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The 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.

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This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of Aid Watch Palestine (AWP). This is an independent Palestinian organisation 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 organisations like AWP, which seek to help those in need and to make good use of precious resources. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Fourth Sunday in Lent – John 9:1-41

Lord Jesus Christ – you are the light of the world. We are poor, miserable, wretched and blind. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Come and speak order into chaos, and light into darkness of occupation in Palestine. Heal us that we may see. And seeing — may we see you Jesus, the Son of Man, and believe in you. And believing, may we worship you — honouring you as the one who restores the sight of the blind that our eyes may see the salvation of God.

Amen.

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Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki strongly criticized the labelling of Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem as “non-Israeli” and “Arab residents” in a US State Department report. The minister accused the United States of adopting the terms used by the right-wing government in Israel.

  • Lord, we pray that international law will triumph over those who seek to remove all rights and recognition of the Palestinian people, their culture, and history. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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On Thursday 12th March, Israeli occupation forces demolished a Palestinian-owned house in Freidis village, in the occupied West Bank, east of the city of Bethlehem, according to a local source. Forces raided the area and proceeded to demolish the one floor, 130-square-metre house, which belonged to Hazem Abu Muhaimid, under the pretext it was built without Israeli permission which isn’t required in the West Bank under Palestinian control.

  • Lord, we pray for all those who are forced to demolish their own homes or to have the Israeli government to demolish them in Palestine. We pray that this inhumane, unjust, and illegal policy will cease, and that Palestinians will be granted the right to build homes for their families. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Palestine Olympic Committee (POC) President General Jibril Rajoub has praised the contribution of the organisation’s female staff. He gathered with the women who work at the POC to pay tribute to the impact that they make, saying “we honour the Palestinian women who have been able to impose their presence with their hard determination to serve their country and their cause…women are mothers and sisters that we cherish, and their pride and effort has made a prominent contribution to the sports system.”

  • Dear God, we thank you for women everywhere, and pray for their continued strength and determination. Lay your hand upon them and guide them in their constant struggle towards peace and justice, for themselves, their families, and their countries. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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On Wednesday 11th March, Palestinian teenager, Mohammed Hamayel, 15, was killed after being hit in the face by live ammunition fired by Israeli occupation forces during clashes in the village of Beita, south of the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank.

  • O Lord be with the family of Mohammed as they mourn their loss. Grant them grace and peace to grieve and remember this young man whose life was so cruelly cut short. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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The closure due to COVID-19 continues in Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, and Beit Jala. In other areas Israel is putting in place stricter and stronger restrictions as the number of cases continues to rise. At present there are no known cases in Gaza, where any cases would put a huge strain on an already over-stretched healthcare system.

  • Lord, your son Jesus Christ, travelled through the towns and villages of this land “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Grant your grace in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love. Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Week 22 of the Kumi Now initiative is now online (https://kuminow.com/al-haq). This Kumi week, we are focusing on natural resource exploitation in the occupied Palestinian territory. This means we want to take the time to read about Al-Haq, their work, and Na’imah Mohammed Dabak’s story before taking part in the Kumi Action for this week to raise awareness of this exploitation.

  • Gracious Lord, we pray that Israel stops the theft of Palestinian resources, the resources you have given to our land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

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Prayer for 3rd Sunday of Lent

Dear Lord, we are all guilty of judging others. This keeps us from connecting with others in loving, healthy ways. We see threat from may angles, from others within our community, from those of different religions and from internationals. Help remove this tendency from our hearts. Help us to see our brothers and sisters the way you see them and to see the person rather than being led by fear.

Amen.