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

Wave of prayer

April 4th, 2024

This week’s Wave of Prayer is focused on Western Easter which will only contain liturgies focused on Easter which the Western Church celebrated last week. Moreover, these liturgies were used in the special Easter vigil held on the 30th March which held messages from Reverend Munther Isaac and prayers led by many of our partners: Bethlehem Bible College (BBC), Christ at the Checkpoint (CATC), Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), Freedom Road, Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimages, Global Emersion, Kairos Palestine, Network of Evangelicals for the Middle East (NEME), Red Letter Christians (RLC), and Telos.

● God of light, we know that oppression is grounded in deceit and Holy justice is centered on truth. Illuminate the wicked lies that systems, governments, ideologies, and theologies hold which result in so much suffering. Bless the journalists and advocates in Gaza who are exposing to the world the hidden and unhidden crimes which are being committed. Hosanna in the highest, to Christ who entered Jerusalem not on white stallion but on a donkey, save us from our unbelief, and deliver the oppressed from the modern-day Pharaohs and Pilates.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer       

● God of Mary, we understand your cries over your Son through the cries of Palestinian mothers weeping over their martyred children. Lord, if we are the ones witnessing the Gaza crucifixion, let us be like Mary Magdelene, who did not let the pain and grief make her numb to the suffering of Christ. Lord, give us courage to witness with our actions and voices, and if we are the ones doing the crucifying, move us to repent and confess publicly.    

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

● Crucified Messiah, we behold how you were tortured, mocked, beaten, stripped, and killed on the cross. Your cry “My God my God why I have you forsaken me” (Matthew 27:46) is an exclamation we are saying for more than 75 years, and now more than ever. Lord, we thank you for identifying with us since “You were despised and rejected; one who knew suffering and was familiar with pain; people despised you and looked away and considered you worthless” (Isaiah 53:3). We await the day of your return.  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

● God of resurrection, although we are in despair and feel as though we are forever in Holy Saturday, the tomb is empty. We proclaim your victory over death, by continuing to resist against all odds and remembering your words “Do not be afraid” (Matthew 28:10). Your resurrection is good news to the oppressed since it is a proclamation of victory of sin and a liberation. Help us, O Lord to participate in your new creation by working for justice, liberation, and peace in Palestine. 

El-Messiah Qam… Haqan Qam

● God of new creation, after you rose from the dead you were identified as a gardener. Help us steward your creation, uprooting the evil weeds and roots of oppression and planting trees and plants of love and justice. As we face dark days let us have active patience since, “if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:25). We hold on to our faith that the day will come when, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). 

El-Messiah Qam… Haqan Qam

● The God who was, and is, and is to come, we the living stones the descendants of the Early Church, and the Saints are few in number in our land. Lord, the fate of your flock in Gaza is uncertain, yet they remain steadfast. Help us understand that the mission is the same, irrespective of our numbers and capabilities. Lord, let us not lean on our own understanding, but have faith that produces good fruit. Help us in these days struggle for our existence in our native land and purge any corruption in our churches, theologies, and institutions.    

El-Messiah Qam… Haqan Qam

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

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Wave of Prayer

Mar 29th, 2024

Time is running out for the people of Gaza. The UN, several governments, the World Bank, many other organizations and bodies, along with millions around the world, are pointing out that the people of Gaza are at imminent risk of famine as a result of starvation. Several Palestinians, many of whom are children, have already died due to starvation and dehydration. The small amount of aid that enters Gaza is like a drop of water in the ocean.

Eternal God, no words can express the suffering of the people in Gaza. Many of us are in despair. As our hearts, minds, and spirits are consumed with the suffering in Gaza, we remember the promise that “Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst” (Revelation 7:16). Lord, help us to continue fighting the good fight, bearing witness to your love and our native land. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Last week, Jared Kushner has praised the new US-built makeshift port off Gaza, and suggested Israel should use the port to remove Palestinians civilians in Gaza while it continues its military operations. Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly suggested that the new US port, which was installed to help ship aid to Gaza, could be used to deport Palestinians. Several scholars, experts, and organizations have noted that the US port was built to gain access to the Gaza Marine which contains a large natural-gas field.

