad was granted a permit to visit his wife and surviving daughter. Physicians for Human Rights Israel and the hospital authorities stepped in to prevent the parents’ being expelled back to Gaza and to request an extension to the parent’s permits on humanitarian grounds.
- Dear Lord, we pray that baby Selin may grow in strength and that her parents may remain at her side to provide care and support for her. We pray that the Israeli authorities will cease the inhumane denial of travel permits to Palestinian parents with sick children needing hospital care in Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
On Friday, the 28th of February, Sabeel Jerusalem held a facilitator meeting in Ramallah. Twenty-seven Bible study group facilitators gathered together from all over Palestine to meet, share experiences, learn, and to encourage one another.
- Lord, we thank you for the Bible study facilitators who met together in Ramallah and we pray that they will draw strength from your Word. May they find a refuge in you at this time of crisis. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
- We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Andorra, Italy, Malta, Portugal, San Marino, Spain and the Vatican City. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.