Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

24th September 2020

Israel has imposed a second national lockdown to last three weeks after a recent surge of over 4000 confirmed COVID-19 cases every day. The lockdown will close all schools and only supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open.  Schools have only just reopened for the start of the new academic year and this lockdown will bring major disruption.

  • Lord, we pray for all those in positions of authority in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory as they take decisions on how to manage the resurgence of the coronavirus throughout the land. We pray for the families trying to manage their work and their children’s education from home. We pray too for the protection of the care workers looking after those who are seriously affected by the virus. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

An Israeli court has issued a demolition order notice on Qaqaa Bin Amr Mosque in Silwan, East Jerusalem. The authorities claim that the mosque, which was built in 2012, does not have a building permit. Such permits are rarely issued to Palestinians by the Israeli authorities. Silwan has been particularly targeted for the demolition of Palestinian property by the Israeli authorities over the past six months, even during lockdown due to the pandemic. On average 65 Palestinian properties across the occupied Palestinian territory have been demolished each month, leaving many families homeless.

  • Oh Lord, it is hard for us to imagine how it would feel, particularly at this time of the worldwide pandemic, to watch our home bulldozed before our eyes. Lord we pray that this cruel practice of home demolitions by the Israeli authorities will cease. We continue to pray for a change of heart in the government of Israel to stop forcing Palestinians out of their homes, their businesses and their places of worship. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Thursday, the 17th of September, the Israeli authorities demolished the shelters of the Palestinian Bedouin village of Al Araqeeb in the Naqab desert near Beersheba. This is the 178th time the authorities have levelled the village, the last time being on the 27th of August. Each time this happens the twenty families living in the village rebuild their tents. They have deeds to this land and do not want to be relocated to government zoned townships. The 51 Palestinian Bedouin villages in the Naqab are not recognised by the Israeli authorities. The villagers hold Israeli nationality and pay taxes, just like other Israelis, but they are not accorded the same rights and have no power or water connections.

  • ‘Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of the destitute, Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ (Prov.31:8-9) Lord, we pray for the Palestinian Bedouin villagers who see their homes bulldozed by the Israeli authorities, time after time. We pray that many people in Palestine, Israel and around the world will speak out for the rights of these destitute people to live undisturbed on their land, free from such relentless harassment. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

In 1982 on the 16th to the 18th of September a brutal massacre took place in the Sabra neighborhood, adjacent to the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut. For days the Israeli army had bombed the area and then looked on while the Lebanese Phalange militia carried out brutal killings. A UN commission carried out the following year concluded that Israel, as the occupying power, bore responsibility for the violence. However, the US and the international community granted impunity to Israel over the crime.

  • Lord, we bring the city of Beirut to you, where so much blood has been shed and so much suffering endured. We bring before you the Lebanese people ,as well as the millions of Palestinian refugees who are beginning to lose hope. Many will have lost family members in the massacre forty years ago. Many will be suffering from the economic meltdown in Lebanon. Some may have been caught up in the recent chemical explosion in the port. Some will be fearing an outbreak of the pandemic and many are facing cuts in the critical aid from donors. Lord, we pray that other nations will continue to provide support for Lebanon, even as they are struggling with the demands of their own people. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Peru. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer 17.9.20

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 AbdulRahman 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.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer 10.9.20

The Kumi Now Online Initiative invited speakers from the Arab Educational Institute, (AEI), to talk about the Israeli separation wall and the annexation of the site of Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem on Tuesday, the 8th of September.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the work of the AEI and their work to shed light on the injustice of annexing the site of Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. We pray for the people of Bethlehem confined by the separation wall and hemmed in by the illegal Israeli settlements. We think of them especially at this time of pandemic when so many dependent on tourism, will have lost their jobs. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Three young children were burnt to death in a fire in the Al-Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza on Tuesday, the 1st of September. The fire is thought to have been caused by candles which were lit in the house during one of the frequent power cuts in the territory.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the horrific deaths by fire of Yousef, Mohammad and Mahmoud Al-Hazeen. We pray for the family as they grieve their loss. We pray for the people of Gaza who have had to subsist on just a few hours of electrical power each day, due to the lack of fuel deliveries to the only power plant there. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On Wednesday, the 2nd of September, a young Israeli Arab teacher and a mother of three children from Ramla, Sharifa Abu Muammar, was killed. Sharifa was preparing for the start of the new school year when she was shot and killed by a stray bullet from an illegal weapon. Violent crimes in the Arab community are on the increase, but little is being done by the Israeli police to curb the provision of illegal weapons.