God of the poor, we remember the Psalmist words that “God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day” (Psalm 7:11-12). Help us, O Lord, channel our anger which stems from injustice, towards sin. Help our oppressors as they dehumanize themselves by treating us and the oppressed as an obstacle for their self-interests. Sober the powerful from their drunkenness.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

Last week, Palestinians marked Mother’s Day on the 21st of March. This day honors and celebrates all Palestinian mothers. Moreover, on the 19th of March, many Palestinians celebrated the birthday of the “Patriarch of the People”, Patriarch Michel Sabbah who celebrated his 91st birthday. 

God of Mary and Joseph, we are grateful to all the Palestinian mothers who have had to be mothers in very difficult circumstances. Many of whom can identify with Mary, a mother of a person who was martyred by imperial powers, and a great woman of agency. We are also grateful to the leadership and devotion of Patriarch Michel Sabaah who many consider in the Palestinian community as a spiritual father. Let us remember the words of the “Patriarch of the People” in light of the current situation: “I call on each one, that he may take up his responsibility… and to contribute more light and more hope in the difficult situation which we live, by their own reflexion and their various services” (Sabbah, First Pastoral Letter, 1988).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

This week for the Western Church is Holy Week. This week is between Palm Sunday and Easter, observed with special solemnity as a time of devotion to the Passion of Jesus Christ. This year in Palestine, as we commemorate Holy Week, our thoughts will be with our people who are suffering so terribly. Sabeel will be having a devotional study for Holy Week which is inspired by the Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage and the Sabeel Contemporary Way of the Cross.   

Prince of Peace, we remember that you rode on a donkey not a white stallion, we remember you were betrayed by a kiss and denied by your followers, we remember that you lamented on the cross “My God my God why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Lord, help the world understand that the proclamation “Hosanna” is the cry of the oppressed to be delivered, the cry of Gaza amidst their suffering. Lord, it feels that we are forever in Holy Saturday, help us with your resurrection power not to be in despair.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

Last week, horrific scenes have come out of Al-Shifa hospital. Israeli military has sieged the hospital and killed at least 100 people, many parts of the medical compound has been destroyed, and people sheltering inside were ordered to leave, including hundreds of patients. Israel has claimed to have killed terrorists during their assault. However, Palestinian health authorities and international NGOs strongly denied claims by Israel that Hamas fighters are based in the hospital. It is still unclear how many patients and other civilians were killed in the raid.

God of life, we come to you broken and afraid from hearing the news in Al-Shifa hospital. The events known to us are horrifying and the events we do not know haunt us. It seems that the empires today and the systems who oppress us “love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth.” (Psalm 52:3). Lord, be with all the victims at Al-Shifa hospital and stop the madness of military operations in hospitals.  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 26th of March, Sabeel will be having the Contemporary Way of the Cross event in Jerusalem. This is part of a larger tradition at Sabeel where Palestinians and internationals walk together the 14 stations of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) and connect our suffering as Palestinian Christians with the suffering of Jesus through songs and prayers. Unfortunately, this year Palestinians from the West Bank will not be able to attend due to the restriction of movement. 

Crucfied Messiah, we Palestinians interpret your journey to the cross with our own historical and contemporary experience. We interpret our own crucifixion with yours and proclaim that you have identified with us and care for our liberation. Lord, we pray that you continue to reveal to us the good news that Christ brings, and pray that we participate in sharing it by working for justice for all. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer      

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia.

Wave of prayer

22nd of March

Last week, Prime minister Netanyahu announced that the military plan for a ground invasion of Rafah, where about 1.4 million Palestinians are sheltering, has been approved. The UN and several countries that have supported Israel uncritically since October 7th have warned Israel against this plan. The majority of people in Rafah are displaced Gazans who have been living through hellish circumstances.

God of the oppressed, give us sight which recognizes that although structures, governments, and empires have powers to kill, starve, ethnically cleanse, and oppress our people for years, that you are amongst us, even those who are suffering alone and abandoned. Lord, we plead for an immediate ceasefire and hold on to our faith that you are faithful and your love is everlasting.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

It has been more than 160 days of bombings, starvation, torture, and overall catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Gaza. According to UNRWA, the death toll in Gaza is higher than that of all wars around the world in the last four years. Furthermore, almost daily, aid seekers across Gaza have been killed by Israeli strikes. 

