Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer
29.7.21

This week’s Kumi Now online gathering considered the Israeli policy of obstructing Palestinian family unification.

Next week’s Kumi Now reflects on the Israeli policy of collective punishment meted out to Palestinian communities and defended on security grounds. Punitive home demolitions, forcible transfers, night raids and the blockade of Gaza are just some of the tactics employed by the Israeli authorities. Studies have shown repeatedly that those who suffer the most under these punitive measures are Palestinian women and their children.

  • Lord, we pray that Israel would start to honor its international legal obligations and abandon collective punishment as a way to pressurize and oppress Palestinians. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Monday, the 19th of July, the United Church of Christ adopted the ‘Declaration on the Requirements for a Just Peace between Palestine and Israel’ by an overwhelming majority. The declaration comes in response to Kairos Palestine’s ‘Cry for Hope’ call to churches around the world. It critiques Israeli apartheid laws which discriminate against Palestinians, while clearly differentiating between criticism of Israel and antisemitism.

  • Lord Jesus, our good shepherd, guide your church along a path of righteousness for your name’s sake. Help us to continue to pray and work for justice and peace for all those experiencing racism and oppression in Palestine/Israel. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Friends of Sabeel North America,(FOSNA) announced on Thursday, the 22nd of July that they have appointed Jonathan Kuttab as their new Executive Director. Jonathan is an eminent Palestinian human rights lawyer. He lives in Pennsylvania, but is also a resident of East Jerusalem where he maintains a law practice. He founded a number of human rights organizations, including Al Haq and Non-violence International. He has served on the board of Sabeel for many years. He is looking forward to working closely with Sabeel Jerusalem/Nazareth, as well as among Palestinian solidarity groups and churches in the US.

  • Lord, we give thanks for Jonathan Kuttab and his new role at FOSNA. We pray that you would give him your wisdom and understanding as he steps into his position and continues to follow his commitment to help establish a just peace in the Holy Land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Noura Erakat, an American human rights lawyer and academic and Samora Pinderhughes, a composer, have co-founded a campaign under the title of Liberation Studio. They are encouraging visual artists and musicians to raise funds for American Near East Refugee Aid, (Anera). They hope to raise funds for those Palestinian refugees recently affected by the conflict.

  • Lord, we give thanks for the way artists around the world are using their creative gifts to help vulnerable refugee communities in the occupied Palestinian Territories and Gaza. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, raised an objection to a friendly match being held in occupied East Jerusalem between FC Barcelona and the Israeli Bitar Jerusalem FC. He told FIFA that the match would be played in the Malha district of the Old City, which was the site of a pre-1948 Palestinian village. The Israeli owner of Bitar, Moshe Hogeg was not prepared to hold the match at any other venue and so the match has been cancelled.

  • Lord, we give thanks that there is a growing awareness among some international sports teams of how the Palestinians are struggling to survive living under the Israeli occupation. Lord, in your mercy …hear our prayer.

Ben and Jerry’s Ice-cream announced on Monday, the 19th of July, that it will no longer sell ice-cream in the occupied Palestinian Territories, claiming the sales there as ‘inconsistent with our values’. The rebuke from an internationally recognized brand will bring into focus the illegality of Israel’s rapidly expanding settlements across the West Bank.

  • Lord, we pray that the announcement will encourage other companies to review whether their business sales in the occupied Palestinian Territories are making them complicit with the Israeli occupation and further violating the human rights of the Palestinians. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Sunday, the 18th of July, Abdo, a forty-three-year old Palestinian from Shufa’at refugee camp in East Jerusalem was detained by the Israeli authorities for a traffic violation. On the evening of Wednesday, the 21st of July, his family were informed that he had died of a heart attack in his cell in the Al-Maskobiya detention centre. There have been many reports of torture and physical abuse suffered by Palestinian detainees under interrogation at this centre.

  • Lord, we join with Abdo’s family as they grieve his loss, praying especially for his pregnant wife and their four children. We pray that any abuse or brutality perpetrated on Abdo by the authorities will be thoroughly investigated and that any offender will be prosecuted. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Israeli authorities are refusing to grant the Palestinian water authorities the licenses they need to improve access to water for those living in Area C, which is subject to Israeli security control. There are severe water shortages for Palestinians living in this area, although illegal Israeli settlers living here experience no lack.

  • Lord, we pray for the Palestinian people who are experiencing water shortages in the high summer temperatures. How hard must it be for some Palestinian villagers to wait for weeks for a water tanker to deliver water, when they see Israeli settlers nearby filling up their swimming pools and watering their gardens?  Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of Palestinians who have been displaced from their homes in the West Bank. The number is up by 70% in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs. On Wednesday, the 14th of July, thirteen Bedouin families from Ras al Tin lost their homes and animal shelters when they were confiscated by the Israeli authorities. On the following day in Humsa Al Bqai’a in the northern Jordan Valley a family of eight were forced to leave their temporary shelter. They had been dispossessed of their home the previous week during a mass demolition carried out by the Israeli authorities after they declared the area a new military firing zone.

  • Lord, we pray for an end to the home demolition policy of the Israeli government. We pray that international lawmakers will put pressure on Israel to recognize the inhumanity and illegality of this policy. 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.

Wave of Prayer

This week’s Kumi Now online gathering focused on the Israeli apartheid wall. On the 20th of July, 2004, the UN passed a resolution declaring the illegality of Israel’s separation wall under international law. Israel has used the wall, settlements and military zones to prohibit Palestinians access to 60% of land in the West Bank.
Next week’s Kumi Now will explore the issue of family unification, a right denied to many Palestinians and causing great heartache and suffering.

• Lord of compassion and mercy, we pray for those Palestinians who are cut off from their land by the wall and those cut off from their families by racist laws. We pray for a spirit of hope to fill the hearts of all those suffering under the Israeli occupation.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On Thursday, the 8th of July, the Israeli Civil Administration handed out a demolition order against the cemetery in the village of al-Deirat, east of Yatta in south Hebron. The villagers are mainly dependent on agriculture and livestock rearing and have been subjected to land theft from two nearby Israeli settlements, as well as the construction of a by-pass road and military installations.

• Lord, we pray for the villagers in al-Deirat as they see the land of their village cemetery annexed by the Israeli authorities. We pray that international lawmakers will openly challenge the Israeli government’s theft of occupied land.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

600 academics and artists from more than 45 countries recently signed a petition calling for the immediate end to the Israeli apartheid regime and to the occupation of Palestine. The petition calls for a democratic constitution that ensures equal rights and an end to discrimination based on race, ethnic origin or religion.

• Lord, we thank you that voices around the world are crying out for change in Israel. We long to see the human rights of all those living in Palestine/ Israel fully respected.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On Sunday, the 11th of July, the Israeli Cabinet approved the deduction of 597 million shekels from the tax revenue it collects for the Palestinian Authority,(PA). This sum is equivalent to the sum paid to families of Palestinian prisoners and families of those killed by Israeli forces. The deduction will increase the burden on the PA to cover public sector wages.

• Lord, the Israeli occupation comes at such a high cost to the Palestinian economy. We remember the families who are struggling with poverty, unemployment and sickness.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On Sunday, 18th July, a number of Muslim worshippers were injured by Israeli occupation forces as they prayed at the Al Aqsa Mosque to celebrate Eid al-Adha. Israeli authorities had allowed a big number of Jews to enter the compound to pray as they commemorated Tisha B’av, with armed guards, something which is normally forbidden during the Eid celebrations.

· Lord, we pray for peace and order in the city of Jerusalem. We pray that the occupying Israeli authorities would respect the agreed upon rules for visiting Al Aqsa Mosque.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, (PCBS), reported on Tuesday, the 13th of July, that the unemployment rate among Palestinian university graduates reached 54%in 2020,(35% in the West Bank;78% in Gaza). Most graduates between the ages of 20-29years have to search for their first job for a period of 10 months to two years.

· Lord, we thank you for the determination of many young Palestinians to pursue higher education and employment despite the difficulties they face. We pray for them that they may be resourceful and steadfast even as the pandemic has reduced the availability of work.
Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Dr Cornel West, a prominent American philosopher and activist, resigned as a professor at Harvard Divinity School after four years of teaching there. On Monday, the 12th of July, he published his resignation letter on social media. It cited his support of Palestine as one of the reasons the university denied him tenure. He will be rejoining the faculty of the Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he first taught 44 years ago.

• Lord Jesus you told us that ‘whatever is said in the dark shall be heard in the light’ (Luke12:3). We thank you for prophetic voices ready to speak out clearly about injustice, even at personal cost. We pray for academics like Dr West who pay a heavy price for holding the powerful to account.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

The United Reform Church, (URC) passed significant resolutions about the situation in Israel/ Palestine at their General Assembly, (9th-12th July). They voiced their concern over the ‘de facto’ annexation of the occupied Palestinian Territories, the expansion of the settlements and home demolitions. They have asked local churches to refrain from purchasing products made in Israeli settlements and are reviewing their investments in companies profiting from them.

• Lord, we see these URC resolutions as an encouragement and take them as a reminder that ‘the Palestinians are not forgotten’, as Rev Dr Munther Isaac commented.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Esther Bejarano died on Saturday, the 10th of July, at the age of 96 years. She was one of the last survivors of the Auschwitz women’s orchestra. After 1945 she went to live in Israel for over a decade, before returning to live in her native Germany. Both she and her husband actively supported the BDS movement. She stated that they found life in Israel had been difficult ‘because we did not agree with the terrible things that were done to the Palestinians’.

• Lord, we give thanks for the long life and witness of Esther Bejarano. We thank you that she was prepared to speak out about injustice and inhumanity wherever she encountered it.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

• We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Djibouti and Somalia.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Wave of Prayer

This week’s Kumi Now online gathering looked at morally responsible investment. Charlotte Marshall of Sabeel-Kairos U.K. spoke about the organization’s campaign called ‘Investing in Peace’ in U.K. churches, as well as the wider BDS movement which started on the 9th of July, 2005.
Next week’s Kumi Now session will consider the Israeli Apartheid Wall.

• Lord, ‘you are a refuge for the oppressed and a stronghold in times of trouble’,(Psalm 9:9). We pray for an end to the occupation and for increasing levels of international pressure to be brought to bear on the discriminatory policies of the Israeli government.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On Thursday, the 1st of July, Governor Whitmer announced the appointment of Yvonna Abraham to the Wayne County Third Circuit Court. Yvonna Abraham is the first Palestinian American judge to be appointed in the State of Michigan.

• Lord, we give thanks for the appointment of this young Palestinian American woman to this prestigious post. We pray that she will serve her community with integrity and wisdom.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

The latest report from Euro-Med Monitor on Gaza, entitled ‘One War Older’, was released on Friday, the 2nd of July. The report documents the sufferings of women and children caused by the Israeli bombings. Israeli attacks were targeted in residential neighborhoods and there were 254 deaths, including 66 children and 39 women. 241 children lost one, or both parents and 5,400 children lost their homes. Nine out of ten children in Gaza continue to feel traumatized a month after the bombing ceased.

• Lord, the sufferings of the people living in the besieged enclave of Gaza are harrowing. We continue to pray for an end to the blockade and a release from the grinding poverty and distress experienced by all those living there and especially by the vulnerable children.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

The Institute for Palestinian Studies launched a new online database on Tuesday, the 29th of June. It documents political events which have marked the occupation of Palestine since the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982. The ‘Palestine Chronology’ will give future researchers access to historical material using Palestinian, Arab, Israeli and international sources.( https://chronology.palestine-studies.org/ )

• Lord, we give thanks for the launch of this new database which will be an invaluable tool for those seeking to establish the truth about the Israeli occupation of Palestine over the past forty years.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Norway’s largest pension fund, the KLP company, announced on Monday, the 5th of July, that it was divesting from 16 companies. They explained their decision was influenced by the risk that they were contributing to ‘the abuse of human rights in situations of war and conflict through their links with the Israeli settlements’. The company stated, ‘ Motorola and other companies risk complicity in international law violations in occupied Palestine as the company provides software used in border-surveillance.’

• Lord, we pray that many corporations around the world will look carefully at the probity of their investments and consider whether they have been contributing financially to human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

514 American journalists published an open letter on Tuesday, the 13th of July, challenging the American media coverage of Palestine. They stated that the US media narrative ‘obscures the most fundamental aspects of the story: Israel’s military occupation and its system of apartheid’.

• Lord, we give thanks for the courage of these American journalists and for their commitment to seek out the truth and to hold those in power to account.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On Monday, the 5th of July, the Knesset fortunately failed to extend the Family Reunification measure of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law. This law was first enacted in 2003 and has been renewed each year since then. It prevents Palestinian citizens of Israel from extending their citizenship and residency rights to their spouses from the occupied West Bank, including east Jerusalem or Gaza. This law was cited by the recent Human Rights Watch report as an example of the discriminatory laws faced by Palestinians living under occupation.

· Lord, we pray for a repeal of all discriminatory Israeli laws used to undermine the human rights of Palestinians. We pray that the Israeli lawmakers would extend grace to all their citizens without prejudice or racist intent.
Lord, in your mercy …hear our prayers.

The World Council of Churches has recently launched the East Jerusalem Initiative. WCC-EAPPI has been accompanying communities in East Jerusalem for over a decade. They are unable to be physically present with communities threatened with forced evictions at the moment, but they aim to continue supporting them through advocacy. They are using this initiative to raise awareness about the discriminatory laws faced by families in Sheikh Jarrah and other similarly affected neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

• Lord Jesus, we draw near in faith to you. We bring the WCC initiative to you as they advocate for Palestinian families facing evictions from their homes in East Jerusalem. We pray that the prayers and interventions of all people of goodwill around the world will stop the displacement of these communities.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

• We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Wave of Prayer

This week marks the halfway point in the Kumi Now year.Next week the Kumi Now online gathering on Tuesday the 13th of July will look at the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, (BDS). The BDS movement, which was launched on the 9th of July 2005, is now a global movement which seeks to challenge the international corporations which profit from the Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

• Lord, we pray that more churches, academic associations, unions and other groups will reconsider how they are investing in corporations profiting from the Israeli Occupation. We pray that the pressure of divestment may help to bring pressure on the Israeli government to comply with international law.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers

During this week four Palestinian citizens of Israel have died in shootings. Since the beginning of this year forty-six Palestinian citizens have met violent deaths. On Saturday, the 26th of June, three members of one Palestinian family were killed in a shooting outside the village of Eilabun, in the Galilee region. A Palestinian man, his wife and 16-year-old daughter all died, while their 9-year-old daughter suffered moderate injuries. The following day Jamil Zabarqa, a 30-year-old man was shot and killed at a petrol station in Lod, southeast of Tel Aviv.

• Lord, we pray for the recovery of the young girl shot near Galilee. We pray for all those grieving for the loss of the Palestinians killed in such a violent way over the weekend. We pray that the Israeli police will investigate these crimes in a thorough way and expose any evidence of the work of criminal gangs.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers

The deadline set by the Israeli authorities for 13 Palestinian families to demolish their own houses ended on Sunday, the 27th of June. Demolition orders have been issued by the Israeli courts to 86 homes in the Al-Bustan quarter of the Silwan neighbourhood, south of the Old City in Jerusalem. An Israeli settler organisation seeks to turn this land into a national park.

• Lord, we pray for an end to this Israeli policy of home demolitions, targeting Palestinian communities. We pray that international organisations and governments around the world will challenge this Israeli government policy and their violation of international human rights law.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers

On the night of Sunday, the 27th of June, Israelis from the illegal settlement of Ahiya, raided the village of Jalud, south of Nablus. They chopped down olive trees and grape vines, stole a water pump and tore up electrical wiring. This area, near Jalud school, is subject to frequent settler attacks.

• Lord, we cry out to you for the Palestinian farmers trying to protect their livelihoods, only to have their crops and farms damaged again and again. We pray for an end to the vindictive acts of the settlers and that they should be held to account for their criminality.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers

The young adult group of Sabeel Nazareth met up for the first time since the start of the coronavirus to share a lunch together on Saturday, the 26th of June.

• Lord Jesus, you are faithful to your promises. You promise to be with us where a few are gathered in your name. We pray that the gathering of the young adults in Nazareth will have been an encouragement to them and will help them to hold fast to the confession of their hope and faith.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers

Members of the community, clergy and representatives of Christian organisations visited the family of Nizar Banat to pay their respects to his family. They all condemned the circumstances of his brutal arrest and sudden death in custody. They also paid tribute to the way Nizar exercised his right to freedom of expression when he disagreed with local policies.

• Lord, we pray for the family of Nizar Banat as they mourn his loss and we pray that the circumstances of his sudden death will be thoroughly investigated by the Palestinian Authority.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers

•We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer
1st of July, 2021

The Kumi Now Online gathering considered Israel as a nuclear power on Tuesday, the 29th of June. On the 1st of July, 1968 the Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was signed by 190 countries from around the world, but not by Israel. It still refuses to admit to its nuclear capabilities and has never allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency to supervise its production of nuclear material in the Dimona Reactor in the Negev.

Next week will be the relaunch of Kumi Now as we reach the halfway mark in the year.

  • Lord, we pray that all countries will acknowledge their responsibility to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons and submit to the international supervision of how they are handling such dangerous materials. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, the 9th of June, Israeli security forces made an early morning raid on the headquarters of the Health Works Committees, (HWC) in Al-Bireh, near Ramallah. The Israeli forces delivered a military order closing the office with immediate effect. The HWC is one of the main healthcare providers reaching the most deprived families in the occupied West Bank.

  • Lord, we pray for all those who will be seriously affected by the closure of the HWC headquarters, particularly at this time of pandemic when so many are suffering hardship. We pray that the Israeli authorities will stop their attacks on Palestinian civil organizations and start to meet their responsibility as the occupying power to care for the health and well-being of those living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Vermont State Labor Council has recently announced that it is joining the alliance of Labor for Palestine, (LFP). The LFP was first launched in 2004 seeking an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. There are now 15 American Labor bodies supporting the alliance.

  • Lord, we pray that more and more small groups will link up to support international organizations working to bring about justice and equality for all who live in Israel/ Palestine. We pray that there will be a groundswell of support to challenge the Israeli occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Monday, the 21st of June and Tuesday, the 22nd of June, hundreds of settlers, accompanied by the Israeli security forces, went into the Sheikh Jarrah area of occupied East Jerusalem and started attacking the residents. In one incident a settler attacked four young Palestinian girls, (aged 12-14 years) using pepper spray which caused facial burns.

The girls had been practicing a Dabke dance to perform at a cultural event in their neighbourhood.

  • Lord, we see increasing levels of settler violence and vandalism throughout the West Bank. We pray for an end to this racial hatred and an end to the complicity of the Israeli authorities who turn a blind eye to such lawlessness. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Monday, the 21st of June, a Palestinian lawyer, Medhat Thiba, succeeded in obtaining an Israeli court ruling to prevent the demolition of sixteen Palestinian commercial buildings in the town of Hizma, to the northeast of Jerusalem. The Regavim Settlement Association had been filing complaints about these commercial businesses for the past two years, with a view to enforcing their demolition.

  • Lord, we pray for an end to use of the Israeli court system by settler associations to undermine Palestinian businesses and communities to try and force them to leave. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, Sabeel Nazareth office organized the first in-person meeting for 35 women in Nazareth since the pandemic. The meeting was a time of fellowship and debriefing.

  • Lord, we give thanks that the group of women in Nazareth were able to enjoy fellowship at the Sabeel office. We pray that the bonds of friendship and mutual support will have been strengthened after such a challenging time during the pandemic. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • Lord , we also bring before you the Friends of Sabeel North America, (FOSNA), as they appoint a new Executive Director. We pray that you would raise up a person with the vision, faith and courage to take up this position. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayer

A coalition of charities have sent a petition to Letitia James, New York State Attorney General to ask her to investigate the charitable status of the Hebron Fund, a US-based organization. The Hebron Fund is using tax-deductible donations to support military and para-military violence against Palestinians living in Hebron.

  • Lord Jesus, help us to walk as children of light. We pray for all those who take responsibility for exposing works of darkness. We pray that any misuse of donations to cause harm to others will be brought to light and proscribed. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Thursday morning, June 24th, Nizar Banat was in bed in his home in Dura in southern Hebron, when two dozen Palestinian Authority officers broke into his home and started beating him, according to his family. He was dragged away screaming and later was announced dead.

After conducting an autopsy, a Palestinian rights group said Banat took blows to the head, adding that wounds indicated “an unnatural death”.

Banat, 43, intended to run in parliamentary elections before they were cancelled earlier this year. He was an out-spoken critic of the Palestinian Authority, and often called on Western nations to cut off aid to the PA because of its growing authoritarianism and human rights violations.

• Lord, we pray for the family of Banat as they mourn the loss of Nizar. We pray for a transparent investigation into the death of Nizar and that justice prevails. Our hearts ache for the human rights violations that our people continue to suffer. Lord in your mercy…hear out prayer.    

  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Kenya and Tanzania. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Wave of Prayer

The United Nations commemorated World Refugee Day on Sunday, the 20th of June. The Kumi Now Online gathering focused on the plight of Palestinian refugees forced to leave their homes in 1948 and 1967 and still waiting with their descendants to return home decades later. In 2019 UNRWA reported that 5.4 million Palestinian refugees were registered with its offices in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza.Next week’s Kumi Now will consider Israel as a nuclear power.

• Merciful Lord, we cry out to you as the resolution of the right of return for Palestinian refugees appears as distant as ever. The international community has failed us Lord, let your spirit ignite us with confidence that we will return to our homes despite the objection of the powerful.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer

A call entitled ‘Statement of Repentance and Hope’ was sent out on Saturday, the 12th of June, to hundreds of Palestinian Christians by the Christ at the Checkpoint Young Adults Group. The call urges Christians, including clergy and leaders, for a stronger response to the injustices committed against Palestinians over the past two months.

• Lord, we give thanks that Palestinian Christians continue to speak out with one voice to give witness against injustice and to speak truth to power.
Lord, in your mercy.. hear our prayer

After the Jerusalem flag march, a group of young Palestinians went to clean up the Damascus Gate area. The Israeli police attacked the young people, confiscated their cleaning materials and beat up several young participants in the volunteer project.

• Lord, we pray for the young Palestinians to remain determined to use nonviolent forms of resistance, may the violence by Israel, strengthen their determination. We pray for the Israeli authorities that they might see through their prejudices and recognize that their might does not break the will of Palestinians to regain their freedom.
Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayer

On Monday, the 7th of June, the second ‘ Apostles of Palestine’ competition took place at the Terra Sancta School in Bethlehem. Nisreen Al-Araj, the Director of the contest, stated that the aim of the initiative was to inspire 13-14 year old pupils from all areas of Palestine to study the Bible and to help them discern their mission as Christians. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem sponsored the contest for over 400 pupils. There were ten contestants in the finals and three prize-winners.

• Lord, we are thankful for the enthusiasm shown by the pupils who took part in this contest. May your word be a lamp to their feet and a light to their path. Our people need to feel your presence, let your word guide our path to you.
Lord, in your mercy.. hear our prayer

The Palestinian residents of the village of Beita, south of Nablus, continue to resist the encroachment of Israeli settlers on their agricultural land on Mount Sabeeh. On Friday, the 11th of June, a Palestinian teenager, Mohammad Hamayel was killed by Israeli forces who fired live ammunition at the protestors. The livelihoods of seventeen Palestinian families depend on the olive harvest from the land they are trying to protect. Four Palestinians have been killed and many others injured since May, as they try to prevent the theft of their land.

• Lord, we pray for the family of Mohammad as they grieve the loss of his young life. We pray too for an end to the devastation visited on so many Palestinian families by the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Territories. Our trees, crops and land are the desires of the greedy Zionist project. Give us strength to continue to defy the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on our land. Protect our children who refuse to remain neutral as they see the land of their village being stolen.
Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayer

A Palestinian woman, Hala el Shareef was beaten by police, arrested and fined 2000 shekels for waving a Palestinian flag during the Jerusalem flag march at Damascus Gate.

• Lord, the women of Jerusalem continue to defy the armies who occupy Jerusalem and speak truth to power. As the courage of women of the bible is glorified, we pray that the church also applauds the courage of Palestinian women who remain in the streets of Jerusalem despite the powerful who rule it today.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer

Israel’s new government failed on Wednesday, the 16th of June, in its attempt to extend a law denying citizenship to Palestinians from the occupied territories who marry Palestinian citizens of Israel. Idit Silman (from the right-wing Yamina party) was forced to remove the measure from the Knesset Law Committee’s agenda when she realized that she did not have enough votes to pass the bill.

• Lord Jesus, even as you suffered on the cross, you entrusted your grieving mother into your disciple’s care. You knew the importance of family nurture. We pray that these Israeli laws will not be renewed as they would keep many Palestinian couples and families apart and cause untold suffering. May Love that unites people remain unbreakable by Israeli politicians.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer

Many Palestinian citizens of Israel, residents of Nazareth, were arrested on suspicion of rioting, as last month’s assault on Gaza was taking place. A court has ordered several of the cases of mistreatment to be handed over to the police internal investigations unit after being shown images of bruises on the bodies of several of the Palestinians detained at the Nazareth police station.

· Lord, we fervently pray that the continuous Israeli police violence against Palestinian detainees be stopped, and all allegations be thoroughly investigated. May your spirit guide the decision makers to hold all who are guilty accountable for their crimes. We pray for the recovery, physical and psychological, of all detainees. May your justice be transformed from a prayer to action through the people of conscience.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer

· Lord, we join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Malawi and Zambia.
Lord, in your mercy …hear our prayer

Wave of Prayer

This week’s Kumi Now online gathering focused on ethical tourism and pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Once the pandemic is brought under control, it is hoped that tourists will consider returning to the Holy Land to see for themselves how Palestinians are forced to live under the Israeli occupation.
Next week we will remember the World Refugee Day on Sunday, the 20th of June. The Kumi Now topic on Tuesday, the 22nd of June, will be Palestinian refugees.

· Lord, we pray that people from around the world will come and see the effects of the Israeli occupation for themselves. We pray they may go and tell others about the sufferings of the Palestinians and that this would lead to further international pressure on the Israeli government to change their policies.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On Tuesday, June 15th, in partnership with the catechetical office of the Latin Patriarchate, Sabeel held a prayer service at the Dominican Church in Jerusalem. The ecumenical worship service was attended by 150 students from 7 different Christian schools. The prayer service was to mark the end of the school year.

· Lord Jesus, you told your disciples to let the children come to you and not to hinder them. Children held such a special place in your heart while you lived among us. We give thanks for the students in Jerusalem as they marked the end of their academic year with the prayer service. We pray for your hand of protection and guidance as the students in the Holy Land start their summer holidays.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On Sunday, the 13th of June, Sabeel organised an educational trip for 48 women to visit the occupied Golan Heights. The trip is for women from Jerusalem to learn about the reality on the ground in the Golan Heights and to build friendships among each other.

· Lord, we give thanks for this opportunity for a group of women from Jerusalem to travel together and to discover what life is like for those living in the occupied Golan Heights. We pray that they may have been blessed by this shared experience.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

The postponed Jerusalem Flag March is now planned to take place on Tuesday, the 15th of June, just two days after the new coalition government is set to take over. On this march Israelis celebrate the capture of East Jerusalem in 1967 as they process through Palestinian communities towards the Western Wall. The march requires a high level of policing as right-wing Israelis have previously attempted to provoke those living in the communities they pass through.

• Lord, ‘we pray for the peace of Jerusalem…may peace be within your walls. May all those who love the city be secure there, (Psalm 122).
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

The Nassar family, living at their farm called the Tent of Nations, near Bethlehem had more than 1,500 vines, olive and almond trees torched at the end of May. Further damage was done to their land when Israeli military bulldozers crossed their land to uproot trees on their land, and the land of their neighbours this past weekend.

· Lord, strengthen and support the Nassar family as they seek to respond to the injustice they suffer in a non-violent way. Help them to remain steadfast in the face of provocation and not to falter in their determination to carry on farming their land.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

· We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Botswana, and Zimbabwe.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Thursday, 10th June 2021

This week’s Kumi Now online gathering looked at the environmental damage of the occupation in Palestine/Israel. The environment has been traumatised by the uprooting of native trees, the construction of settlements, the building of the separation wall, military activities and the engineering of water projects that divert water from the Jordan Valley and underground aquifers. Next week’s Kumi Now will consider the topic of ethical tourism and pilgrimages.

· Lord, we pray that the full cost of the ravaging of the Holy Land through the Israeli occupation will be recognised before irreversible damage is done.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Yousef Issa is a 23-year-old Palestinian from the town of Lydda, east of Tel Aviv. He was standing outside, minding his own business, when he was suddenly shot by Israeli police. His injuries have left him with speech and movement difficulties. No police officers have been prosecuted for this assault.

· Lord, we pray that all perpetrators of violence against innocent victims will be held accountable under the law in Israel, no matter their ethnicity or occupation.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Last week the Israel Land Authority, (ILA), finally relinquished its ownership of the Al-Zaher Omar fort. The Safa’amr municipality has been contesting their claim of ownership of the fort and the surrounding land for the past seventy-three years.

· Lord, so many Palestinian properties and sites have been confiscated or denied access to by the Israeli authorities. We pray that they may be restored to their owners and, once again, opened for public access.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Friday, the 28th of May, the Israeli Central Court postponed hearings into the forcible evictions of seven Palestinian households in Batn al-Hawa, in the neighbourhood of Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem in favour of Jewish settlers.

· Lord, we pray for the hundreds of Palestinian people in East Jerusalem who are facing the imminent threat of unjust eviction. We pray that the international community will challenge the Israeli authorities on their policy of home evictions in the Occupied Territories.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Israel Land Authority, (ILA), has invited bids from Israeli construction companies to fully “redevelop” the Lifta neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Lifta is one of the few remaining Palestinian villages that give a glimpse of the character of the hundreds of Palestinian villages depopulated in the Nakba. Descendants of those Palestinians forced to leave Lifta are asking the international community to put a stop to its total destruction.

· Lord, we pray for all those forced from their homes in Palestinian villages in the Nakba. We pray that the remains of the village of Lifta may be preserved for posterity and the right for Palestinian refugees to return to their homes be respected and no longer ignored.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Mohammad Awwad, 25-year-old from Bethlehem and Ghadanfar Atwan, 28-year-old from al-Khalil are two Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who are in their fourth week of hunger strike in protest against their administrative detention orders.

· Lord, we pray for the health of Mohammad and Ghadanfar as they suffer their hunger strike. We pray for an end to the Israeli practice of administrative detention, that deprive Palestinian political prisoners to have access to their judicial rights.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Jawad Abbasi is a fifteen-year-old boy from the Ras al Amoud area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem, who was injured after being chased and hit by an Israeli police car for displaying a Palestinian flag on his bike. The police detained him and later released him to receive treatment for his injuries in hospital.

· Lord, it is difficult to hear that a child has been deliberately injured by a police car for having a flag on his bike. We pray for an end to the campaign of harassment and intimidation being carried out by the Israeli authorities on the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.


At least 14 Palestinians were injured on Friday, 4th June, as Israeli occupation forces attacked and dispersed a ‘marathon’ organized by Palestinian protesters outside the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied Jerusalem. Competitors had run from Silwan to Sheikh Jarrah wearing t-shirts reading ‘7,850’, representing the number of people facing eviction from their homes. They had just finished running and were celebrating at the finish-line, when Israeli occupation forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd.

· Lord, we thank you for those willing to turn to creative forms of non-violent protest in support of those under threat from the worst actions of the occupation. We pray that justice will be done and that the residents of Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah will be allowed to remain in the homes their families have lived in for generations.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

During the past week Palestinian artists have been painting murals that depict the narratives in their towns. They hope to encourage the steadfast spirit of their people living under adversity.

· Lord God, our Creator, we thank you for the creative gifts of all artists and for the mural painters. We thank you that when we expose dark works to the light, they become visible and somehow less frightening. Lord, help us to walk in love, as children of light.
Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

· We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Eswatini.
Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Wave Of Prayer

The Kumi Now online gathering on Tuesday, the 1st of June, looked at the issue of child fatalities in Palestine. The UN marks this day as the Global Day of Parents, but for many Palestinian parents they have to acknowledge that the Israeli Occupation can have more influence over the lives of their children than they have. Many see their children arrested, tried in military courts and sent to prisons in Israel, while others witness their killings by Israeli forces.

On Tuesday, the 8th of June, Kumi Now will be counting the cost of the environmental damage caused by the Israeli Occupation.

• Lord God, our everlasting Father and creator of the ends of the earth, you do not faint or grow weary. Fill us with your strength and renew our hope to see an end to oppression in the Holy Land and for the people there to find ways to live in peace and righteousness.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

Muhammed Kiwan was a promising 17-year-old Palestinian Israeli student from Umm al-Fahm. He was a passenger in a car with friends when he was shot and wounded two weeks ago during the unrest. His death is presently under investigation as he is thought to have been targeted by an undercover police officer. Despite the circumstances of his death, his family decided to go ahead with donating his organs and five Jewish patients and one Arab have become recipients.

• Lord, we pray for Muhammed’s family as they grieve over the violent death of their son. We are thankful for their altruism in the face of their suffering. We pray that the circumstances of their son’s death will be fully investigated. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Demonstrations were held outside a district court in Jerusalem on Wednesday, the 26th of May, where an appeal had been lodged by Palestinian families threatened with forced displacement from their homes in Silwan. The appeal decision was postponed. The Jewish settler organization, Ateret Cohanim, continues to pursue claims to Palestinian homes through the Israeli courts.

• Lord, we pray that the international community will challenge the discriminatory laws which lead to settler annexation and the expulsion of Palestinian families in the Occupied Territories.
Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Last week Hani Amer from the village of Mas’ha, west of Salfit, died. For many years Hani refused to leave his home and land despite suffering threats and violence from the Israeli authorities and the Jewish settlers who came to live right next to him. His home is now surrounded on three sides by the separation barrier, in an area of illegally claimed land 5km away from the Green Line.

• Lord, we pray for the Amer family as they grieve for Hani and remember his steadfast determination to remain in his home, despite the intimidation he faced. We pray for all those who have to live with threats of annexation and settler violence.
Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

The Gaza Municipality called for volunteers to come forward to help clear the devastation left by eleven days of bombardment by the Israeli forces. Hundreds of volunteers responded by coming together to clear the Rimal commercial and residential district. The campaign is due to continue all week, beginning each day at a different site of damage.

• Lord, we pray for all those who have been affected by the recent violence in Gaza and Israel. We pray that the ceasefire will hold and that the international community will step forward to help establish a just and lasting peace in Palestine/Israel.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

‘The life and death of one Palestinian child’ is a moving podcast available on the Aljazeera website. Farah Bayadsi, a lawyer from Defence for Children International Palestine, speaks about the life of a child she represented, Obaida Jawabra. Obaida was a 17-year- old Palestinian child from Hebron who was shot and killed by the Israeli military on the 17th of May. He was only one of 66 Palestinian children who were killed by the Israeli forces in the month of May.

• Lord, we pray for an end to the Israeli violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We pray that the rest of the world will hold the Israeli authorities to account for the criminalization, torture and killing of Palestinian children in the Occupied Territories .
Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah claim they have been placed under siege by the Israeli authorities. They have to limit their movements and stay close to their homes and are frequently subjected to security checks; while Jewish settlers are given permission to roam freely, often in armed groups of twenty or more.

• Lord, we pray for an end to the hostile incitement of trouble in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. We continue to pray for peace in Jerusalem and an end to forcible dispossessions and house demolitions.
Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

• Lord Jesus, we give thanks for the ecumenical worship held by Sabeel at the Dominican Church Jerusalem on Thursday, the 20th of May. We are thankful that the local community and clergy came together to worship and listen to the sermon from Latin Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah.
Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

• We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Angola and Mozambique.
Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Wave of Prayer

This week’s Kumi Now online gathering focused on how Palestinians are preserving their history and culture. Israel continues to build and plant over Palestinian history and persists in erasing its history from street signs, historical markers and history books.

Next week, on Tuesday, the 1st of June, the topic will be the work of the Defence for Children International Palestine. This group monitors child fatalities in Palestine and records widespread Israeli military violations against the human rights of Palestinian children living under occupation.

•    Lord, we pray for all the children living in the Holy Land. So many have been affected by the recent attacks, so many killed and injured and traumatized while others are assaulted, arrested and imprisoned. Lord, we pray for an end to their suffering and a hope for healing in a restored land for those who remain. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

After 11 days of fighting, Israel and Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire negotiated by Egypt. The death toll in Gaza reached 232, including 65 children, and 1,760 injured due to Israeli airstrikes; 50,000 families have been displaced. On the Israeli side, 12 people including two children died as a result of Hamas rocket fire from Gaza. It is hoped that the ceasefire will hold and that no more lives will be lost.

•    Lord, we thank you for all the people involved in the negotiations to bring about the ceasefire and to deescalate the mounting violence. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

On Sunday, the 16th of May, Pope Francis spoke out for an end to the violent conflict in Israel/Palestine during the celebration of Sunday Mass. He called on the international community to help find a long-term solution to the conflict.

•    Lord, we seek your face as we pray for all those who continue to suffer from the recent violence. We pray for international support for meaningful peace negotiations and for an end to the blockade of Gaza and the occupation of the Palestinian Territories. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem condemned the attack on an Armenian priest, Father Arbaq as he walked to the Church of the Resurrection – Holy Sepulchre. A group of young Jewish extremists assaulted him and he had to receive hospital treatment for his injuries.

•    Lord, our souls long for your righteousness. We are cast down when we hear of violent attacks on clergy or other innocent people going about their business. We pray for an end to this spiral of violence and for the establishment of peace and harmony in the city of Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On the 10th of May, Bethlehem Bible College launched the book ‘The Promised Land: A Theological Reading in the Palestinian Context’ by Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac. The book, in Arabic, is for every Palestinian and Arab Christian who searches for biblical answers that challenge Zionist ideology.

•    Lord, we give thanks for those who shine a light on oppressive nationalist ideologies. We pray that Christians around the world will be aware of the plight of our brothers and sisters in faith living in Palestine. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

•    Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, strengthen our faith and revive your Church with the breath of love at this time of Pentecost. We pray especially for your church in Jerusalem, that all church leaders will remain faithful to Christ as they continue to work for justice, peace and reconciliation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

•    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of the Indian Ocean Islands: Comoros, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles.Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.