  • Dear Lord, we are saddened by the violent death of Sharifa and sympathize with the shock and grief this will have caused her family and friends. We pray for groups who seek to reach Arab community leaders, as well as the Israeli police, to try to build safer and more equal communities. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Jerusalem a is a gospel song with a catchy tune, written by the South African musician Master KG. Fans of the tune in Angola posted a video of their own choreography to the tune and this video went viral under the name of #JerusalemaDanceChallenge. In August the Jerusalem music collective, Jaw, uploaded a Palestinian version of the video, filmed in Bab el Majlis in the Old City, with the participation of Jerusalem’s Afro-Palestinian community. Local dancers created their unique version of the dance adding elements of dabkeh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ1AB5OrCks

  • ‘The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.’ (Ps.9:9-10) We thank you, Lord, for the Jerusalem a dance video from the young people in Jerusalem, sent with a loving tribute to the young people in South Africa. We pray that their joyful creation will inspire the hearts of young people facing oppression in Palestine, South Africa and around the world. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Abu Ahmad works for a low salary as a member of a sanitation service in Ramallah. He also lives with the challenge of his serious hearing impairment. His son is a member of a Palestinian dance group and, as a tribute to his father, the group performed a flash mob dance using sign language. The video of the dance has been widely viewed and appreciated in the community. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-GRUZl71Ho

  • Lord, at this time of pandemic, so many of us have come to notice and be thankful for those carrying out the essential work to sustain healthy communities. We thank you for this heartfelt tribute of a son to his father who has had to face many challenges in his life. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On Tuesday, the 1st of September, dozens of demonstrators in Shufa village near Tulkarem were protesting Israeli plans to confiscate 800 km2 of Palestinian land to build an industrial park. One elderly protester, 65-year-old Khairi Hannoun was arrested during the protest. He was wrestled to the ground by a soldier, who then proceeded to kneel on his neck and back as he put handcuffs on him. The video of this arrest was soon circulating on social media as it was so reminiscent of the horrific killing of George Floyd while in US police custody.

  • Dear Lord, we pray that Israeli soldiers will stop using excessive force to disperse Palestinian protests. We pray too that the illegal confiscation of Palestinian land by the Israeli government will cease. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Ghana and Nigeria. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer 3.9.20

The Kumi Now Online Initiative invited speakers from Adalah to talk about their work defending the rights of Palestinian Bedouin on Tuesday, the 1st of September. The Israeli authorities have been attempting to force the Bedouin from their ancestral lands for over twenty years.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the humanitarian work of Adalah. Thank you for all those people in Israel/ Palestine who ‘pursue justice and guide the oppressed’ (Is.17). Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

In the Gaza Strip a lockdown has been extended for a further 72 hours after the number of  patients suffering from Covid-19 rose to 25 cases. The Ministry of Health in the Occupied West Bank announced that they were ready to provide Gaza with any equipment it required to limit the outbreak.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the people of Gaza, that this lockdown and other precautionary measures will help to limit the outbreak of the pandemic in this overcrowded land, which continues to suffer impoverishment from the Israeli blockade. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The villagers of Al-Araqib had their tents and shelters destroyed for the 177th time by the Israeli occupation forces on Thursday, the 27th of August. Since March 2000 the villagers have faced repeated harassment to try to force them off their land and into government-run townships.The Israeli authorities have also convicted Sheikh Sayyah al-Turi and his two sons, as well as Salam al-Turi on the charges of ‘building without a license’ and ‘seizing state lands’.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the people of Al-Araqib as yet again their shelters are torn down. We pray for an end to merciless abuse of Palestinians by the Israeli authorities who order the demolition of homes even in this time of pandemic. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, the 26th of August Father Firas Hijazin, a priest from the Franciscan Friars died of the coronavirus. Father Firas served in the Franciscan Terra Santa schools which were first founded in the Holy Land in the 16th century.  These schools have done so much to raise educational standards and to promote a message of peaceful co-existence between Jews, Muslims and Christians living in the Holy Land.

  • Lord, we pray for the family and friends of Father Firas as they mourn his death. We thank you for his life of service, particularly for his work in schools. We pray for comfort for the Franciscan community he served and the students he taught. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • Lord, we also remember at this time a young woman, Dana Salah, a member of a Catholic youth group in Jerusalem. Dana was involved in a road accident and passed away from her injuries. We pray for the medical team who tried to save Dana and for her family and friends as they grieve. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

‘Come, let’s see a movie’ is a three year project which has been launched by several Palestinian organisations with a view to helping young people from different areas and backgrounds to have a greater awareness of what conditions are like in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. With backing from the EU, the three Palestinian groups have designed a project to enable ten films to be made by young Palestinian women. These films will then be screened in community groups and the discussions arising from the films will be screened on television.

  • Lord, we are thankful for community projects such as this film project which can bring a greater awareness of the  different challenges faced by young Palestinians. We pray that this project will bring hope and inspiration at a time when many are struggling with despair. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Tojo. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

27th August 2020

On Tuesday, 25th August, the Kumi Now Online Initiative heard from the Dar al-Kalima University College of the Arts about art as a form of resistance in Palestine. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land opened the Dar al-Kalima University in Bethlehem in 2006.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the vision of the Lutheran Church to offer further education in the arts for the young people of Bethlehem. We pray that the university teachers will continue to inspire the next generation of creative leaders in Palestine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Tuesday, the 18th of August the Gaza Strip’s sole power plant halted operations due to an Israeli ban on fuel, along with most other goods, entering the enclave which is under Israeli blockade and bombardment. The Israeli action came as part of the punitive measures enforced over the launch of incendiary balloons and rockets from Gaza. Hospitals, businesses, and homes in Gaza will have to rely on generators and solar power to make up for the power cuts.

  • Lord, we pray for the people of Gaza as they try to survive under the crippling Israeli blockade. We pray that the Israeli authorities will have mercy at this time of pandemic crisis and allow the restoration of fuel supplies to Gaza, before a humanitarian crisis breaks out. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

After a five-month closure following the outbreak of Covid-19, schools in Palestine will re-open in September. Marwan Awartani, the Palestinian Minister for Education, stated that all students would need to respect social distancing and follow health protocols.

  • Lord, we pray for the teachers and students in Palestine and many other countries who will start back at school after months of lockdown. We pray that they will be able to resume their studies with confidence and enthusiasm. We pray too for the parents concerned for the health and safety of their children. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel has been transferred from Al Jalama Prison to a solitary confinement cell in Ashkelon. Sheikh Salah handed himself in to the Israeli prison authorities to complete his 28-month sentence over claims of incitement. The charge followed his criticisms of the Israeli authorities for setting up metal detectors at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for Sheikh Salah and other Palestinians who have the courage to speak out over the actions of the Israeli occupation authorities, even at the cost of their own liberty. ‘Speak truth to one another; render in your gates judgements that are true and make for peace.’ (Zech 8:16). We pray that the Israeli authorities will listen to all the people of the land and not charge and imprison anyone who speaks out over legitimate grievances. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Mahmoud Nawajaa, the Palestinian Co-ordinator of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, (BDS), was released without charge on Monday, the 17th of August. He had been arrested at his home in Ramallah on the 30th of July and charged with belonging to an illegal party and providing services to it.

  • Thank you, Lord for the release of Mahmoud Nawajaa. We pray for the Palestinians who seek to oppose the occupation by nonviolent means and for the support of people around the world for Palestinians living under apartheid conditions in Israel. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, the 19th of August a video went viral in Palestine. The video showed how Israeli soldiers had abused and beaten young Palestinian workers while they were on their way to work in Israel. Montaser Al-Fakhoury, 21, from Hebron spoke to a reporter from the Palestine News Network about how the soldiers had beaten him and other workers and had stolen money and cigarettes from them.

  • Lord Jesus, we pray that the abuse suffered by these Palestinian workers and many others who have to endure the daily humiliation of passing through Israeli checkpoints will cease. We pray that the Israeli authorities will censure and stop the abuse from their soldiers. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel-Kairos UK will be holding an Online Conference on Saturday, the 19th of September from 10am -12 noon. The AGM for members will follow on from 12:15-1pm. The speakers are Rev. Dr Munther Isaac from Kairos Palestine and Omar Haramy from Sabeel Jerusalem. The themes are ‘You cannot serve God and the occupation’ and ‘Antisemitism, Israel and Palestine’. The conference will be led in worship by Amos Trust founder, Garth Hewitt. The registration for the conference is now up on the Sabeel website.

  • Lord, we are thankful that Sabeel/ Kairos is still able to host a conference in this year of pandemic, even if it has to be held remotely. We pray that many people around the world will listen to the talks and participate in the question and answer sessions. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

 Thursday 20th August 2020

The Kumi Online Initiative welcomed speakers from Churches for Middle East Peace, (CMEP) on Tuesday, the 18th of August  to speak about their work to end the blockade of Gaza .The CMEP are concerned about the dire humanitarian situation which has developed in Gaza since the Israeli government implemented the blockade in 2006.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the efforts of the CMEP to try to lift the Israeli blockade and to bring an end to the suffering and grinding poverty of those trying to survive in Gaza. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday the 12th of August, Sabeel organized the Virtual Jerusalem Ecumenical Prayer Service in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land and in co-operation with other churches in Jerusalem. The service was conducted in Arabic. English, French and Japanese are available online.

  • God our Father in heaven, we seek your kingdom and righteousness; yet we cannot find peace or justice. We put before You the injustice of our oppression, the confusion and division among our leaders, their righteousness and the absence of it. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The highest number of Covid 19 fatalities since the pandemic began, were recorded by the Israeli Ministry of Health with 17 deaths in a 24 hour period. The highest infection rates are currently found in ultra Orthodox Jewish and Arab majority towns and cities.

  • Lord Jesus, we are still in the midst of the pandemic storm. Let us remember that so long as Jesus is with us in the storm, we should not be afraid. He is with us in the boat of life on a raging sea. Christ is our Saviour, our Healer and our Redeemer. We hear Him calling us, ‘Come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.’ (Matt 11:28-30). Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Israel began bulldozing the village homes of families in the  West Bank village of Farseen not far from Jenin on Tuesday, the 11th of August. One family’s home has already been demolished and the same is expected to happen to more than 30 other buildings as the Israeli authorities would not grant them permits to build.

  • Dear Lord, Your law is that anyone without shelter shall be given shelter and that no one is deprived of their home. That is Your law, but the law of the occupation authorities is different. Yet those who are powerful and unjust are also your children. Would You, dear Lord, talk to them and inspire them to take the path of righteousness and justice to preserve our houses. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Churches in the Holy Land are facing serious challenges due to Covid 19. Many clergy from different denominations have not received their salaries for more than five months.

  • God of love and hope, You who created the world and care for every creature, this world is going through strange times. Lord help us to look for signs of Your love for us and help us keep our hearts filled with Your love. We pray for all those who are anxious and worried, sick or in distress, for comfort and relief, for rewards for their patience and an end to their suffering. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Young Catholics in the Holy Land have started a fund-raising campaign to help destitute families in Beirut, Lebanon, after the explosion in the city left many homeless. Some have been selling locally made rosaries to Catholics in the Holy Land and abroad.

  • Lord, we pray that You help our hearts grow to embrace the whole world, east and west, north and south in our prayers, love and solidarity during these trying times, so that our solidarity offers solace to them and tangible support. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The US, Israel and United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced a deal to normalize diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel on Thursday, the 13th of August. Netanyahu stated that Israel’s plan for the illegal annexation of large parts of the West Bank has only been postponed and is still on the table. The new deal with the UAE will bring further pressure to bear on the Palestinians and will make their options even narrower.

  • 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 Liberia and Sierra Leone. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Thursday 13th August 2020

On Tuesday 11th August, Kumi Now Online explored the topic of child detention. They were joined by Khaled Quzmar, Director General of Defence for Children International Palestine (DCIP). Find out more information and sign up at www.kuminow.com/online. 

  • Lord, we pray for the work of DCIP as they strive to work against the illegal Israeli detention of children. We pray that children around the world have the freedom to live, develop, and grow without threat of detention and free from occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Covid19 continues to spread around the world with a continuing high number of cases throughout Israel and Palestine. Restrictions continue in Israel and Palestine. With a very low number of confirmed cases in Gaza, schools have been able to restart in the past few days. 

  • Healing Lord, we pray for all those who continue to be affected by Covid19. We continue to pray for all the medical staff who work tirelessly to deal with those worst affected putting their own lives at risk in the process. Be with staff and students in Gaza as they return to the classroom. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Tuesday 4th August, an explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut causing almost complete destruction of the port area and a very large number of deaths and injuries. The people of Lebanon were already struggling to deal with high levels of Covid19 and poverty especially among Syrian and Palestinian refugees.

  • O God, bring comfort to those who mourn, healing to those who are injured, and shelter to those who are homeless. Give strength to those who are working now to rebuild the shattered lives of the people of Beirut and protect those who are vulnerable especially at this time of Coronavirus. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Friday 9th August, 23-year-old mother Dalia Samoudi from the northern West Bank city of Jenin was killed by Israeli occupation forces as she closed the windows of her home to protect her young children from the effects of tear gas.

  • Lord of those who mourn, be with the family of Dalia as they grieve. Support them as they try to come to terms with their loss and comfort them in their darkest times. We pray that the Israeli authorities end their brutal occupation and use of weapons against innocent people. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Four-year-old Haneen Zaloum from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan was killed by a stray bullet from a neighbourhood dispute on Friday 9th August.

  • Lord of those lost in the darkness, be with the family of Haneen as they struggle to come to terms with their loss. Support all the families of Palestine and Israel as they struggle to deal with family disputes made worse by economic conditions caused by Covid19. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel, in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), has produced an ecumenical prayer service involving a number of churches and young people from Jerusalem. The service, in Arabic, is available on YouTube and Facebook from 6pm on Wednesday 12th August. (https://youtu.be/RNCbZIbzB0E). 

  • Dear Lord, we are thankful for those who came together for this service. For the time to pray and reflect together over Jerusalem during this time of pandemic and occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of the Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

6th August 2020

The Kumi Now Online Initiative is encouraging its supporters to join in a celebration of the work of young women filmmakers at the Palestinian Arts Night on Tuesday, the 4th of August. It will also be an opportunity to hear some of the women from the Shashat Women Cinema being interviewed, (www.kuminow.com/online)

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the way filmmakers, especially women, are able to use their artistic gifts to show memorable images and tell stories which express the sufferings of the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Occupied Palestinian Territories have recorded about 15,000 cases of coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak. They are now experiencing a second and more severe wave of the pandemic, with the number of deaths recorded at 86 (as of the 2nd August). The Palestinian Health Authority has reported a spike of new cases in Hebron and East Jerusalem and are powerless to impose strict containment measures in these areas which are under Israeli control. The situation in these areas is exacerbated by Israeli nightly raids and arrests as well as the shutdown and demolition of testing centres set up in Silwan and Jenin.

  • Oh Lord, we cry out to you and pray that the Israeli authorities will cease their acts of harassment and aggression against the Palestinians. We pray that those living in overcrowded conditions, especially refugee camps, in the West Bank and Gaza will receive advice and support in how to limit their vulnerability to the virus. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Friday, the 31st of July, more than 27,000 Palestinian Muslims attended the Eid al-Adha prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. All worshippers were required to wear face masks, bring their own prayer mats and observe social distancing. The East Jerusalem compound is a holy site in Islam and non-Muslim worship is prohibited there. Despite this understanding, groups of Jewish settlers, under armed guard, attempted to force their way into the compound on the previous day to commemorate Tisha B’Av the Jewish holiday.

  • Dear Lord, we pray that those living in Jerusalem will treat each other with respect and consideration and that all faiths have the freedom and opportunity to pray without threat in their holy places. We pray that these disruptive settler intrusions into the compound in Jerusalem will cease. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Three of Banksy’s paintings, which originally hung in The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, have been sold by Sotheby’s in London. The triptych of paintings references the migrant refugee crisis in Europe over the past decade. The auction of the triptych raised £2.2 million which Banksy is donating to the building of a new acute stroke unit and for equipment for children for the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation Hospital.

  • Lord, we are thankful for the generous donation of funds towards the healthcare needs of those living in Bethlehem. We are also mindful of the discrimination exercised by the Israeli authorities who fully fund the Israeli healthcare system, while leaving the Palestinian system underfunded and dependent on support from abroad. Lord, we pray for an end to this injustice. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Joint Advocacy Initiative (run by the East Jerusalem YMCA and the YWCA of Palestine), have set up a training programme for Palestinian secondary school students between the ages of 15 and 16 years old. They have linked up students from different backgrounds, some from a youth group in the Dhaisha Refugee Camp, some from the Melkite Catholic School in Beit Sahour, and some from the Al- Khader Village Secondary School for Girls. So far forty students have joined the programme and have attended two sessions. Students will have an opportunity to improve their advocacy and presentation skills and learn about how the occupation is affecting their lives in different ways.

  • Lord, we are thankful for this imaginative new initiative to help young Palestinians from different backgrounds to gain an insight into each other’s lives and aspirations. We pray that this shared experience will encourage them to gain in confidence and show them ways in which they might serve and strengthen their own communities. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Following their arrest and interrogation last week Suhail Khoury and his wife Rania Elias from the National Conservatory of Music and Yabous Cultural Centre, released a statement in Arabic and English. The statement called “on all Human Rights Organizations and UNESCO as well as the European Union and Representatives of Consulates and Diplomats to support these organizations in Jerusalem and to hold to account the occupying forces for their daily violations of the rights of the Palestinians and their organizations and to stop all attacks on scholars, artists, and musicians and those involved in the cultural life.”

  • Lord, we pray that organisations and individuals around the world will heed the call from Suhail and Rania. We pray that violations will cease, and that scholars, artists, and musicians can be free to express their art and promote their culture around the world. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of the Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

30th July 2020

In Week 41 of the Kumi Online Initiative representatives from Women in Black and other organisations plan to speak about how the occupation impacts society in Israel/Palestine on Tuesday, the 28th of July. Women in Black have been holding vigils every Friday in Central Jerusalem and elsewhere in protest against the occupation.  There are different groups which also witness against the occupation, including Jerusalem Link and Machsom Watch, among others.

  • Lord Jesus, you turned to speak to the weeping women in Jerusalem as you walked to your death, (Luke 23:27). We pray for the women who weep and stand in protest over the injustices of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

A second wave of the coronavirus has hit the occupied West Bank and Israel over the past few weeks. As of the 27th July there are 8,320 active cases, with 78 deaths recorded. In Gaza the numbers have remained more stable with 75 people diagnosed and one person having died. While in Israel there has been an ongoing spike in the number of cases, bringing the numbers of those who have tested positive to 61,956, while 470 people have died. Beyond the cold statistics many people in Palestine were touched by the devotion of a thirty-year-old son from Beit Awwa, who climbed to the third-floor window of the Hebron State Hospital to sit and see his mother who was suffering from the virus and then died on the 16th of July.

  • Lord, we are moved when we hear that a grown son so longed to be close to his dying mother that he risked climbing up the outside of a hospital to glimpse her through the window. So many people have been prevented from being present at the bedside of their loved ones or attending their funerals as the virus is so contagious. We pray for comfort for those who have not been able to take their leave of beloved relatives. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian drive-through COVID-19 station at the entrance to the West Bank city of Jenin on Tuesday, the 21st of July. The station was located in Area C which is under Israeli control, where the authorities rarely grant Palestinians permits to build.

  • Lord, even at this time of crisis from the pandemic the Israeli authorities continue to abuse the most vulnerable communities in the occupied West Bank. We cry out to you when we hear of these merciless acts of violence. Lord, hear the cry of the needy and ‘maintain the cause of the afflicted’ (Psalm140:12). Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, the 22nd of July, Israeli police arrested leading Palestinian cultural figures in East Jerusalem in a series of raids on their homes and workplaces. Rania Elias, Director of the Yabous Cultural Centre and her husband Suhail Khoury, Director of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, were detained at their home, but released later on that day. In a separate raid Daoud al-Ghoul, Director of the Jerusalem Arts Network-Shafaq was arrested at his home. Police seized documents from their offices.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for all those who devote their lives to supporting the cultural heritage of Palestinians living in Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories. We pray that they will not be daunted by attempts to strike at the heart of this heritage. We pray that the city of Jerusalem will remain a shared city, enriched by diverse people and cultures. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Monday, the 21st of July, Palestinians living in Tuqu’, south of Bethlehem, filmed Israeli forces loading an ancient stone Byzantine baptismal font on a truck and taking it away in the early hours of the morning. This font is only one of three ancient fonts which have been found on Palestinian land. This is the latest act in an ongoing campaign of historical appropriation by the Israeli occupying authorities.

  • Lord, yet again we hear reports of the violation of international law with the transfer of ancient artefacts out of occupied territory by an occupying power. We pray for an end to the occupation and for attempts to dispossess Palestinians. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.                    

On the morning of Monday 27th July, illegal Israeli settlers sprayed graffiti on the walls of and set fire to, and sprayed graffiti on the walls of a mosque in al-Bireh, Ramallah.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for calm and mutual respect for worshippers of different faiths in Palestine and Israel. We pray that the Israeli authorities respect the right of all faiths to worship safely in their own buildings without threat of injury or desecration of these holy places. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of the Republic of Congo, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

23rd of July, 2020

In Week 40 of the Kumi Now Initiative, Archbishop Elias Chacour, (author of ‘Blood Brothers’) spoke about the barriers to education experienced by Palestinian children. Israel runs a separate and unequal school system favouring Jewish Israelis over Palestinian students. There are some private Christian schools committed to diversity and equality among their students, but they receive a much lower subsidy from the government than Jewish schools. The Mar Elias School in Ibillin is one such school and it welcomes Muslim, Christian and Druze children from 45 different villages in the Galilee area. In Week 41, representatives from Women in Black and other organisations will speak about how the occupation impacts society in Israel/ Palestine on Tuesday, the 21st of July. (sign up at www.kuminow.com/online).

  • Lord, we pray about the divisive use of taxes to fund Israeli Jewish schools more favourably than schools for Palestinian students. We pray that such discrimination will be challenged and will cease. We thank you for schools like the Mar Elias School in Galilee, where Palestinian children from different faith backgrounds are respected and can learn together and grow in mutual respect. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

There has been a second wave of coronavirus infection in the occupied Palestinian Territories, as well as in Israel. There are currently 6,028 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the West Bank. 46 people have now died there, six of these deaths occurred since Monday, the 13th of July, including a two-week-old baby from Hebron, who had underlying health conditions. In Gaza 72 people have tested positive for the virus and one person has died. While in Israel 44,714 people have been confirmed to have the virus and 380 people have died.

  • Lord, we continue to pray for those suffering from the virus and for those who have recently lost loved ones to the pandemic. We pray for those in authority, that they would take wise and timely decisions to reduce the rate of infection among their communities. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On the 1st of July, Kairos Palestine and Global Kairos for Justice launched their ‘Cry for Hope’. Their call is intended for all the people of the land of Israel/Palestine to set free the oppressed and the oppressors from the occupation. Their call points the way to an inclusive nation, where all are respected and valued.

  • Dear Lord, we pray that Christians around the world will respond to the Kairos ‘Cry for Hope.’ Lord of mercy and compassion, we ask you to move the hearts of believers in different lands. We pray for their renewed efforts to alert their governments to the suffering of the Palestinians under prolonged occupation. We pray for an end to the occupation and a release from fear and oppression. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Tuesday, the 14th of July, Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian Territories, published his report on Israel’s illegal policies of collective punishment. He recommended an end to the 53-year-old occupation of Palestine and an end to all collective punishment measures, including the siege of Gaza. He urged the international community to take measures ‘to ensure the respect by Israel of its duty under international law to end the occupation’.

  • Oh Lord, we long to hear of an end to all Israeli policies of collective punishment. We pray that governments and international organisations will bring pressure to bear on the Israeli government to comply with international law and bring an end to the occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

A joint paper by Medical Aid for Palestinians, Al-Haq, and the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre was released on Wednesday, the 15th of July. The paper clarified ways in which the extended period of Israeli occupation has forced healthcare services for Palestinians in East Jerusalem to breaking point, even before the pandemic. This neglect has left healthcare professionals struggling to cope with urgent demands to care for coronavirus patients and those with serious long-term conditions.

  • Lord, we pray that after the immediate crisis of the pandemic, the sorry state of the healthcare system in East Jerusalem will be properly reviewed and will receive funding to enable it to care for the health and well-being of Palestinians living in Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Some enterprising Palestinians are finding new and ingenious ways to develop their businesses even under the double pressures of ongoing occupation and Covid-19. A manufacturer of metal products based in the northern West Bank area of Jenin is producing electronic gates which can sanitise people and vehicles against Covid-19. Their order book is full, and they have plans to export the gates to neighbouring countries.

  • Thank you, Lord, for the determination and hard work of men and women in the Palestinian community who are overcoming the hindrances of lockdown and the occupation to create thriving businesses. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.