Eternal God, your love to your precious children in Gaza cannot be separated through bombs, starvation, and hatred. Lord, you breathed life into each soul in Gaza that has been taken away by evil. Help us Lord, not to commit idolatry by being fatalistic, but be witnesses that you are a good God who restores justice, loves liberation, and is the source of hope. Multiply the food and aid in Gaza as you did when feeding the 5,000.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer      

In the last week, Israeli police forces prevented hundreds of Palestinian Muslim worshippers from entering the Haram al-Sharif compound. Some Palestinians who attempted to enter Al-Aqsa were faced with severe beatings as a large Israeli police force permitted only women and men aged over 55. Simultaneously, Israeli settlers have stormed the compound with the protection of the Israeli army.

All merciful God, help us to uphold people’s freedom to express and live out their faith for what they believe. May we work for genuine tolerance by being intolerant for what is evil in all spheres of our lives. Lord, comfort those who are unable to express their faith in security and liberty this Ramadan.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 12th of March, Rami Hamdan Al-Halhouli, a resident of the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem, was shot and killed by Israeli police. Israeli police claim that Rami had pointed the fireworks at them, whilst Rami’s father, who was an eyewitness, claims that this is a false allegation.  Israeli Justice Ministry officials are not expecting the Israeli police to be indicted for the killing of Rami. Rami was only 12 years old.

God of justice, your Holy anger heals. Heal our wounded hearts, broken from the killing of Rami. We remember that you were powerless on the cross like Rami’s father in seeking justice. You know how it is to see your son killed. Lord, assure us that not only the shooter of the bullet will be held accountable, but also the policies, decision makers, and ideologies who were responsible for the killing of Rami. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

The Custos of the Holy Land as part of its traditional collection for Good Friday is fundraising for Schools in the Holy Land. This is the result of the Pope’s wishes for the bond between all the Christians in the world and the local Christian community and the Holy sites in Palestine-Israel to remain strong. The schools in the Holy Land, which are part of the Churches, are in great financial difficulty due to the events taking place after October 7th.

Loving Father, may every contribution, small or big, be a blessing to the children of the schools in the Holy Land. We see how the events in Palestine are affecting our children. We are grateful for your work through the fundraisers and work of individuals, organizations, and churches. Help us Lord, participate in the works of your kingdom though we might not see it or understand it.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

After February’s successful webinar on “Zionism and Antisemitism”, Sabeel is looking forward to hosting a panel titled “Islam and Islamophobia” as part of our preconference webinars leading to the Sabeel 2024 conference in November. The speakers for the upcoming webinar include Santiago Slabodsky, Mariam Barghouti, and Iskander Abbasi. 

God of truth, use the speakers and this panel to educate the listeners for better understanding of truth, which leads to truthful action. We pray that our fight for justice will be in all spaces, and we pray that this webinar creates a ripple effect which causes actions of love throughout the world.  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Wave of Prayer

15-3-2024

On the 10th of March, the Muslim world marked the first day of Ramadan. Ramadan is the most important month in Islam which is observed with fasting, daily communal prayers, and recitation of the Quran, amongst other practices. Nearly every year in Palestine the month of Ramadan is marked with violence, provocation, and the obstruction of the freedom of worship by the State of Isarel against the Palestinian Muslim population. 

Holy God, we pray that all Palestinian Muslims will be able to practice their spirituality this Ramadan without restrictions and violence. We remember that our oppressors enforce rules not to protect, but to restrict. Lord, as millions fast this Ramadan let them remember the people in Gaza who are starving, and as they come together in community to break their fasts, may they be reminded of the collective strength communities possess to challenge injustices.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

People in Gaza are waiting for the outcome of ceasefire talks while Israeli attacks, starvation, diseases, and hellish circumstances continue, affecting 2.2 million people. Children are dying of starvation in northern Gaza, and many are experiencing severe malnutrition. Aid is systematically denied from entering Gaza, especially the northern part and the aid that does make it through is at times under fire from Israel’s military.   

God of the oppressed, the full extent of the suffering in Gaza is unknown. Lord, we come to you like the Psalmist asking “Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1). Lord, we hold on to our faith that the depths of agony and pain are only truly known by you and the people of Gaza. Lord, deliver the people of Gaza and stop the starvation they are experiencing. Keep us from growing numb to the suffering that is occurring.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

An internal UN report describes widespread abuse of Palestinian detainees from Gaza in Israeli detention centers, including beatings, dog attacks, the prolonged use of stress positions and sexual assault. Moreover, some Israeli soldiers are seen enjoying the abuse of Palestinian detainees by sharing videos and photos of the torture.   

God of life, for those humiliated, sexuality abused, tortured, and beaten, provide signs of your presence. Grant strength to those who are struggling. For those who have died, embrace them with your arms. Give courage to those who have committed horrific acts to repent and confess publicly for their crimes. Help us bring down the systems and decision makers who have caused so much torment.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Since the 7th of October, Israel has stepped up its arrest campaign in the occupied West Bank, and mistreatment of prisoners in its overstuffed jails. Palestinian organizations are documenting abuses by Israel and its forces in the hope that one day they will be held accountable. Several Palestinian prisoners have died in the last few months for unknown reasons. Simultaneously, the Israeli families of hostages held in Gaza by Hamas set out on a four-day march from Kibbutz Re’im to Jerusalem advocating for the release of their loved ones who are being held hostage. 

God of the captives, we pray for all the hostages, those in Israeli prisons who are considered administrative detainees, and those held by Hamas in Gaza. Lord, protect the Israeli hostages from the Israeli bombs that are dropped in Gaza and ensure their safe and soon release. Lord, protect all Palestinians unjustly held in Israeli prisons and bring an end to their suffering. Lord, help us find a vision in our land where political strategies which use hostages as pawns cease to exist. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Sabeel is immensely sad with the sudden passing of our dear friend Eric Merx. Eric was a good friend of Sabeel who often worshiped with us, attended meetings, and helped us with several projects. Last Christmas, Eric helped Sabeel support many Palestinian families in need. Thanks to him, over 100 families were able to access food and cover basic bills. This all-bears testament to his loving and generous heart. Sabeel will dearly miss our friend.  

Loving Father, we join in mourning with Eric’s family. Comfort all who were close to Eric and assure his family that he is in your presence. We celebrate Eric’s life by continuing our mission and pray that we will continue to learn from his life and legacy. Lord, we are grateful for the ways you worked through Eric, and we were privileged to have known him. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

Since the beginning of Lent, a network of autonomous Christian groups have been on a pilgrimage of solidarity for Gaza, also known as the Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage. This group has been engaging in a prayerful show of solidarity, where people during Lent are walking the length of the Gaza Strip (41 kilometers long and 6-12 kilometers wide) advocating for an immediate ceasefire. These pilgrimages are taking place throughout Lent across 145 cities in 18 countries. 

God of mercy, we thank you for those participating in the Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimages who are praying with their feet. Help us, Lord, here in Palestine, and across the world to, “walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice” (Proverbs 8:20). Let this pilgrimage be a prophetic action which bears witness to the injustice of this world and to the revolutionary love which resists against all odds. Stir in us an unwavering zeal for a ceasefire. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Wave of Prayer

Mar 8th, 2024

In recent weeks, several Palestinians in Gaza have died from starvation, most of them are kids and babies. Furthermore, humanitarian aid has been systemically denied entry into Gaza and aid convoys are coming under Israeli fire. On the 29th of February, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinians waiting for food aid southwest of Gaza City, which resulted in the killing of over 120 Palestinians and wounded over 760 people. This massacre is known as the “Flour Massacre.”

Lord Christ, you tell us that you are the “Bread of Life” (John 6:35). We come before you shocked, disgusted, and lost. We plead that you provide the people of Gaza their daily bread while so many are starving. Lord, intervene and stop these atrocities which kill people even as they wait for aid. Provide aid to our oppressors who are sick spiritually, morally, and politically.  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

Last week, the Israeli finance minister announced the approval of new illegal settlements in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem, and said work would continue to authorize further settlements. This is part of a larger plan to Judaize Jerusalem.

Holy God, we cry like you did over the hatred, corruption, and disgrace in our land. We remember the words of the Psalmist, which encouraged us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). Help us bring peace to Jerusalem and all around the world by liberating it from the sins of colonialism, supremacy, and corruption.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer      

The 1st of March was the World Day of Prayer. This year, prayers were written and led by Palestinian Christian women. Our sisters, mothers, daughters, and grandmothers reflected collectively on Ephesians 4:1-6 from the context of their suffering as Palestinian Christian women, which reads, “I beg you, bear with one another in love”.

God of Mary, Martha, and Hannah, we are grateful for the leadership and resistance of Palestinian women, a tradition that spans across centuries. We pray for all Palestinian women who are uniquely oppressed because of their ethnicity and gender. We pray especially for the women in Gaza who are victims of colonialism including sexual violence.   

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

Last month, members of U.S. Congress received more than 500 olivewood hearts made and blessed in Bethlehem from the United Church of Christ. Each wooden heart represents one beating heart of the nearly 12,000 Palestinian children killed in Gaza since October 7th. The hearts were accompanied with a letter urging Congress to “raise your voice for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land. True peace can only be achieved through the pursuit of justice for all parties involved.” 

Prince of Peace, it has been over 150 days with no ceasefire. We come before you bewildered that the Western world has not exercised their power to stop the loss of so many lives, loss which will damage generations to come. Lord, bring an immediate ceasefire and give us courage and wisdom to pursue a just peace in our land.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

On the 20th of February, Sabeel held a Women’s Bible study as a part of its larger program of Bible Study Groups. This meeting is intended to help Christians use the Bible as a tool to relate faith with their daily life, reflecting a core component in Palestinian Liberation Theology. 

Word Incarnate, the scriptures are a holy witness to your nature of love and activity in history. Help the Sabeel Bible study program collectively uncover the revelation of your love and the meaning it has for all Palestinians today. Help us, cultivate a contextual theology of love and liberation.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

Friends of Sabeel France and Christians in the Mediterranean Area issued a letter to the Churches of France and their leaders on February the 21st. This letter calls the Churches of France and their leaders to work for an immediate and lasting ceasefire, the provision of essential humanitarian aid into Gaza, an end to all violence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the implementation of the measures proclaimed by the International Court of Justice to prevent the act of genocide in Gaza, amongst other requests. 

Loving God, we thank you for the work the Friends of Sabeel France and Christians in the Mediterranean Area are doing. We pray that their letter spreads across all of France so that more will work for justice. Lord, help the Churches in France rise up to this call and serve as a prophetic voice so that they may be salt and light in the world.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

 ● We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Ireland, United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

Wave of Prayer

Mar 1st, 2024

On the 19th of February, UN experts were appalled by reported human rights violations against Palestinian women and girls in Gaza. The experts also are particularly distressed by reports that Palestinian women and girls in detention have also been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault, such as being stripped naked and searched by male Israeli army officers. Moreover, at least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped, while others were reportedly threatened with rape and sexual violence.

God of humanity, we pray for all women, Palestinian women, and especially all mothers, grandmothers, women and girls in Gaza. Be with them, hear their cries, and heal their oppression with empowerment. How broken must our oppressors be? Help us understand the multilayered oppression Palestinians experience so that we can better struggle for liberation.    

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

Austin Seminary will be holding a lecture on March 2nd titled “God & Religion in the Midst of Fear and Violence: Palestinian & Jewish Perspectives and Theologies Towards Liberation”. This lecture will feature Kohenet Shoshana A. Brown, a Black Jewish liberation theologian, and Omar Haramy, the director of Sabeel. This will be held virtually via Zoom for online attendees

God of inclusivity, grant us a vision of our world as your love would have it. Give us the revelation of peace built on justice which is guided by love. Help all voices and movements which stand for truth to be one united stream which overcomes the barriers of oppression and lies. May the words of Shoshana and Omar bear witness to love and cultivate alliances. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) held hearings from the 19th to the 26th of February in a case against Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. The ICJ heard at least 50 countries and three international organisations on the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. This case is separate from the case by South Africa which charged Israel for committing the crime of genocide in the Gaza Strip.   

Loving God, we know that whoever has eyes to see and ears to hear will recognize truth and deceit. We remember that you see and hear all good and bad deeds. For us Palestinians we endure the burden of surviving colonial violence and explaining it to those unaware. Lord, use the ICJ hearings not to determine what is true and false, but to further advance the struggle for justice. Help us to resist creatively in all spaces on the foundation of your divine love.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

Last week, Benjamin Netanyahu accepted the recommendations of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to limit the entry of Palestinians into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during the upcoming month of Ramadan. This decision was made contrary to the Shin Bet recommendation, as it would fuel the existing tensions and anger by Palestinians. 

Holy God, we recognize that this decision was not made for security reasons, but to increase the violence towards Palestinians. Illuminate the deceiving ways which our oppressors use to justify their violence towards us on the pretext of security. Help us stop the Judaization of our land and advocate that all have the right for the freedom of worship.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

After four months of constant bombings, massacres, starvation, and numerous methods of collective punishment on 2.3 million people, Gaza is unrecognizable. The little aid that makes it into Gaza can barely meet the needs of the people. Children have died from starvation and dehydration, and many are sick due to the hellish conditions. Moreover, Israel has repeatedly opened fire at Gazans while they were trying to access aid. The death toll has reached 30,000 lives but is expected to rise with every minute that passes. 

God of creation, we come before you lamenting like the Psalmist, “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy” (Psalm 130:1-2). Hear our cries and deliver us from modern day pharaohs. We plead, O Lord, for an immediate ceasefire and deliverance from the yoke of oppression.

Lord in your mercy… hear our cry        

In the last two weeks, a large police force descended on the home of Fakhri Abu Diab, one of the most prominent social activists and neighborhood leaders in Silwan. Masked officers forcibly moved Abu Diab, his wife and son, and several journalists away from the house. Shortly afterward, a municipal bulldozer demolished the house. These house demolitions are done to make room for a religious Zionist theme park in Silwan. 

Everlasting God, as we witness violence justified in your name, we remember the words of Amos, “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me” (Amos 5:21). Lord, we pray that justice may roll like a never-failing stream, restoring all demolished homes and holding all unjust agents accountable. Help us be better witnesses to the injustice taking place in Silwan.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Wave of Prayer

Feb 23rd, 2024

Last week, Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent. In the coming weeks, many Christians in the world will practice fasting, meditation, daily prayers, and scripture readings. During this Lent season, there are various initiatives which dedicate their meditation and reflection with Gaza in mind. One initiative out of many, is the “Struggle and Lament Series”, organized by Friends of Sabeel North America, The Kairos Center, Freedom Church of the Poor, Black Christians for Palestine, Faith for Black Lives, and National Council of Churches, among other important organisations and movements. 

• Holy God, your perfect nature not only reveals our individual sins, but the sins present in structures and systems. During the season of Lent, help us, O Lord, to repent from our sins and turn the other way. Help us, with your Holy Spirit, reclaim holiness by ending oppression in all its forms and liberating all from the shackles of sin.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

In recent weeks, all eyes have been on Rafah and Nasser Hospital in Gaza. Mass displacement in Rafah continues as Israel’s military increases its air raids and artillery fire. Many fear a ground operation on the southern city which was once designated a “safe zone.” In Nasser hospital, people are being indiscriminately attacked by Israeli forces, both inside and outside the hospital and as they try to flee the facility. 

God of life, as we witness so much death and brutality, we come before you with the words of the Psalmist, “O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest” (Psalm 22:2). Lord, while we have no control and are experiencing a sense of powerlessness, remind us that we can be witnesses. Let us bear witness to the fact that you breathe life, conquer death, and restore justice.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

On the 14th of February, at least 10 people, including six children, were killed by Israeli air strikes in villages across southern Lebanon. Furthermore, Iran launched attacks in Syria and Iraq after members of its elite forces were killed in Damascus allegedly in Israeli attacks, while the US, along with the United Kingdom, has carried out several attacks against the Houthis in Yemen. Experts warn that if an immediate ceasefire is not achieved, there will be further escalation and violence in the region. 

• God of peace, the empires, states, and militaries of the world legitimise themselves through violence and deceit. As we proclaim that you are the “Prince of Peace,” help us to be agents who work for an immediate ceasefire of bombs and lies in our region, especially in Gaza. Help us disrupt and end settler colonialism so that we can rejoice in peace and justice.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer         

Last week, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Ibrahimi Mosque were both stormed by Israeli settlers and Israeli forces. These actions mark a deliberate political act intended to “Judaize” Holy sites and promote Jewish supremacy. Since the 7th of October, coverage on the abuse and restrictions Palestinians face in accessing Holy sites has been minimal, yet for the local communities, it is a daily reality. 

Divine creator, the full extent of the suffering we are experiencing cannot be fully articulated and shown to the world. You alone see and hear all evil and good deeds. Protect us from all forms of supremacy and ensure that all Holy sites and rights of freedom of worship are respected. Lord, uproot the seeds of hate and replace it with seeds that will produce the fruit of love.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

On February 5th, Wadea’ E’layan, aged 14, was shot and killed by Israeli forces near the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. According to Israeli sources, E’layan allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at the roundabout leading to Ma’ale Adumim when Israeli forces shot toward him. After falling from the first shots, an Israeli soldier shot at him again. Israeli forces later confiscated E’layan’s body. 

God of justice, protect all the young people in our land as they face so much danger and uncertainty. Have mercy on the family of E’layan and comfort them as they mourn. We hold on to our faith that you do not abandon us in life or death. Lord, we ask you to intervene and stop the bloodshed which has been ongoing for over 75 years. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

Several Palestinians who were detained in Gaza have recently been released. Many of them testify that they were beaten, tortured and humiliated while held in detention by Israeli forces. Some Palestinians who were detained have sustained severe physical and mental injuries. Israeli soldiers are facing increasing accusations of gross mistreatment of prisoners in violation of international law.

God of the captives, countless Palestinians have endured the suffering of Christ. You too were crucified and mocked by authorities and structures of power. Lord, provide healing through justice and liberation to all who are tortured and abused. Humble the arrogant who are foolish to think they can act cruelly with impunity. We remember that you are co-suffering with Palestinians who are tortured and humiliated. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

• We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of France, Germany, and Monaco.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Wave of Prayer

Feb 16th, 2024

The 14th of February marks for many Christians worldwide Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday symbolizes the first day of Lent and is traditionally observed with fasting and abstinence from meat and other animal products. Ash Wednesday derives its name from this practice, in which placement of ashes on the forehead is accompanied by the words, “for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Lent is a period of lament which ends with the great celebration of Easter.

• Crucfied Christ, in this season of fasting and lament we are reminded of our mortality more than ever. As we fast, let us remember those starving in Gaza. As we place ashes on our foreheads, let us remember the Palestinians turned into dust by bombs. Lord, help us understand the message of Ash Wednesday which encourages not to be despaired from death, but to await the death of despair and suffering.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

Last week, a convoy of lorries waiting to bring food into the Gaza Strip was struck by Israeli fire, according to UNRWA director Thomas White. Moreover, OCHA reported that 66 percent of planned humanitarian missions to distribute food, water, or medical support were denied by Israeli authorities in January.

• Good God, we hold on to our faith that you hear the cries of the oppressed and see the evil actions of the oppressor. We pray that all in need in Gaza will receive their daily bread through the lorries carrying aid and the end of their oppression. We call all those perpetrating and enabling injustice to, “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 4th of February, Ibrahim Hashash, aged 4, was mauled by an Israeli military dog during an arrest operation in Balata refugee camp in Nablus. The dog was unleashed into the Hashash family’s home, viciously attacking Ibrahim, biting him repeatedly and leaving him severely injured.    

God of protection, we pray for young Ibrahim Hashash as he is recovering in the hospital. Heal the wounds he sustained from the teeth of the Israeli occupation. Lord, save us from the brutality of colonialism as it bites all, young and old. Help us speak and act prophetically against the evil we see and bear witness to your love.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

Israel confirmed last week that its troops are pumping seawater into a network of tunnels in Gaza, a method, environmentalists say violates international law and cause dire long-term environmental consequences in Gaza. This raises questions about Israel’s plans to rescue the Israeli captives and adds to the lasting devastation of Gaza.

Divine creator, Israel’s disregard for the consequences of their actions reveals their twisted intention. Your children and creation are victims to the sin of Israel’s military actions. Help us steward your good creation by resisting the sin of oppression and working for the redemption of all forms of life, human and ecological.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

On the 18th of February, as a part of Voices From the Holy Land Online Film Salon Series, a webinar will be featured entitled “Oppression and Violence in the West Bank”. This webinar aims to reveal how Palestinians live under occupation in the West Bank, the plight of Palestinians families who have fled, the arguments of Israelis who want to empty Palestine through settler-colonialism, and what the international community might do to stop the violence. Omar Harami, the director of Sabeel, will be one of the keynote speakers.

God of light, use the voices coming from Palestinians and their allies to reveal evil where it is hidden, educate where there are lies and misinformation, and speak life in times of death. Let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 7th of February, many Muslims around the world marked the Israʾ and Miʿraj, or the Night Journey, and Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad. Many Muslims believe that the night journey and ascension was a miraculous occurrence during which prophet Muhammad travelled from Makkah to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem before ascending to heaven, all in one night. This year the commemoration was sombre as many worshipers were denied access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and police and settler violence in the old city are frequent.  

God of love, we are angered and saddened that our Palestinian Muslim siblings are prevented from their right to worship, and at times harassed and attacked by settlers and Israeli police. Lord, you wept over Jerusalem, and we continue with that cry today as Jerusalem has become a city of intolerance and hate.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  


• We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Wave of Prayer

Feb 9th, 2024

On the 30th of January, Israeli forces disguised as medical staff and civilians shot and killed three Palestinians who were allegedly connected to Hamas inside a hospital in the city of Jenin. The killings were carried out by undercover operatives while the men were sleeping at Ibn Sina Hospital according to statements issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the Israeli army. Since the 7th of October, Jenin and other cities in the West Bank experience daily raids by Israel.  

Almighty God, places where the sick and wounded are cared for are sacred. We pray that the guns and death which follow the Israeli occupation stay away from the places where sick and wounded people are taken care of. Lord, what world do we live in where hospitals have become conflict zones? Lord, help us to diagnose the true source of oppression and treat it accordingly. Foster in us Holy anger against sin.     

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

On the same day the ICJ delivered its provisional ruling regarding the charges brought by South Africa against the state of Israel, UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) was plunged into crisis. This was due to Israel accusing 12 of UNRWA’s employees in Gaza of involvement in Hamas’ 7th of October attack. In response to these allegations, the United States, Britain, Germany, and other top donor countries suspended their funding to UNRWA. This suspension of funding threatens the “lifesaving” humanitarian assistance UNRWA provides in Gaza.    

God of justice, we are frightened by the news that so many countries are suspending funds to UNRWA, an agency that so many Gazans depend on for aid. We remember the words of Christ who taught us that, “everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). We pray for the liberation of those who decided to suspend their funds which so many lives depend on. We pray that oppressors repent of their sin, and begin working to restore justice in places where there has been none. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

Gaza has been experiencing death, starvation, displacement, diseases, and horrific humanitarian collapse for more than 120 days. Over 27,000 people have died in Gaza since the 7th of October. The cold and rainy weather conditions have added to the nightmare millions are living through daily in Gaza.  Furthermore, as more time passes without a ceasefire, the certainty of the security of the Israeli hostages diminishes. An immediate ceasefire could save numerous lives.    

God of the oppressed, bring an end to the suffering in Gaza. Preserve each Gazan life. Help us be agents of your kingdom. If you call us to be brave like Stephen, give us courage. If you call us to repent from our sins like Saul, open our eyes so that we repent. Give us faith which can move mountains and bring a ceasefire, despite the wishes of the empires of the world. Lord, may your will be done. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

Over the past two weeks, Israeli demonstrators gathered to stop aid lorries from entering Gaza at several crossings. Some of the protesters include family members of captives being held by Hamas and are demanding that their release come before any more humanitarian aid can cross. As a result, hundreds of lorries carrying lifesaving aid have been forced to turn around at the crossings and enter through Rafah, severely delaying life-saving aid.  

 God of life, we are seeing how vicious one can be when their enemy is dehumanized. Protect us from the desire for revenge and give us the wisdom to seek healing through the end of occupation, siege, massacres, starvation, hostages, and any other form oppression. Allow the lorries with humanitarian aid to enter Gaza swiftly, saving the thousands of desperate Gazans.  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer      

For over 120 days, Palestinian medical workers, journalists, and rescue teams have been working under constant life threating situations and hellish conditions. At least 300 healthcare workers have been killed in Gaza, according to the UN. This is more than the total number of health worker deaths recorded across all countries in conflict last year, and in any single year since 2016. Furthermore, according to the government media in Gaza, at least 100 journalists have been killed since the 7th of October.  

Everlasting God, words cannot express how the medical workers, journalists, and rescue teams have showed acts of heroism. They are saints in medical and journalist uniforms, risking their lives for the sake of others. Lord, protect the remaining medical teams, journalists, and rescue teams who have not yet been killed. Illuminate how we, wherever we are and with the capabilities we have, can act with selfless love for those most in need. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

Since the 7th of October, the Sabeel staff have been working under difficult conditions. Some leave for work very early to pass through checkpoints and avoid violence from the Israeli army and settlers, others have faced threats, all are suffering mentally, spiritually, and at times physically due to the ongoing situation. We are in anguish for our people and specifically for our loved ones. 

God of hope, we thank you for each team member and volunteer at Sabeel. We pray that you keep us protected during these times as we work for the mission of Sabeel under difficult circumstances. Strengthen us when we are weak, provide us clarity and wisdom as we navigate uncertain and frightening times, and help us function as one body. May all our actions be motivated from love since “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4).  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer                

We join with World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Andorra, Italy, Malta, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, and Vatican City. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer