Wave of Prayer

On June 8th, the Israeli military conducted a massacre in Nuseirat refugee camp, in its military operation to rescue some of the Israeli hostages. The Israeli army and their intelligence personnel disguised themselves as displaced Palestinians seeking aid. At least 274 Palestinians were killed, with nearly 700 people sustaining injuries, mostly civilians, according to medical reports. Four Israeli hostages were rescued in the operation.

Divine creator, we know that every human being is equal before your eyes. Lord, whilst we are grateful the four Israeli hostages were rescued, we are outraged that it took a massacre to do so. Lord, how long until Palestinian lives are seen by the world to be created in your image? How long can truth and goodness be twisted with deceit and hate? Lord, intervene by bringing your holy justice which values Palestinian lives equally to others, and uproots the source of injustice.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer      

The World Health Organization (WHO) documents 464 attacks on healthcare facilities and equipment in Gaza. The global agency says the attacks have resulted in 727 fatalities, 933 injuries, 101 health facilities and 113 ambulances destroyed since the 7th of October. The attacks by the Israeli military have been across all of Gaza from the north, south and centre. 

God of healing, we give thanks for all the saints in Gaza, known and unknown, who have sacrificed their lives to aid those in need. In this unjust and dark world, where sin seems to reign and hope is lost, we remember that, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7). Lord, help us bring just peace, guided by love.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

On the 5th of June, thousands of Israelis, escorted by Israeli police, stormed the Old City of Jerusalem, commencing the annual flag-waving march which celebrates the anniversary of Israel’s occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967. Some Israelis made it through to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and performed provocative prayers. During the march, Israelis chanted fascist slogans, attacked numerous Palestinians and journalists, and vandalized Palestinian shops. The Israeli police arrested several local Palestinians, including children, following the attacks.

Holy God, we cry with you over Jerusalem, a city of hate and sin. Lord, illuminate to us the institutions, structures, and beliefs that foster supremacy, and help us dismantle them. Cultivate in us a holy anger against sin and deliver us when we are tempted to fight evil with evil. Lord, bless those who are persecuted in Jerusalem and all of Palestine.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

An Israeli doctor at a field hospital for Gazan detainees at Israel’s Sde Teiman army base has described “deplorable conditions” and “routine” amputations due to handcuff injuries. In a letter to Israel’s attorney general and defence and health ministers, obtained by Haaretz, the doctor said the conditions at Sde Teiman field hospital compromise inmates’ health and violates medical ethics. Additionally, CNN has recently published a report detailing how the detainees are permanently blindfolded and held in diapers. 

God of protection, you, like many Palestinians, were unjustly tortured, neglected, and humiliated. Lord, we do not know how, but assure the Palestinians who are unjustly treated that you see them. Remind us that if we oppress and torture the weak, we are handcuffed to hatred by denying our own humanity. Lord, break the literal and systematic chains of sin and empower us to never give up struggling for goodness and mercy.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

At least 3600 Palestinians are under administrative detention without charge or trial. In the occupied Palestinian territories, one in every five Palestinians has been arrested and charged at some point. This rate is twice as high for Palestinian men as it is for women – two in every five men have been arrested and charged. Several of the Palestinian prisoners are children.  

God of freedom, we pray for true justice and deliverance for all Palestinian prisoners who are unjustly in prison and are enduring horrific conditions. Vindicate them with full honour. Give them and their families hope and courage  in their times of suffering. Lord, as Israeli courts systematically deny justice for Palestinians, help us fight for Palestinian prisoners creatively and persistently. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

Last month, the Catholic Church marked the month in honour of Mary, mother of Jesus. Catholics around the world paid homage to Mary with special services and prayers. On the 30th of May, Sabeel’s women Bible study series had a session dedicated to Mary led by sister Ghada Ne’meh. 

God of Mary, we understand the cries of Mary over Christ through the cries of Palestinian mothers mourning their children killed by the empire. Lord, help us be a disciple, prophet, and a witness like Mary so that we may be light and salt in the world. We thank you for Sabeel’s bible study series which helps our community meditate on your never-ending love.  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers  

Wave of Prayer

June 6th, 2024

Israel continues to pound Rafah with bombs, resulting in multiple massacres. Some areas of the bombardment were designated as humanitarian safe zones where Israeli officials told Palestinians to flee. There are no more functional hospitals and ambulances in Rafah. Despite the recent ICJ ruling, Israeli continues its military operations. All eyes on Rafah.

 ● Incarnated Christ in Rafah, we come to you echoing the lament of the psalmist “Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1). Lord, cultivate in us a stubborn hope which carries on regardless of our understanding, capability, and faith. Work through us, O Lord, in these dark times.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

On the 30th of May, Shadi Khoury, the grandson of one of our founders, Samia Khoury, was back in Israeli courts. Shadi was arrested brutally along with other children in 2022 under the false accusation of disturbance and plans to cause harm to Israelis. Since then, Shadi has been under house arrest with a long series of trials and sessions attempting to convict him. Despite this, Shadi was able to graduate from high school on June 2nd with the support of his peers, friends, and teachers at the Friends School in Ramallah. 

