Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Thursday 26th March 2020

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of Aid Watch Palestine (AWP). This is an independent Palestinian organisation which seeks to stimulate and channel international aid effectively. It has recently helped farmers in Gaza to access aid after 29% of agricultural land in Gaza was destroyed by the 2014 Israeli bombardment.

  • Lord, we pray for the work of organisations like AWP, which seek to help those in need and to make good use of precious resources. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The COVID-19 Coronavirus continues to spread around the world. There are now more than 250,000 confirmed cases with over 11,000 deaths worldwide. Life worldwide is becoming more and more restricted as governments attempt to slow the spread of the virus and allow medical staff time to respond to the unprecedented levels of people needing treatment.

  • Lord of healing, we pray that you strengthen everyone around the world as they attempt to find a new way to live in the face of the current pandemic. Grant your restoring grace to all those medical workers who are putting their own health and the health of their families at risk to treat those sickest among us. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Palestinians from the West Bank who work in Israel are being made to find accommodation for up to two months or are forced to give up their jobs and remain in the West Bank. During the current pandemic these workers are being forced to live between different and complicated Israeli and Palestinian regulations put in place to combat the virus.

  • O God, at this time of uncertainty and challenge, be with all those workers who are forced to follow two different sets of rules in order to earn money for their families. Be with those who must live away from their families to earn money and cast your protective and assuring presence over their families at this difficult time. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Despite the restrictions on movement and gathering enforced against both Israelis and Palestinians, Israeli occupation forces continue to demolish homes, conduct night raids to arrest children and young men, and harass communities (especially the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya where the Israeli NGO B’Tselem notes that forces “invade the neighbourhood daily, even at night, and more so on weekends, for no apparent reason.” At the same time, illegal Israeli settlers uproot Olive trees and create new illegal outposts in the Jordan Valley.

  • God of the oppressed and the vulnerable, be with all those who are threatened not only by the ongoing pandemic but also by the harassment and unjust actions of the Israeli occupation forces and illegal settlers. Grant the courage and conviction to the international community so that they may stand up and take action against this ongoing injustice. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Palestinian prisoners serving sentences in Israeli jails for security-related offences are threatening to go on a hunger strike to protest measures enforced by the Israel Prison Service, seeking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The prisoners object to searches conducted in their cells by prison guards without any protective gloves or face masks, as well as a ban on leaving cells and meeting their attorneys and family members, who the prison service fears might infect prisoners or guards with the virus if allowed into prisons.

  • Lord of all, be with all prisoners at this time as they worry about the high risk of contracting the Coronavirus from each other or prison guards. Be with all those who are unjustly held without trial or reason, may they gain solace from your continuing presence. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary prayer

John 11:1-45

Holy God, Creator of Life,

you call us out of our dark places under occupation and pandemic,

offering us the grace of new life.

When we see nothing but hopelessness,

you surprise us with the breath of your spirit.

Call us out of our complacency and routines,

set us free from our self-imposed bonds,

and fill us with your spirit of life, compassion, and peace,

In the name of Jesus, your anointed one, we pray.

 Amen.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Thursday 19th March 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Lord, we pray that international law will triumph over those who seek to remove all rights and recognition of the Palestinian people, their culture, and history. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary Prayer

Fourth Sunday in Lent – John 9:1-41

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

Amen.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

 12th of March 2020

This week’s Kumi Now looks at the work of the YMCA/YWCA, Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI). This initiative helps to introduce international partners to life under occupation in Palestine through exchange programs and advocacy tours. It also organizes the Olive Tree Campaign which distributes olive saplings, sponsored by people around the world, to Palestinian farmers.

  • Lord, we thank you for the work of the JAI and especially for their work to restore precious olive trees to Palestinian farmers. We continue to trust in your protection and mercy Lord, ‘like a green olive tree in the house of God’ (Psalm52:8). Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Palestinian Authority called a 30-day state of emergency throughout the West Bank after twenty COVID-19 cases were confirmed in a Bethlehem hotel. Alongside this, Israeli authorities as part of their public health restrictions, in agreement with the Palestinian Authority, have closed checkpoints only allowing people to leave if they have to travel directly to the airport or have special permission.

  • Lord we pray for those in the frontline of treating this new virus. We pray for those who have been diagnosed with the virus. We also pray for those whose livelihoods have been affected by ongoing and constantly changing public health restrictions. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

As part of infection control measures in Palestine and Israel, many church services, gatherings, and events have been cancelled. On Sunday 8th March, to allow those in areas where churches are closed, a number of Palestinian clergy live-streamed their services on social media.

  • Lord, thank you for the ability of clergy to continue to reach out to their congregations despite the difficult conditions. We pray for all those involved in organizing events and gatherings as they make decisions about their event and do their best to meet the ever-changing conditions. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

At the Israeli election on Monday, the 2nd of March, Prime Minister Netanyahu did not secure a parliamentary majority to form the next government. His party and their allies secured 58 of the 120 seats in the Knesset. For Palestinians a government led by Netanyahu, or by his rival Benny Gantz, would still mean a continuation of the occupation.

  • Lord, we pray that the international community will speak out strongly over the Israeli occupation of Palestine and Israeli plans to annex, even more Palestinian territory. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Peace Now human rights group has disclosed that Amazon has been offering free deliveries to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, while charging neighboring Palestinian communities for its services, unless they select their address as being in Israel. Amazon has now confirmed that it will expand free deliveries to Palestinian addresses.

  • Lord, we thank you for the work of human rights’ groups such as Peace Now which draw attention to the way corporations legitimize illegal Israeli settlements and discriminate against Palestinians. Lord , in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Internationals in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are facing verbal and physical abuse stemming from fear caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. On Sunday, the 1st of March, a Palestinian woman assaulted a Japanese aid worker in Ramallah. The Palestinian woman was arrested after she was filmed pushing the Japanese woman and shouting ‘Corona, corona’ at her. Dr Nimer, the spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of the Interior denounced the attack, saying ‘it does not represent the morals and traditions of the Palestinian people and culture’.

  • Lord, you are compassionate and merciful, help us to learn from you and to be kind and tender-hearted towards others, and not allow fear to overwhelm us. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, the 4th of March, the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished part of a Palestinian owned home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mokabber . The Israeli bulldozers demolished the home of Iyad Fatafta, a Palestinian citizen, claiming it had been built without an Israeli permit.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for Mr Fatafta’s family, who are now homeless. We pray for all those Palestinians faced with the dilemma of needing to provide shelter for their families and yet being denied the permits to allow them to build. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer

A gas explosion on Thursday, 5th March in Nusseirat refugee camp, Gaza, has killed 12 people and injured at least 56 others including women and children. The explosion, in a bakery, caused severe damage to shops, homes, and stalls as well as putting pressure on an already over stretched healthcare system.

  • Lord, we pray for the families of those killed in the explosion and resulting fire. We pray that those injured will have a quick and full recovery from their injuries. Be with all those affected by this tragic event and give them the strength to cope and rebuild. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Prayer for 3rd Sunday of Lent

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

Amen.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer 5.3.20

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace, (CWP), which was founded in 2000. The CWP is now a leading voice in the Israeli peace movement. It has called for an end to the blockade of Gaza, as well as an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In 2007, the CWP founded a research project to discover which corporations’ profit from the occupation. [https://kuminow.com/cwp]

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the peace work of the CWP and that their information will bring pressure to bear on corporations profiting from the occupation. We pray for an end to the violations against the human rights of Palestinians under the Israeli occupation. Lord, in your mercy…help us act.

The Very Reverend Dr Hosam Naoum, Dean of St George’s Cathedral was elected the new Coadjutor Bishop in Jerusalem on Thursday, the 30th of January. Dean Hosam will be consecrated as Bishop Coadjutor later in the year. When Archbishop Suheil retires in 2021, Dean Hosam will be installed as the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem and he will oversee a diocese extending over five countries.

  • Lord, we pray for Dean Hosam, his wife Rafa and their three children Wadie, Laurice and Christa. We pray for him as he takes over his new role at St George’s Cathedral, that he will know your guidance and your peace. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

At this time of year Christians here in Palestine and around the world keep a forty-day period of fasting and prayer for Lent, leading up to Holy Week and Easter.

  • Father You give us this yearly gift of Lent so that we may reflect and grow in your love. Teach us to truly repent through our words and our actions and bless our Lenten journey. (Sabeel-Karios UK Lenten Reflections). Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Women’s World Day of Prayer is a worldwide movement of Christian women from 170 different countries who observe a common day of prayer on the first Friday in March each year. Let us join in with a prayer written especially for this day in Nottingham, UK :

  • ‘God our Creator, you have built up your Church through the love and devotion of women everywhere; inspire us to follow their great example that we may, with them, share in the vision of your glory through Jesus Christ your Son.’ Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel held a clergy meeting in Ramallah on Friday 21st February. The meeting was attended by 40 clergy or parish representatives and explored the challenges faced by health services in local parishes.

  • Lord, we pray for the clergy of Palestine as they come together with Sabeel and experts in the field of healthcare and health insurance to explore solutions to the challenges faced by health services. We pray that this meeting will be the first of many. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Israel held its elections on Monday 2nd March, as this Wave of Prayer was written we do not know the result.

  • Lord, we pray that the elections pass without interference from political parties or outside influences. We pray that a government will be elected which will serve all the people of Israel and seek justice and peace with the Palestinians. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Ireland, the United Kingdom, including England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer
27th February – 2020

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Youth Against Settlements, (YAS), which is a Hebron based non-violent, direct action group. The group is based in a centre which has been reclaimed for Palestinian use after a legal battle with Israeli settlers.

YAS encourages the Palestinian people living in Hebron to remain in the city despite the hardships and violence they face from the Israeli settlers and the Israeli military occupation.

  • Lord, we thank you for all those who support those suffering oppressions in the city of Hebron. We pray that international bodies will bring pressure to bear on the Israeli government to apply the Geneva Convention to all those living in Hebron and the rest of the occupied territories. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

A Palestinian, Muhammad Ali Anam, 27, was killed by an Israeli sniper on Sunday 23rd February, after allegedly attempting to plant a bomb near the Israeli fence. Following his death, Muhammad’s body was dragged from the scene by an Israeli bulldozer after defence minister Naftali Bennett stated that Israel would collect and store the bodies until the bodies of two soldiers killed in 2014 are returned to Israel by Hamas.

  • Lord, we pray for the family of Muhammad as they mourn their loss. Grant that those involved would see the inhumanity of their actions and that your justice will cover these lands. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Saeb Erekat, the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation denounced Israel’s recent decision to construct thousands of new settler units on occupied Palestinian land across the West Bank. Nine thousand illegal units are to be constructed on the former Qalandia airport to the north of Jerusalem, while more than five thousand units are planned in established settlements to the south of Jerusalem.

  • Dear Lord, your ‘righteousness looks down from the sky’, (Psalm 85). We pray that international organisations, which respect law and order, will speak out to deter Israel and the US from the forcible annexation of Palestinian land to build more Israeli settlements. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel continues to organise local Bible study groups in the community to help Christians to come together and reflect on what it means to follow Christ today, living under the oppressive constraints in the land of Palestine and Israel.

  • Lord, your words are life and light. We give thanks to all the lay leaders who help organise the Bible Study groups and prepare the material. Accept our prayers as incense offered to you, and our upraised hands as an evening offering (Psalm 141). Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Jerusalem held its General Assembly on Friday, the 21st of February.

  • Gracious God, we ask your blessing on Sabeel’s upcoming programs, especially as our staff members meet with community leaders to set dates for this year’s events, and the decisions made at Sabeel General Assembly as it met last Friday in Ramallah. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

A group of thirty-one US Democratic Senators have called on the US administration to bring an end to the thirteen-year-old blockade of Gaza and to restore funding and aid to the enclave. In a letter addressed to the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, they stated:

‘the continued deterioration of water and electrical infrastructure, medical systems and other basic economic and social services bring Gaza closer to complete collapse’.

  • Lord, please soften the hearts of those in authority in the US and open their ears to the voices warning of imminent disaster in Gaza. We pray that the lifeline of funds for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency working in Gaza will be restored at the earliest opportunity. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Friday, the 14th of February thousands of Palestinians gathered in the Victory Square in Nablus to attend Fajr (dawn) prayers at the Al Nasim Mosque. Across the West Bank Palestinians are turning up for the dawn prayers on Fridays as the only safe way they can express their protest against the Israeli-biased Middle East Plan. They fear arrest by protesting openly in the streets at other times of the day.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for honest brokers to come forward to propose peace talks to represent the interests of the Palestinian people, not just the interests of the Israelis. We pray that the Palestinians and the Israelis can find a way to live respectfully and peaceably in their shared land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

 20th February 2020

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Regional Council of the Palestinian Unrecognised Bedouin Villages (RCUV). The RCUV seeks to provide representation for Palestinian Bedouin villages in the Naqab. The Palestinian Arab citizens in these villages have no legal recognition in the Israeli state and no access to municipal services, like water or electricity. They wish to continue to follow their traditional way of life, rearing livestock and farming. Bedouin villagers, like those in al-Araqib, live under constant threat of demolition. The Israeli government wants to relocate them to urban centres without regard for their rural way of life.

  • Lord, we pray for the work of the RCUV as they seek to protect those who have no rights in their own land. We pray that the way of life of the Bedouin people would be respected and that they would be left to farm in their traditional ways. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The UN Human Rights Office has issued a report on the companies which are profiting from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The report names 112 businesses which have been involved with establishing the settlements, including Airbnb, booking.com, the Expedia Group and Motorola Solutions. There are now about 600,000 Israelis living in around 140 illegal settlements, built since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967.

  • Dear Lord, we pray that the businesses named in the UN report will review how they are gaining profit from their links with Jewish settlements, which are considered illegal under international law. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Following a decision by the Israeli government to ban Palestinian exports of agricultural produce through Jordan, the Head of Mission of the Office of the Quartet, Dr John Clarke, stated that the Quartet would intervene in the decision to ban Palestinian exports of agricultural products and appeal to the Israeli government to lift this restriction. The Quartet on the Middle East is a group of international entities involved in mediating the Israeli/Palestinian peace process.

  • Dear Lord, we pray that attempts by the Israeli government to choke the Palestinian economy would meet a strong intervention and practical action from the international community. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Tuesday, the 11th of February, vandals slashed the tyres of dozens of vehicles in the Arab village of Jish in Northern Israel and spray-painted slogans on buildings warning of ‘Jewish-Arab assimilation’. Police are treating it as another attack by the so called ‘Price Tag’ organisation of hard-right Israelis, which has carried out similar attacks against Arabs in recent years.

  • Lord, we pray for the Arab communities living in fear of these hate crimes. We pray that the police authorities will prosecute offenders and protect vulnerable communities. We pray that Israeli and Arab communities will live respectfully and peaceably in their shared land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Monday, the 10th of February, Sabeel published its new edition of Cornerstone entitled Theologies of Palestine. In this edition there are a number of interviews with Palestinian theologians from different denominations which explore their theology, how it deals with Christian Zionism, and their hopes for the future.

  • Oh Lord, you are compassionate and merciful. We thank you for the desire to reach a deeper understanding of one another and how we reflect your glory and build your church where we live. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Nadia Habash, a lecturer at Birzeit University, has been named by the Middle East Architect magazine as one of the fifty most influential architects in the region. She described her work as part of a ‘national struggle to preserve the architectural heritage in Palestine’.

  • Lord, we thank you for the gifts you give to architects like Nadia. We thank you that she has been able to celebrate and cherish her Palestinian heritage in an occupied land where there is so much destruction. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of France, Germany and Monaco. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Thursday 13th February 2020

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Mossawa Centre in Haifa. This non-governmental organisation works to protect the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens in Israel. In Arabic ‘mossawa’ means equality. The organisation works hard to monitor government budgets in Israel and prepares reports exposing discrimination against Arabs in the way services are financed.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for all organisations focused on justice and equality for all communities in Israel. We pray that the Israeli Knesset will listen to requests for a more just distribution of resources to the Palestinian Arab citizens living in Israel. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Two young Palestinians were killed by Israeli live fire over the past week. During a demonstration in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, the 6th of February. Yazan Abu Tabikh, a nineteen-year-old, was killed and seven others were wounded in a clash with Israeli forces as they started to demolish a Palestinian home. A seventeen-year-old, Mohammed al-Haddad was shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes in Hebron on the previous day.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the families of Yazan and Mohammed as they mourn their loss. We pray, too for a calming of the rising tension between Palestinian protestors and the Israeli military forces, which has intensified since the Trump Middle East plan was revealed. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian Territories, Michael Lynk, has commented that the Trump Middle East Plan ‘is a lopsided proposal entirely in favour of one side of the conflict’ and that it would ‘ endorse the creation of a 21st century Bantustan in the Middle East’.

  • Lord, we pray that the UN and the wider international community would redouble their efforts to achieve a just and equitable peace on the basis of equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis alike. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Monday, the third of February Palestinian prisoners from four prisons chose to observe a hunger strike for two hours in protest at the dire conditions suffered by child and women prisoners at Damon prison. The Prisoners’ Commission and the Prisoners’ Society have reported that women and child prisoners at Damon are held without warm clothes and blankets in the cold weather and provided with poor quality food.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for an end to the occupation of the Palestinian territories.  May the conditions of Palestinian prisoners be improved and an end be brought to moving them into Israel proper which is against International law. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Thursday, February 6, Sabeel Jerusalem announced that they will be having a Young Adult Gathering June 2020. In the spirit of gathering and Kumi, we hope to have young adults join from around the world to hear, learn, and plan how to further work for a just peace in our world.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for this new generation of peacemakers in Your name. For their passion for justice and a better world where all are loved and human rights and no longer violated. We pray for guidance as the program is planned and we at Sabeel prepare for this gathering. Lord, in Your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • Lord, we remember the poor and the homeless in Palestine during the current cold and wintry weather. We pray for the provision of shelter and sustenance for them. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

6th February 2020

Tensions between Israel and Gaza have been steadily rising over the past two weeks after a period of relative calm. The release of President Trump’s recent proposals, which heavily favoured Israel, fuelled fears of an escalation in the number of rockets and explosive balloons fired from Gaza. Late on Thursday three rockets were fired from Gaza at Southern Israel. In response the Israelis carried out air strikes in Gaza on Thursday and Friday.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for an easing of tensions between Israel and Gaza and for a just and peaceable end to the blockade of Gaza. We pray that honest brokers will come forward with plans for peace talks which would respect international law and the human rights of the Palestinians in Gaza and in the Occupied Territories. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

This week is set aside for rest from the Kumi Now Initiative. Activists are encouraged to relax and take a break before re-engaging with the Initiative next week. We also encourage you to take this as an opportunity to do some reading around recent events.

  • Dear Lord Jesus, we thank you for your words of encouragement at the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied’(Matthew5:6). Lord, in your mercy…hear our payer.

The new US proposals announced by President Trump on Tuesday, the 28th of January, have been condemned as ‘unworkable’ by the Elders (an NGO made up from noted worldwide public figures). Ban Ki Moon, Deputy Chair of the Elders and former UN Secretary General stated that the international community should condemn the proposal to allow Israel to annex swathes of the occupied Palestinian Territories. He stated that the move to confirm Jerusalem as the ‘undivided’ capital of Israel was ‘dangerous and provocative’ and noted ‘the absence of any credible plan for Gaza’.

  • Lord, we turn to you and pray for help for the Palestinian people. Will the governments of the world look on silently as more land is illegally annexed from the Palestinian people? Will the rest of the world allow powerful governments to ride roughshod over international law? Will anyone speak out and condemn the imposition of apartheid in the Holy Land? Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The death has been announced of Albert Aghazarian, a Palestinian-Armenian patriot and distinguished historian. He studied and worked at Birzeit University and provided simultaneous translation at conferences. In 1991 he worked closely with Dr Hanan Ashrawi at the Madrid Conference as a member of the Palestinian delegation. Dr Ashrawi called him ‘a son of Jerusalem and the streets of the old city will continue to echo with his voice and erudite persona’. His daughter Elise creates the Sabeel Wave of Prayer in Arabic every week and our condolences are with her and her family.

  • Lord, we thank you for the life and service of Albert Aghazarian and especially for his outstanding linguistic gifts and his work as a historian, focusing on the city of Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

A couple from Gaza, Mohammad and Wafa Ralaban were caught up in the bureaucracy of occupation travel permits as they have been trying to care for their premature babies. Wafa was rushed to Makkased Hospital in East Jerusalem when her quadruplets were born prematurely. Sadly, three of the babies had died before Mohammad was granted a permit to visit his wife and surviving daughter. Physicians for Human Rights Israel and the hospital authorities stepped in to prevent the parents’ being expelled back to Gaza and to request an extension to the parent’s permits on humanitarian grounds.

  • Dear Lord, we pray that baby Selin may grow in strength and that her parents may remain at her side to provide care and support for her. We pray that the Israeli authorities will cease the inhumane denial of travel permits to Palestinian parents with sick children needing hospital care in Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Friday, the 28th of February, Sabeel Jerusalem held a facilitator meeting in Ramallah. Twenty-seven Bible study group facilitators gathered together from all over Palestine to meet, share experiences, learn, and to encourage one another.

  • Lord, we thank you for the Bible study facilitators who met together in Ramallah and we pray that they will draw strength from your Word. May they find a refuge in you at this time of crisis. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Andorra, Italy, Malta, Portugal, San Marino, Spain and the Vatican City. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

30th January 2020

The Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA). The organisation supports the work of Sabeel, Jerusalem and seeks justice and peace in Palestine through non-violent advocacy and education.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the work of FOSNA and their commitment to reveal how the Israeli authorities continue to defy international law and abuse Palestinian human rights. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza is warning that three hospitals may be forced to close because there isn’t enough fuel to power generators vital to the supply of electricity. The generators have to be used to cover the twelve hours’ lack of electricity supply from the Israeli companies.

  • Oh Lord, the Palestinians living in the occupied territories, especially Gaza, are being forced to survive day-to-day with diminishing supplies of clean water and electricity, in a land blessed with sufficient supplies for all. We pray for an end to this unjust denial of vital resources by the Israeli authorities, when they have more than enough for their whole population. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Tuesday, the 21st of January the Israeli army killed three Palestinian young men, Mohammed Mandeel, Salem an-Na’ami and Mahmoud Sa’id, all eighteen years of age, near the perimeter fence in Central Gaza. The army alleges that they breached the fence and hurled explosive devices. They were ordered to remove their clothes before they were shot.

  • Lord, we pray for the families and friends who grieve the loss of Mohammed, Salem and Mahmoud. We pray for an end to the siege of Gaza and for a ceasefire and an end to violence and bloodshed at the border. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Ekrima Sabri, an imam and the former grand mufti of Palestine was barred from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem on the grounds of incitement in his recent sermon. He has been giving Friday sermons at the Al-Aqsa Mosque since 1973. He is a notable Jerusalemite and has protested against the daily incursions of Israeli settlers into the Al-Aqsa compound. Last week 343 settlers, under the protection of the Israeli security forces, entered the compound against agreed protocol.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for calm and mutual respect for worshippers of different faiths in Jerusalem. We pray that the Israeli authorities respect the guardianship agreement and protocols it has with Jordan, the country which oversees the Muslim and Christian holy sites in the city of Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Thirty-four Catholic bishops from Europe, North America and South Africa have called on their governments to respect international law in Israel and to recognise the state of Palestine. They recently undertook a five-day tour of the occupied territories and recognised the worsening situation in Gaza, East Jerusalem and Ramallah.

  • Lord, we thank you for the concerns raised by the Catholic bishops. We pray that their governments will listen and respond by bringing pressure to bear on Israel to cease the building of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and to dismantle the occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, the 22nd of January, the Israeli army delivered orders stating that they will annex 1,250 acres of Palestinian land, south of Nablus in the northern area of the West Bank. This annexation will further affect Palestinians from the villages of Tal, Madama and Burin. In September 2019 the army annexed Palestinian land in the area to enable the illegal Jewish settlement of Yitzhar to expand.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the Palestinians in the West Bank as they see their land stolen and are then vulnerable to Jewish settler attacks and intimidation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Israeli human rights organisation Bimkom revealed that the Israeli Civil Authority in the West Bank only granted 3% of the Palestinian applications for construction permits in Area C for the period 2016-18. Further data shows that 2000 demolition orders were issued in Area C for ‘violations’ by Palestinians for lack of permits for construction during the same period.

  • Oh Lord, we cry out to you, ‘not to forget the afflicted’, ‘incline your ear to the oppressed’, Psalm 10:18. How can the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank continue on this path of home demolition and oppression? We pray that the Israeli authorities will change and seek to serve the whole population in a just and equitable way. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Prince Charles visited Bethlehem and Ramallah on Friday, the 24th of January, to host a small ecumenical service in a chapel of the Nativity Church and meet with Mahmoud Abbas. Prince Charles spoke of his “dearest wish that the future will bring freedom, justice and equality to all Palestinians.”

  • Lord, we pray that the visit of Prince Charles will mark a time of renewed hope for the Palestinian people. We pray that many international leaders will call for an end to the occupation and to renew peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Western Sahara and Tunisia. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Thursday, 23rd January 2020

This week’s Kumi Now initiative looks at the work of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA). PASSIA was set up in 1987 as an independent, non-profit institution addressing Palestinian issues through academic research. It focuses particularly on the Israeli violations of international law in East Jerusalem.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the work of PASSIA, their monitoring of the demolition of Palestinian homes and the expropriation of their land and places of worship in East Jerusalem. We pray for all those who seek to address injustice and risk their own freedom to speak truth to those in authority. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Friday, the 17th of January, the Israeli police stormed the Al Aqsa compound after thousands of Palestinians responded to a call to worship and protest against Israeli incursions on to the compound against the status-quo and plans to take over Muslim holy sites. Many worshippers were assaulted, and five protesters were shot with rubber coated steel bullets. Similar protest rallies were called at Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque and in Gaza.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for an easing of tensions at the Muslim holy sites. We pray that the Israeli settlers and authorities will cease their violent assaults on the Palestinians and start to demonstrate an attitude of respect and reconciliation towards people of a different faith. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Israeli forces demolished the foundations of a new school that was being built near Yatta, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, the 16th of January, without giving prior notice. The school was planning to accommodate children living in remote villages in the area who have to travel long distances to attend school. The area is close to the illegal Israeli settlement of Beni Hefer.

  • Oh Lord, we pray for the young children living in remote villages in Palestine who have to walk across hazardous terrain each day to go to school. We pray that the Palestinian authorities will persevere in their attempts to build schools, despite the setbacks they face from demolitions. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Ir Amim, an Israeli activist organisation, released their most recent report on Wednesday, the 15th of January. It revealed that 104 Palestinian housing units were demolished in East Jerusalem in 2019, compared to 72 units in 2018. The report also showed that only 7% of the housing units agreed by city planners were for Palestinian neighbourhoods.

  • Lord, we thank you that some Israelis are reporting on the injustice and inequity in how the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are treated by the Israeli authorities. We pray for an end to the practice of house demolitions and for an end to the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The third International Meeting for Scientists for Palestine took place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA over the weekend beginning on Friday, the 10th of January. The aim of the meetings is to promote and support the development of science in Palestine, despite the stifling effects of the occupation. There were over 200 participants with 30 presenters. The conference organiser, Ubai Aboudi, the Director of the Bisan Centre for Research in Ramallah was arrested in November 2019 and has been held on administrative detention

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the international community of scientists who are working to promote the development of science in Palestine. We also pray for the release of Ubai Aboudi from administrative detention. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Ahmad Zahran has been held under Israeli administrative detention since March 2019. He has suffered deteriorating health after undergoing 113 days of hunger strike in protest against his detention order. On Monday, the 13th of January, he called his family to inform them that he had reached an agreement with the prison administration and that he would be released on the 25th of February.

  • Dear Lord, it seems so harsh that Palestinian political prisoners have to starve themselves to the point of death to receive release from the detention orders that can keep them incarcerated for years, on secret evidence, without charge or trial. We pray for an end to this inhumane imprisonment for 450 Palestinians who are currently held on administrative detention orders. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • Dear Lord Jesus, we pray for the family and friends of Father George Shahwan as they mourn his recent loss. He was an old friend and supporter of Sabeel and we thank you for his service as priest to the Greek Orthodox Church of St Mary’s, Beit Jala. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • In this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.