God of mercy, we pray for Shadi and his family who are suffering from the cruelty of the empire. We thank you for the support of his school despite everything and ask you to strengthen Shadi in times of weakness and healing through liberation. Lord, give sight to those who are blind to their participation in oppression. We remember the proverb that, “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment” (Proverbs 12:19).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

Over 2 million Gazans remain at risk of food-insecurity, and half are at risk of starvation. Several Gazans, many of them children, have been killed due to the ongoing man-made famine. The reports of the famine in Gaza cannot depict the full scale of suffering. The news that manages to come out of Gaza may be the tip of the iceberg. According to UNRWA “food insecurity” has increased by 80 percent since December. Furthermore, the UN has suspended aid due to untenable security caused by the Israeli military invasion of Rafah.  

God of the starving, we pray for the millions of Gazans who are going through an engineered famine. Multiply the little aid and food in Gaza as you did when feeding the 5,000 and stop this horror of starvation. Lord, we also pray for our oppressors who are having their own famine of love and repentance. We hold on to our faith that, “the poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord” (Psalm 22:26).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

Last week, during an Israeli military raid in Ramallah, Israeli forces fired tear gas, live ammunition, and stun grenades into a fruit and vegetable market. Consequently, the market caught on fire and Palestinian firefighters battled with the flames for several hours. At least one Palestinian was injured in the attack. This attack is symbolic of the destruction people experience regularly across the West Bank.

Divine creator, you entrusted us to be stewards of your good creation. Lord, help us fulfill our responsibilities by resisting the empires who are reckless with their power, destroying anything in their path. We remember that the, “One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless” (Proverbs 14:16). Lord, sober up the powerful and give us wisdom as we fight for justice.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

Friends of Sabeel Germany have been diligently working towards justice and peace in Palestine-Israel. They have written several letters addressing the inaction of Church leadership in Germany concerning the ongoing events in Palestine-Israel. Additionally, they have translated Palestinian theological resources into German, assisted with a speaking tour across Germany for the Tent of Nations, and engaged in various other activities.

Holy God, you have created us to be in community with one another. Lord, we thank you for the friendship and works of Friends of Sabeel Germany and all those who are envisioning a just peace in Palestine-Israel. Lord, continue working through all people all around the world so that your will be done on earth. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

Sabeel-Kairos Netherlands is part of organising a series of protests titled “Jesus has left the building”. For the next 6 Sundays there will be organised Church walkouts due to its lukewarm stances over the suffering in Gaza and lack of action. This series of walkouts is an invitation for all Church denominations to participate in. 

● Loving God, thank you for the love of our friends across the globe who continue to show us their love through their organizing and work for justice. We thank you for the leadership of Sabeel-Kairos Netherlands and for all who will participate in these protests. Bless all those who are witnessing to your “upside-down Kingdom” by disrupting the status-quo. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Eswatini.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

Wave Of Prayer

May 31st, 2024

On the 20th of May, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan, issued a statement seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, and Hamas leaders, Ismail Haniyeh, Yahya Sinwar, and Mohammed Deif. All bear criminal responsibilities for several war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

God the royal judge, whilst we pray for truth and justice to be exposed and enacted within the bodies of international law, we remember that true change requires moral and spiritual transformation, which is demanded by the law of love. Lord, whether in the ICJ, ICC, or on the streets, help us, “Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

On June 6th, Friends of Sabeel France with 3 other French Christian movements are holding a webinar titled “Christians in Palestine & Christians in France: Which solidarity today and tomorrow?” This webinar will include Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac, the “Patriarch of the people” Michel Sabbah, and Omar Haramy, in addition to various pastors and priests from France.  

God of justice, we thank you for the work of our friends and pray that all the speakers will be guided by the Holy Spirit. Lord, may this webinar inspire the Church to confess and repent for its complicity of Palestinian oppression and inspire prophetic action and imagination. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

Throughout the month of May, Sabeel has been hosting various delegations. The first delegation was a group of storytellers who consisted of award-winning singers, songwriters, and bestselling authors. The second delegation is from The Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who are here to “Come and see and go and tell”. 

Divine creator, we are your pilgrims and are always journeying to seek you. We pray that all those who have witnessed the beauty and suffering of our land will spread our voices and work for our empowerment. Lord, help the oppressed illuminate the “Sabeel” (Arabic for “the way”) towards a more just and liberated reality. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

On the 19th of May, the Good Shepherd Anglican Church in Nablus was raided by Israeli soldiers at 4am. The security cameras of the Church captured soldiers vandalising Church property, the parish hall, and more. In response, the Church called the invasion “an evil and cowardly act” and quoted Matthew 16:18 “18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it”.

Christ the good shepherd, although we fail to follow you, you protect us. Lord, remind us that faith belongs to you and faith, rightly understood and well lived, both personally and communally, leads us to liberation. Lord, we pray that the Anglican Church in Nablus be protected and that you are with them in their afflictions.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

Last week, the Israeli military raided Jenin refugee camp, resulting in the deaths of 12 people, including a teacher, a doctor, and four children. Moreover, Israeli bulldozers have demolished homes and the infrastructure of the camp. 

God of love, you alone know the extent of suffering the people of Jenin refugee camp have experienced. Lord, let us not be afraid to defend the oppressed because of the power of the strong. Help us be your vessels from which your love flows since, “we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

Last Friday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a ruling charging Israel to immediately halt its military operations in Rafah, following South Africa’s ongoing case against Israel for the crimes of genocide. The Israeli war cabinet minister, Benny Gantz, brushed aside the ICJ’s order and the Israeli military have continued the ruthless bombardment of Rafah. News coming out of Rafah reports that at least 40 Palestinians have been killed in designated “safe zones”, many of whom were burned alive.   

 ● Everlasting God, we remember that no matter what ruling international law orders, we must continue the good fight. Lord, we cry to you to save the people of Gaza like the Psalmist declares, “Deliver me, O Lord, from evildoers; protect me from those who are violent, who plan evil things in their minds and stir up wars continually” (Psalm 140:1-2). Lord, we cry out to you, to put an end to this cruel genocide.  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Angola and Mozambique. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Wave of Prayer

May 23rd, 2024

After over 200 days, Israel continues its military operations in Gaza. Israeli air strikes are relentless, killing many indiscriminately and destroying Mosques, residential buildings, ambulances, hospitals, and UN facilities. The little news coming out of Jabalia refugee camp is horrifying. Despite international pressure Israel has not withdrawn from Rafah and continues its invasion resulting in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Experts contend that Israel’s impunity from international law threatens global security. As of this week, over 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7th.

Loving God, why is this nightmare continuing? Lord, for our siblings in Gaza we ask that you have mercy on them and strengthen them in these times, as for us, keep our hearts from being numb to the pain and show us the ways to stop these atrocities. Lord, in these dark times with no hope in sight, we remember that we must “endure patiently” (Revelations 3:10) and continue being witnesses of Christ irrespective of our circumstances.  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Since October 7th, Israel has killed more than 500 Palestinians in the West Bank. This toll is more than three times the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank in 2022. At the same time, settlements are increasing, further stealing Palestinian land. Sadly, in the past few months hundreds of olive trees have been burned by settlers. 

God of truth, illuminate with your light that you see the oppression in our land. Ensure us that all those killed unjustly in the West Bank are met with your mercy. Lord, instil in us a hope which is lived, preached, and taught so that we can bear witness to your love and participate in the movement of the Holy Spirit.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 29th of May, Sabeel will be holding a pre-conference webinar for a further discussion on Antisemitism with Hadar Cohen, Rabbi Faryn Borella, Father David Neuhause, and our director, Omar Haramy. This webinar discussion will cover the history of Antisemitism, the experience of antisemitism by Jews who are vocal about advocating for Palestine, and strategies for combating antisemitism within our movements.

God of inclusivity, we thank you for all the voices who are showing that Jewish security and Palestinian liberation is of the same struggle. Lord, help us understand that the fight against Zionism is also a struggle against antisemitism. Let us remember, that we must struggle against supremacy in all its forms everywhere and stop the weaponization of Jewish suffering to justify Palestinian oppression.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

UNRWA is set to close its East Jerusalem headquarters temporarily, after attacks by Israelis accompanied with armed men. UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, said the latest arson attack was one of a series of threats, harassment and violent incidents perpetrated by Israelis against the agency’s staff over the past two months. The attacks on UNRWA and the lack of accountability reflects the systematic approach to halt and delegitimize attempts to relieve Palestinians from their suffering. 

Almighty creator, we are witnessing the capabilities of evil and are aware of their dangers. Lord, ensure that UNRWA can continue working and aiding Palestinians who are continuously suffering from systematic sin. We plead that you remind us that you are love and whoever lives in love lives in you, and you in us. We pray for those living in hate to repent and join the work of love by struggling for Palestinian liberation. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

This week, the 7th “Christ at the Checkpoint” Conference, organized by Bethlehem Bible College, will be held. This year, the title of the conference is “Do Justice, Love Mercy: Christian Witness in Contexts of Oppression.” The aim of Christ at the Checkpoint is to provide an opportunity for Evangelical Christians to prayerfully seek a proper awareness of issues of peace, justice, and reconciliation in Palestine.

Incarnated Christ who is at the Checkpoint and not in the halls of the empire, we thank you for the witness of our friends and pray that the Holy Spirit be among those attending. Lord, as many are gathering to worship your name at the conference, help us do justice and love mercy in this beautiful but oppressed land.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

On the 19th of May, Christians following the Julian Calander marked Pentecost day. Pentecost is a feast day commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the followers of Christ and the birthday of the early Church. For us Palestinian Christians, we trace our heritage back to the day of Pentecost and attempt to continue what the early Church started. This year, Palestinian Christians from the West Bank were denied entering Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost.

Holy Spirit, remind us that we ought not to look up to the sky and remain disciples, but focus on fulfilling your will on earth so that we may be apostles. Lord, as many of us in these times come to you like the psalmist asking why you are “so far from my cries of anguish?” (Psalm 22:1), remind us to be one body participating in the movement of the Holy Spirit, working for liberation, justice, and peace in Palestine-Israel. Come, O Holy Spirit. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the Indian Ocean Islands: Comoros, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Wave of Prayer

Earlier last week, Hamas accepted an Egyptian-Qatari mediated cease-fire proposal. After the acceptance of Hamas, the Israeli military began bombing Rafah and fighting broke out at the border of Rafah. Many have been killed, including children. Humanitarian aid entering Gaza from Rafah has completely halted. Rafah hospitals are shutting down and according to UNRWA over 110,000 Palestinians have fled Rafah. The true extent of suffering in Rafah is unknown; all eyes on Rafah.

God who was, and is and is to come, like Jesus, our souls are overwhelmed with sorrow by the actions of the empires. The present circumstances seem to have no end in sight. The experience of loss and pain will remain with us until we die. Lord, ensure us that you are present with those suffering in Rafah and that you see all evil deeds whether they are in the light or in the dark. Lord, teach us how to lament so that we can actively work for an alternative reality.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 15th of May, Palestinians around the world mark Nakba day. This day commemorates the Nakba as it is the beginning of the Palestinian people’s dispossession of their peoplehood, land, identity and culture. Although the events of 1948 completely changed the Palestinian reality, the Nakba is not an event but a structure, hence, the Nakba is ongoing. The current genocide in Gaza, the violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem, the realities of Palestinians in historic Palestine, and the refugees in the diaspora, all stem from the ongoing Nakba.

God of Sumud, we the children of this land have been facing erasure for more than 76 years. The experience of oppression and death continues from our ancestors to our children and now more than ever we ask: for how long O Lord? Help us understand that every life destroyed from settler colonialism is itself a Nakba. We thank you for the Holy Spirit which manifests in the form of Sumud helping us to keep our humanity, our identity, our fight for justice, and our faith.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

On the 23rd of April, Kairos Palestine and Global Kairos for Justice Coalition issued a statement titled “A call for global Action and solidarity on Nakba Day May 15th, 2024: Israel’s Continuing Apartheid, Ethnic Cleansing, forcible displacement and now Genocide”. This statement calls on Churches, the International Community, and all other groups to use language which reflects the true realities on the ground and to act.   

God of truth, help us discern the Kairos of our time so that we can bear true witness to your presence with those crucified today. Lord, help our movement maintain mutual love united for one common purpose which is led by the Holy Spirit. Remind us that our capability does not come from ourselves but “our competence comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

On the 30th of April, Kairos-Sabeel Netherlands and the Christian Collective occupied the office of the Christian Union in the Netherlands. This was to demand from the Christian Union in the Netherlands to stop their support for Israel’s military operations, ensure sufficient aid into Gaza, and to engage with their critics in meaningful dialogue. 

God of inclusivity, we are thankful for all our friends who are challenging unjust and corrupt structures. Lord, help the movement of liberation, justice, and peace in the Netherlands to call for repentance for the active and complicit role the Church in the Netherlands has taken in the ongoing Nakba Palestinians are facing. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

Last week, the Israeli forces demolished 47 homes in al-Naqab, sending those families into permanent exile and with no promise of alternative housing. The homes demolished belonged to the Abu Asa family. This is one of the largest demolitions in years for the Palestinians in al-Naqab.

God of protection, in times of trouble we look to you as our shelter through the storm. Lord, restore the homes of the Abu Asa family and all Palestinians who have had their homes demolished. As we pray to you in lament may we remember that “the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:2) 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

The student encampments for Palestine continue to increase around the globe. Although many students, lecturers, and professors have been subject to violence, arrests, threats, and slander, several universities have agreed to divest from Israel or are considering it. Many student encampments have shown strong community building as they have shared food, COVID tests, reading materials on Palestine, and interfaith services. These student movements are shaking up the world.

Incarnated God, we thank you for the student movement for Palestine who are like the persistent widow who bothers unjust judges. Lord, we are grateful for the movement that is showing unwavering faith and causing the powerful to tremble, mountains to move, and inspiring millions. Lord, illuminate to us where we can bear witness in our lives through creative resistance. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Wave of Prayer

May 9th, 2024

Israel’s military has ordered Palestinians to move out of eastern Rafah, warning it is about to use extreme force. The consequences of an invasion in Rafah would be catastrophic. 1.4 million Palestinians have been sheltering in Rafah and half of them are children, most of whom have already been displaced. All eyes on Rafah.

God of the oppressed, you know what it is like to seek refuge from the power of the empire. We ask you to protect the people sheltering in Rafah, many of whom have been displaced several times. Lord, ensure the people in Rafah that even if they are displaced, killed, and tortured that your love to them is unbreakable since, “he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On April 30th, the United General Conference of The United Methodist Church made a groundbreaking call for church investment managers to exclude the bonds of three countries – Israel, Turkey, and Morocco – that are holding subject populations under prolonged military occupation. Furthermore, certain public actions were declared to struggle for justice and peace in Palestine and to answer the cries of the Palestinian Christian community.

God of hope, we are thankful for the efforts of the United Methodist Church to struggle for justice, peace, and truth. We pray that these statements and actions will encourage more Churches around the world to be witnesses to the God of the poor and the weak.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

On the 5th of May, Israel shut down Al Jazeera’s operations in the country and seized some of its communication equipment, prompting condemnation from the United Nations and rights groups over Israel’s restriction of press freedoms. This is yet another assault by Israel on the freedom of press since the 7th of October.

God of truth, we thank all journalists who have given a voice to the voiceless and have given the world a glimpse of dark realities. We remember that, “everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed” (John 3:20). Lord, ensure that truth and freedom of press will be restored so that liberation, justice, and peace can be achieved.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On Thursday the 9th of May, Sabeel will be holding a special joint English and Arabic zoom service titled “Hope in the Midst of Hopelessness: Orthodox Easter & Ascension Day”. This service marks Ascension Day for the Western Church and Easter for the Eastern Church and will include reflections from Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek, Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah, and Archbishop Atallah Hanna.

God of love, we thank you for the leadership and actions of Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek, Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah, and Archbishop Atallah Hanna who are part of the prophetic tradition of Palestinian Christianity. Lord, illuminate that your ascension, resurrection, and triumph happened brings good news with the oppressed and those crucified by the empire. Help us understand that if we are to be witnesses to your resurrection and ascension in our land, we ought to descend to the depths of suffering of the Palestinian people and proclaim liberation and peace.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

On the 4th of May, Palestinian Christians and the Orthodox Christian world marked Sabt al-Nour, which symbolizes Christ’s victory when he descended to hell. Whilst the origins of Sabt al-Nour are unknown, the day has become an indigenous Palestinian Christian practice potent with meanings of faith, justice, liberation, and victory. Sadly, the day was tainted with Israeli police violence which injured one of the Sabeel staff who attempted to receive the Holy Fire. Moreover, for the first time in history, the Holy Fire did not reach those celebrating in Gaza.  

God of light, ignite in us a Holy Fire which consumes any impurities, fears, self-doubt, pride, so we may bear witness to the living Christ. Lord, remind us not to focus on the tomb of Christ, for it is empty, but focus on the mission to spread the liberating fire of the Holy Spirit, even if there are checkpoints and empires in our way.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

The mass student protests in the United States are continuing. Despite facing detention, suspension, arrest, and other punishments, thousands of students have remained steadfast in their demands for a ceasefire, divestment from Israeli universities and companies that profit form the Israeli occupation, and the end of Palestinian oppression. In response, students have been met with military-style crackdowns and assault from Zionist groups.

Divine creator, we thank you for the students who are acting as good Samaritans working to end Palestinian suffering. Lord, give discernment to these protestors to continue keeping the people in Gaza the focus of the movement and not succumb to the pressures of those attempting to of derail their cause. Lord, block any attempt to disrupt the demands of the students whether by slander or violence and keep the movement going which is shaking up the world.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Wave of Prayer

May 2nd, 2024

After the withdrawal of the Israeli military from certain areas in Gaza, mass graves were found. Inside the Nasser Medical Complex in Gaza’s Khan Younis, Palestinian medics found at least 300 bodies in a mass grave, and earlier last week another mass grave was discovered at al-Shifa Hospital after a two-week Israeli siege. The death toll currently is at least 34,000, with two-thirds of the victims being children and women. The death toll is likely higher, as many bodies are stuck under the rubble or are in areas that are unreachable for medics.

God of life, in past prayers we have prayed for the Nasser Medical Complex and al-Shifa hospital. Lord, our nightmares of the horrors in Gaza are being confirmed with these mass graves. Keep our hearts from becoming numb to pain. Show us how to use our hands, our feet, and our hearts for goodness and mercy. Remind us that these mass graves are not numbers but people who loved, dreamed, and were created in your image. Lord, end this nightmare. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Last week, we received devastating news that Lara Sayegh, aged 18, died on her way from Gaza City to Rafah. Lara collapsed as she was walking on the “safe route” in an area where Israeli forces do not allow any ambulances, cars, or other emergency responses to enter. Lara’s mother who was accompanying her to Rafah is currently in a coma because of the shock. Furthermore, we learned that last week our friend, Dr. Yousef Al-Khouri’s parents apartment building has been partially destroyed in northern Gaza due to Israeli missile strikes. Thankfully, Dr. Al-Khouri’s family was not at the house but sheltering at Saint Porphyrius Church in northern Gaza.

 ● Man of Sorrows, give assurance to the Sayegh family that though Lara has passed from their sight, Lara has not passed from your care. We plead that you heal Lara’s mother and ensure she reaches safety. Lord, protect Dr. Al-Khouri’s family and all Gazan Christian families who are currently sheltering in Saint Porphyrius Church and remind them that God’s love for them cannot be destroyed or conquered. As we lament the tragedies of our communities in Gaza, we hold on to our faith that, “You will hear the cries of the oppressed and the orphans; you will judge in their favor” (Psalm 10:18).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

On the 29th of April, the Orthodox world marked the beginning of Holy Week. For Orthodox Christians, Holy Week entails strict fasting, extensive prayer, and church services, all in anticipation of Easter. This year, for Palestinian Christians who celebrate Orthodox Easter, especially those in Gaza, Holy Week is marked by intense suffering and yearning for hope.

God of the weak, as the Orthodox world marks Holy Week, remind us that Christ has come to deliver those who are suffering. Lord, illuminate that we must understand Holy Week with the suffering of those who are being persecuted now so that we may produce fruits of the Kingdom of God. Bless and protect all Palestinians marking Holy Week, especially those in Gaza.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 28th of March, the United Protestant Church in France (EPUdF) published two documents about the Churches and the situation in Palestine-Israel. The EPUdf calls for an immediate ceasefire and immediate access to humanitarian aid in Gaza. Additionally, the EPUdF recognizes the need for a just solution for all people in Palestine-Israel. 

Just God, we thank you for the various churches who strive for justice and peace for all peoples. Lord, to the churches who continue to promote and support supremacy and violence, may they transform as the Apostle Paul did on his way to Damascus. Mobilize us Lord, to continue acting unwaveringly regardless of our achievements, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 7th of April, Walid Daqqa, one of the most prominent Palestinian prisoners and novelists, died due to medical negligence in Israeli prisons. Walid was the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails after being held for 38 years. In 2022, Walid was diagnosed with cancer. Despite the many calls for his urgent release on humanitarian grounds, Israel denied Walid medical attention and treatment. Israeli forces also raided the tent where his family was receiving condolences, attacked mourners going to attend his funeral, and have withheld Walid’s body from his family.  

● God of the captives, although the powers of empire may imprison, kill, torture, harass, and silence, they cannot conquer love. We pray that you stop the systematic medical neglect of Palestinian prisoners by Israel. We plead that you hold all enablers and partakers of injustice accountable. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

Mass protests across top universities in the United States are taking place, including those of Yale, New York University and Columbia University. The movement are various student solidarity societies for Palestine and Student’s Jewish Voice for Peace. Many of the student protestors have been arrested, suspended, and threatened. The main calls from the protesters are the divestment from corporations that profit from Israel’s military, the severing of academic ties and collaborations with Israeli universities and programs and calling for a complete ceasefire in Gaza.    

Loving God, you have called us all to work for freedom, justice, and peace. We thank you for the brave students who are protesting for righteousness and are bearing witness to injustice. In these moments of deception and confusion, we remember that, “An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies” (Proverbs 12:17). Lord, protect the honest witnesses and give them wisdom with every word they speak, so that they bear good fruits, and be protected from those who want to slander and persecute them. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

We join with the World Council of Churches for the countries of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Wave of Prayer

April 25th, 2024

On the 19th of April, Iranian air defense shot down drones over Isfahan, according to state media. This escalates regional tensions following Iran’s retaliatory strike on Israel after an attack against its diplomatic premises in Syria. Israel’s action came after the alleged US approval of a potential Israeli invasion in Rafah, in exchange for Israel’s agreement to avoid an all-out military assault on Iran. Gaza is still being bombed and the death toll is rising with every hour that passes.

Prince of peace, although many of us are fearful of further regional escalations, may we not forget your precious children in Gaza who continue to suffer so terribly. Lord, how awful are empires which use Palestinian lives as pawns to maintain a violent status quo. We hold on to our faith that you are a just God, and we remember Isaiah’s words: “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless” (Isaiah 10:1-2).   

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 18th of April, Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian was arrested in her home in the Old City of Jerusalem, reportedly for incitement to terrorism, violence, and racism. During the arrest, the police also confiscated her mobile phone, computer, documents, and books by Mahmoud Darwish. This arrest was pushed forward by a campaign by students, right-wing activists, and politicians. However, Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian was later released under the condition of being reinterrogated. 

Divine creator, we are worried and angry following Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s arrest, which violates the right of freedom of speech and academic freedom. We thank you for the brave Palestinian thinkers who challenge the structures of injustice through intellectual activism. Remind us, Lord, that we ought to love you with all our mind. We plead that you protect Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian and vindicate her name from false accusations and slander.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

On the 24th of April, Sabeel will be holding its 4th preparatory webinar for the 2024 Sabeel Conference titled “Christophobia and the Persecution of Christians”. This webinar will discuss the persecution of Christians and how Christian Zionism exacerbates tensions for Palestinian Christians. The webinar will have expert speakers such as Rev. Dr. Waltrina Middleton, Rabbi Brant Rosen, and Rev. Dr. Paul McAllister. 

Incarnated God, Sabeel as a part of the living prophetic tradition of Palestinian Christianity has been resisting Christian Zionism for decades. Lord, your name is invoked for supremacy and hatred, distorting your inclusive and just character. We, the living stones, suffer so deeply from our Christian Zionist siblings and urge them to repent. Let this webinar remind us that, “whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness” (1 John 2:11).    

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 22nd of April, Jews around the world marked the beginning of Passover. Passover commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt as written in the book of Exodus. Passover is observed by avoiding leaven, and highlighted by the Seder meal which includes four cups of wine, eating matzah and bitter herbs, and retelling the story of the Exodus.

God of deliverance, we remember how the Hebrew midwives disobeyed Pharaoh and that you heard the cries of the enslaved (Exodus 2:23). Lord, remind us that no one can celebrate the essence of Passover if they are enslaving others and promoting supremacy. Lord, in these times of darkness give us the hope that we will one day, like Miriam on the other side of the Red Sea, sing songs of freedom. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

From April 25th to May 5th, Annie Sakkab’s short documentary “The Poem We Sang” will hold its world premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. The film follows a Palestinian director as she ruminates on the generational trauma caused by the loss of a family home and forced migration, transforming lifelong regrets into a healing journey of creative catharsis, and bearing witness. “The Poem We Sang” will be eligible for the Award for Best Short Documentary, as well as the Audience Award.  

God of life, we thank you for using creativity for healing and goodness. Remind us that all of us have different gifts and talents which reflect the image of God in us. We remember the words of the Apostle Peter, “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received” (1 Peter 4:10). Lord, let us serve one another by ending oppression and setting free those who live in tyranny. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Over the recent weekend, Israeli settlers and forces raided the West Bank. Notably, the Nour Shams Refugee Camp bore the brunt of the assault, where water and electricity were cut along with extensive infrastructure damage. At least 19 Palestinian were killed, including minors. Additionally, in a separate incident in another area of the West Bank, an ambulance driver was killed while on route to evacuate Palestinians injured in attacks by Israeli settlers. This weekend marked one of the deadliest episodes in the West Bank in years.

Holy God, give us sight to recognize the cause of violence in our land. We pray for all those who are mourning the loss of their loved ones. Lord, only you know the full extent of suffering in Palestinian refugee camps. We plead that you intervene and stop the cycle of violence and hate which settler colonialism creates and restore your good creation through liberation.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Wave of Prayer

April 18th, 2024

On the 13th of April, Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles towards Israel after vowing retaliation for a deadly Israeli strike on its consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus. Although nearly all the missiles and drones were intercepted, a 7-year-old girl, Amina al-Hassouni, was severely injured by missile shrapnel and an airbase in Israel was lightly damaged. Many fear that Israel’s future response to Iran’s attack will escalate to an all-out regional war.  

God of peace, many of us are fearful of a potential regional war. We ask that you heal the wounds of Amina and comfort her family with your presence. Lord, urge those in decision making positions to move quickly to lay the foundations for a comprehensive just peace in the region. Illuminate that the pivotal step towards achieving this requires putting an end to Palestinian suffering.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Hundreds of armed Israeli settlers stormed villages in the West Bank over the weekend, setting fire to several homes and cars, killing at least two people, and injuring many in one of the largest attacks by settlers this year. This attack was carried out in the pretext of revenge after a 14-year-old settler was found dead in the West Bank. Raids by Israeli settlers and soldiers against West Bank towns and villages have increased since October 7, killing hundreds of Palestinians.

God of justice, we lament over all those who have been killed by violence and hate. Lord, our land is filled with the blood of so many. Help us understand the root problem of these tragedies and resist it. Hold each person and system accountable for the injustice occurring in the West Bank and be with all who are mourning and afraid.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

In the beginning of April, a group of Israeli settlers accompanied by Israeli police officers entered the Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City, known as the Cows’ Garden, and began assaulting Armenians and vandalizing their property. This incident is part of a series of events where Israeli police and settler groups have assaulted Jerusalem’s Armenians. Armenian community members say losing the Cows’ Garden would pose an existential threat to their community and would irrevocably damage Jerusalem’s diverse character.

• God of inclusivity, the beauty of our people is akin to a colorful mosaic. The more supremacy and exclusivity reign in our land, the more our vibrant society is erased. Intervene and halt the bullying of Israeli police, settlers, and municipality who pose an existential threat to the Armenian community. Give joy and unwavering resolve to the Palestinian Armenians as they resist their own erasure.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

This week, Sabeel will host its yearly community Easter egg hunt in Beit Sahour, bringing together children from orphanages and the margins of society. Scheduled for mid-April to coincide with both Western and Eastern Easter celebrations, the event has a range of delightful activities for all participants.

• God of joy, we thank you for all children who teach us to delight in your creation and have joy despite our realities. Lord, we pray that the Sabeel Easter egg hunt will provide moments of laughter and happiness to these kids who have experienced so much sadness and pain. Lord, we remember your words, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mattthew 18:3).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Last week, Layan Nasir, a member of the Anglican Church in Beirzeit, was arrested, along with several others, by Israeli forces in the early hours of the morning. Following Layan’s arrest, the Archbishop of Canterbury has called for her swift release. Nasir was previously arrested on the 7th of July 2021, during which Israeli forces stormed her home where she was handcuffed, blinded, and transported to Ofer military camp for interrogation. The Israeli military court has placed Layan under a 4-month administrative dentation which means she has not been charged with any crime and her detention can be renewed indefinitely.

• Heavenly Father, we are worried for your precious daughter Layan and all others arrested with her. We come to you in prayer because “The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people” (Psalm 69:33). Lord, protect Layan and all those in detention. Comfort their families with your presence. Lord, deliver our oppressors who imprison themselves with hatred. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Germany is facing charges at the top United Nations court for allegedly “facilitating the commission of genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza in coordination with its military and political ally, Israel. Nicaragua presented its case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the 8th of April, demanding judges impose emergency measures to stop Germany from providing Israel with weapons and other assistance.

• Righteous God, we come before you are seeking justice. We know that righteousness and peace must be grounded in truth. Lord, we pray for all countries who are funding and supplying the Israeli military operation in Gaza to repent publicly, work for an immediate ceasefire, and give reparations to the victims of their crimes. Lord, remind us that all should be humble before God, even nations and empires. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer        

• We Join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Wave Of Prayer

April 11th, 2024

Last week, The Israeli military withdrew from the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital after a two-week raid, leaving behind scenes of devastation. Local sources who have witnessed atrocities for more than 180 days remark that the scenes at Al-Shifa Hospital are “indescribable”. Indeed, photos, videos, eyewitness stories reveal torture, killings and destruction that cannot be imagined. It is unclear what is the death toll since bodies are unidentifiable, however, Gaza’s civil defense agency claim at least 300 Palestinians were killed in and around the hospital. Al-Shifa is completely out of service.     

God of healing (shifa), how much more death, destruction, and torture can our people take? How many Palestinian lives need to be killed for the world to respond? Why do you not stop this O Lord? Man of sorrows, help us be witnesses to your love and the suffering of the oppressed even though it is hard to see if you are with us “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Last week, Israeli lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a law that gives senior ministers the power to temporarily shut foreign news networks that they deem a security risk. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would ‘act immediately’ in accordance with the law to stop Al-Jazeera’s activities.

God of truth, we are worried about the recent Israeli law as it restricts free press and freedom of speech. We know that those who commit evil want to do so in the dark and those who illuminate their deeds are a thorn in their sides. Lord, help us in the struggle against political disinformation and censorship. We thank you for the brave journalists in Gaza who sacrifice themselves to give voice to the voiceless and reveal truth amidst immense deceit and confusion.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

On the 1st of April, Israeli military killed seven people in a World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid convoy in Gaza. Despite coordination between WCK and the Israeli military, markings on the vehicles that had the WCK logo, and travelling in a “deconflicted zone”, the convoy was hit. In the aftermath of the attack, hundreds of tons of life saving aid intended to reach Gaza is returning to Cyprus. Since the 7th of October, nearly 200 aid workers have died in Gaza, most of them are Palestinians.

God of life, help us understand that the killings of the WCK workers and the hundreds of Palestinian aid workers, is an attack on those trying to help dire situations around the world. We pray for the souls of the numerous Good Samaritans in our land, whether they be internationals or Palestinians who have been martyred. May we remember that “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty” (Proverbs: 11:24).  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

Sabeel is saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Guy Fabreguettes, a Sabeel friend, and the treasurer of Friends of Sabeel France. Sabeel sends our condolences to Guy’s family and all his loved ones and join with Friends of Sabeel France in their mourning. Guy passed away on the 1st of April on Easter Monday.   

God of mercy, we lift up Guy and all those mourning his lost. You are a good and loving father whose mercies are new every morning. Help, Guy’s family as they in grief his passing from this world and pray that the Holy Spirit comforts them. We remember the promise of resurrection on Easter Monday where one day death shall be no more, and love’s victory will be everlasting.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer       

A couple of weeks ago, Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has declared 800 hectares (1,977 acres) in the West Bank as state land, in a move that will facilitate the use of the ground for settlement building. Furthermore, Smotrich used biblical references to justify this decision. The land intended for settlements is the Jordan Valley.

God of power, we identify with the story of Naboth’s vineyard. As our land is slowly being stolen which is the source of our identity, culture, and livelihood we cry out to you to intervene. Lord, be with the communities in the West Bank who are oppressed from the illegal settlements. Help us steward your good creation by resisting the expansion of the illegal settlements which corrupts your creation. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

A recent statement has been formulated by several Christians from the Holy Land and other parts of the world such as Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek, Bishop Dr. Munib Younan, Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah, Rev. Robert O. Smith, Bishop Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, and Rev. Prof. Dr. Chris Ferguson. This statement is titled “Statement on Plans to Sacrifice a Red Heifer” which condemns the plans of the Temple Institute which is aided by Christian Zionists to build the Third Temple within the Haram al-Sharif compound. 

God of inclusivity, Jerusalem is known to be a Holy city but sadly it has become a city of hatred and supremacy. We the living stones are appalled from the exclusive attempts to promote Jewish supremacy which is supported by Christian Zionists, and are determined to resist it. We give thanks to the Palestinian Church which has a living prophetic tradition of theology and leadership. Help us, Lord “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you’” (Psalm 122:6).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer