Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

16th of July 2020

In Week 39 of the Kumi Now Initiative (Tuesday,14th July) representatives from Zochrot and other organisations explained the connection between the right of return and the Jewish National Fund which hides and erases the remains of Palestinian villages in Israel. In Week 40, Father Elias Chacour, (Archbishop emeritus and writer of ‘Blood Brothers’) and other guests will speak about the barriers to education experienced by Palestinian children.

  • Lord, we thank you for the way that technology can be used to help people around the world understand about the inequalities faced by Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. We pray for those who hear the webinars, that they may shine as lights before others (Matt 5:16) and expose the many injustices they discover. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Palestinian Authority imposed a new Covid-19 lockdown on Friday, the 3rd of July, which has been extended for a further two weeks with enhanced restrictions. 472 new cases of coronavirus were announced on the 6th of July and there have now been 17 deaths in the occupied Palestinian Territories. The Palestinian Authority has called for the closure of border crossings and for a clampdown on any large gatherings, including weddings and funerals. Israel has recorded more than 330 deaths due to the virus.

  • Lord, the Covid-19 virus continues to be a cause of great concern and suffering in Israel/Palestine and in many other countries. We pray for wisdom for all those in authority who have to take measures to try to contain infection and yet enable people to earn their livelihoods. We pray for those families in Israel/Palestine and around the world who have lost loved ones to the virus. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Local clergy from Bethlehem released a joint statement on the 7th of July about the planned annexation of the occupied West Bank. They represent the church communities of the Roman Catholics, the Melkite Catholics, the Greek Orthodox, and the Lutherans. They made it clear that such a move by the Israeli authorities would be the last straw for maintaining any viable Christian presence in the Holy Land, as many more Palestinians would be forced to emigrate.

  • Lord Jesus, the town of Bethlehem where you were born is now hemmed in on many sides by the separation wall and illegal settlements. It is overcrowded and there is no room for it to grow. We pray for our brothers and sisters in Palestine as they try to raise their families and for their pastoral leaders as they try to care for their church communities under occupation. Lord, so many Palestinian families here and elsewhere live under constant pressure and threat of harassment and eviction in the Holy Land. We pray that the illegal plan of annexation will not be implemented. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Monday, the 6th of July, Sadi Gharabli from Shajayeh in northern Gaza died of cancer in prison. The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) refused appeals to move him to the Ramla Prison Clinic for treatment. Sadi had served 26 years of his life sentence for resisting the occupation, 12 of those years in solitary confinement. The Palestinian Detainees Commission claim that his death in custody was a case of medical negligence and that he was one of 68 Palestinians who have died in Israeli prisons since 1967 due to such neglect.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the family of Sadi as they grieve their loss. We pray that the IPS would observe their duty to care for the health and welfare of their prisoners, including those serving long sentences. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Jewish settlers from the Yitzhar settlement in the occupied Palestinian Territories set fire to olive groves south of Burin, near Nablus on Wednesday, July the 8th.  The fires destroyed dozens of olive trees. Meanwhile Israeli forces uprooted more than 200 olive trees near Yasuf village, north of Salfit. There are now 150 illegal settlements in the West Bank with about 500,000 Jewish settlers. Some of the more extreme settlers subject Palestinian farmers to frequent and violent attacks. These attacks are rarely prosecuted by the Israeli authorities.

  • Lord, we pray for the Palestinians living near the settlements who suffer harassment and destructive raids. We pray for an end to this violence and intimidation. We pray for an end to the occupation and a way forward which would bring peace, justice and stability to Israel/ Palestine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The results of the Palestinian Tawjihi (leavers exams) were released on Saturday 11th July and many young people are now graduating and looking to the future.

  • We pray for the thousands of young people who are celebrating their achievement and we remember the students who did not reach their target grades. May the students of Palestine use their education to better their communities and to strengthen the society in which they live. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Djibouti and Somalia. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Thursday 9th July 2020

In Week 38 of the Kumi Now Initiative (Tuesday 7th July) the topic of Morally Responsible Investing was discussed with Sabeel-Kairos UK. On Tuesday 14th July there will be the opportunity to listen to the Israeli NGO Zochrot on the topic of Right of Return and the Jewish National Fund. (www.kuminow.com/online )

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for those who are willing to express their support for the legitimate struggle for justice and peace through their financial investments. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

As Covid19 continues to affect populations throughout the world, we see a further rise in cases in both Palestine and Israel. With around 1000 cases daily, Israel is at a peak higher than that seen at the beginning of the pandemic with lockdowns and restrictions starting to be reintroduced. The West Bank was locked down from Friday 3rd July for a period of five days, but this may be extended as hundreds of cases are reported in the Hebron area and in the refugee camps of Bethlehem.

  • Lord, we pray for all those around the world who are affected by this pandemic, especially for the medical and emergency services who continue to place themselves at great risk to treat the sickest patients. We pray for those in the West Bank under lockdown as they once again adjust to an even more restricted way of life under continuing occupation. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s self-imposed date for annexation of July 1st has come and gone with no changes on the ground. During this time numerous voices from the international community, Palestinian groups, and Israelis have come together to call for the prospect of further annexation of the West Bank to cease.

  • Lord, we pray that international powers will apply real pressure to the Israeli government and their supporters in the United States to bring an end to the prospect of further illegal annexation of the West Bank. We pray that Palestinians living in the areas under threat will have this threat removed and be able to live in peace. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Despite the ongoing Covid19 pandemic and increase in cases, Israeli occupation authorities have begun construction of almost 200 new housing units in the illegal Israeli settlement of Neve Daniel. These new housing units are being built on land belonging to the Palestinian villages of Nahalin and al-Khader. Throughout the pandemic, Israeli occupation forces and settler groups have used restrictions and lock downs to seize more land for settlement expansion.

  • O Lord, we see the destruction of livelihoods and homes continue as Palestinians suffer under the combined hardships of occupation, restrictions and lockdown. We pray that justice will prevail and that, one day, Palestinians will be able to live peaceably on their own land and in their own homes without the threat of demolition or forced displacement.

Five Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisations (Gisha, Adalah, HaMoked, Physicians for Human Rights Israel, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel)havesent an urgent letter to Defence Minister Benny Gantz, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Kamil Abu Rukun, demanding that Israel immediately ensure Palestinian travel through Erez Crossing. Since early March the Palestinian Authority has been stopping coordination with Israeli authorities in protest at plans to annex more of the West Bank, this has caused the issuing of permits for Gazans to cross the Erez crossing to all but cease.

  • Lord we pray that those in Gaza who require to pass into Israel for medical and humanitarian reasons will be given permission to do so. The ongoing Israeli blockade of the area continues to cause the failure of the Gaza medical system and impose huge suffering on the people. We pray that the blockade will end and justice be done for the people of Gaza so that they may have normal lives free from oppression and the risk of bombing. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel, along with the Palestinian Tour Guide Union, has been holding weekly online sessions for Palestinian tour guides to help them develop new skills during this time when there is no tourism. So far there have been sessions on idea generation, Palestinian food, and liberation theology.

  • Lord, we are thankful that many tour guides have come together to hear about various topics which may help them to develop their skills. We are grateful for the technology which allows this to happen and for the ability of the speakers to share their knowledge and skills. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

 2nd of July, 2020

In Week 37 of the Kumi Now Initiative anyone who had registered for an online gathering was treated to a special evening celebrating Palestinian music and poetry. Next Tuesday, the 7th of July there will be an online session addressing Morally Responsible Investing with Sabeel-Kairos UK, at 6pm, Palestine Time, (for details see: http:/www.kuminow.com/online)

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the rich heritage of Palestinian music, poetry, and painting. We thank you for the artists who keep their inheritance alive by using their gifts to reach out to their people at a time of suffering. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

There has been a spike of Covid19 infections across Palestine, including outbreaks in Nablus and Hebron. 195 new infections were recorded on Sunday, 28th June and this resurgence in cases has necessitated lockdowns throughout the West Bank, including a 2-day lockdown of Bethlehem, the banning of all weddings, and the closure of churches and mosques across the West Bank.

  • Lord, we ask that wisdom would be granted to all those with responsibility to try to contain these new outbreaks of the coronavirus in the occupied Palestinian Territories. We pray for the recovery of those people who have been infected. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Tuesday, the 23rd of June,1,080 parliamentarians across 25 European countries sent a letter to European governments and leaders outlining their reasons for opposing the Israeli government’s plan to annex West Bank territory. They also expressed their determination to use their diplomatic influence to promote a lasting and just solution to the conflict.

  • Dear Lord Jesus, we plead for your compassion and care as we hear about Israeli plans to acquire more land by force and by breaking international laws. We pray that there might be a just and peaceful solution to the conflict which would guarantee equal rights for both the Palestinians and the Israelis. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Ahmed Erekat, a young Palestinian, was shot dead at a checkpoint near Bethlehem on Tuesday, the 23rd of June. He was left to bleed to death for over an hour while Israeli soldiers denied access to Palestinian medical personnel from a Red Crescent ambulance which attended the scene. Ahmed, nephew of the PLO Secretary General, Saeb Erekat, was due to be married in two weeks’ time. He had been going to collect his mother and sister from a beauty salon, where they had been preparing for his sister’s wedding when he was stopped by border police. Israeli forces stated that before they opened fire, Ahmed attempted to ram his car at a border police officer.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the family of Ahmed and particularly for his fiancée as they grieve his loss. We pray that the Israeli security forces would not use undue violence and that international courts may hold them accountable for any crimes they may commit. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Omar Yaghi, an eight-month old baby boy from Gaza died on Thursday, the 18th of June.

An operation on his heart had to be postponed by one month at the Sheba Medical Centre in Israel as permission did not arrive in time for him to travel. The Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee, (PCAC), which would normally oversee arrangements for families from Gaza to attend Israeli hospitals, has suspended all agreements with Israel in protest against the proposed annexation. Although Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, (PHRI) intervened in Omar’s case to secure another operation date, the wait was too long and he died.

  • Lord, we pray for the family of Omar as they come to terms with their heartbreaking loss. We pray too for the hundreds of other Palestinian patients who are being denied lifesaving treatments, as a result of the threat to annex large areas of the occupied West Bank. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Jerusalem District Court turned down a final request by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to block the transfer of church property in the Old City on Wednesday, the 24th of June. A disputed contract for the sale of the property had been signed in 2004 with the Jewish settler group, Ateret Cohanim. This group works to populate the Old City and East Jerusalem neighbourhoods with Jewish residents by purchasing properties from non-Jewish owners, often through holding companies.

  • Lord, we pray for the Christian community, especially Greek Orthodox, and for their loss of further property and presence in the city of Jerusalem. We pray for all the members of the body of Christ who remain as witnesses in the Holy Land. We thank you for the ones who remain, even when so many have been forced to leave. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • Lord, we celebrate the consecration of Bishop Hosam Naoum, Archbishop Elect of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem on the 14th of June. We also celebrate the ordination of Rev. Rodny Said as a Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land. Lord, may these men be both blessed and a blessing in their service and follow your example to ‘nourish and cherish’ the church (Eph 5:29)
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer 25.6.20

This week’s Kumi Now Online talk was given by Sabeel and focused on the ways the occupation affects the city of Jerusalem. The Israeli government has separated East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. It has gradually tightened its control over the area by refusing residency rights and building permits to Palestinians, carrying out extensive home demolitions and cutting back on the services and maintenance of the infrastructure.

  • Dear Lord Jesus, we thank you for the Christian witness of Sabeel in East Jerusalem. As we think about the deep divisions in the city of Jerusalem today, we remember your tears and lament as you rode into the city on Palm Sunday, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.’ We continue to pray for peace, justice, and reconciliation in the city of Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Palestinian Health Minister warned of a sudden spike in the numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections in the occupied Palestinian Territories on Thursday, the 18th of June. Medical officials have recorded 45 new cases, bringing the total number to 745. Since the 5th of March, 570 patients have recovered, 5 people have died and 170 are still receiving treatment. The six hospitals in East Jerusalem have just received essential medical supplies and personal protective equipment from the European Union and the World Health Organization for frontline staff.

  • Dear Lord, we are thankful for the timely donation of medical supplies to help health workers in East Jerusalem hospitals to support those suffering from coronavirus. We pray for their protection as they carry out the treatments. We also pray for all those who have lost loved ones to the virus. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Israeli settlers bulldozed several acres of Palestinian land in Qusra town, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank to start building a road on Wednesday, the 17th of June. They are planning to build a 7 km road to connect an outpost to Migdalim settlement and to link settlements in the north of the West Bank with others in the Jordan Valley. There was also an area of fruit trees and Olives bulldozed in the al-Makhrour area of Bethlehem to make way for the extension of the Israeli route 60 road. Settler activity throughout the West Bank has recently escalated in preparation for the proposed annexation.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for an end to the illegal settler activity in the occupied Palestinian Territories. We pray that the Israeli government will be held to account for the ways in which they have established an apartheid state through the occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Tuesday, the 16th of June, Joseph Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy spoke about a video conference held with Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, on the previous day. Borrell argued that the US peace plan, as it stands, does not ‘respect internationally agreed parameters. He commended instead the multilateral format for discussions which had been proposed by the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas.

  • Lord, we pray that the Israeli government’s plan to annex areas of the Palestinian West Bank will be opposed by lawmakers and governments around the world. We pray that world leaders will look instead for peaceful and just solutions to the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict so that all people can live there in peace and security. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.

On Thursday, the 11th of June, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, (PCHR) in Gaza finished hosting a four-day training course on ‘Protection and Intervention Mechanisms to Eliminate Violence Against Women’. There were 25 male and female participants from four youth groups in Gaza. The course aimed at preparing participants to become more aware of the issues underlying gender-based violence and informing them of ways in which they could help their peers seek intervention and legal protection.

  • Lord, we thank you for the recent training courses hosted by the PCHR in Gaza. We pray that the young people who took part in the training will become advocates to help their peers to seek protection from violence. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

There has been an increase in violence throughout the Palestinian Arab communities, both in East Jerusalem and throughout Israel. This increase in violence has led to a number of injuries and deaths. Increased pressure caused by unemployment due to the Covid19 pandemic and the ongoing occupation has increased tensions.

  • Lord, we hear of the tragic increase in violence between families and others in the Palestinian Arab communities. We pray that the violence will cease, families can find ways to live in peace, and that the causes of this increase will end. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Kenya and Tanzania. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer 18.6.20

Kumi Now Online asked Jeff Halper, an Israeli anthropologist and head of the Israel Committee Against Home Demolitions, (ICAHD) to speak about how to help put a stop to the use of home demolitions as a collective punishment. Jeff is author of ‘War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification’. His talk took place on Tuesday, the 16th of June at 6pm, Jerusalem time. The Kumi Now Online sessions take place on a weekly basis and more information can be found at: www.kuminow.com/online.  The next talk on the 23rd of June is entitled ‘Jerusalem Under Occupation’, led by Sabeel.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the work of ICAHD as it seeks to help Palestinians whose homes have been demolished by the Israeli authorities. We pray for an end to this merciless practice and for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

According to a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, dated the 2nd of June, there have been 630 Palestinians who have contracted COVID 19 in the occupied Palestinian Territories. The Palestinian Authority acted swiftly to curb the pandemic with curfews, travel bans, and school closures. These actions kept COVID 19 cases at a low level, with five deaths reported and only one of them occurring in Gaza. The state of emergency announced on the 5th of March was ended on the 25th of May and the lockdown was eased, though physical distancing and health protection measures are still advised.

  • Lord, we are thankful for the prompt action of the Palestinian Authority to protect those living in Palestine and Gaza. We pray for the many families across the world who have lost loved ones and we pray that, before long, the pandemic will cease to cause such devastation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

At the end of May more than 78,000 Palestinian 12th grade students commenced their Tawjihi, or General Secondary Education Certificate Examination. The Ministry of Education created an online platform of Tawjihi resources to enable students to prepare for their examinations during lockdown.

  • Thank you, Lord, that Palestinian students can complete their secondary education by taking their standardised exams. We pray that they may be able to focus on their studies and to fulfil their potential, despite concerns caused by the pandemic, occupation, and political uncertainties in their land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Yazan Alami, a 9th grade pupil at St George’s Anglican School in Jerusalem passed away on Thursday 11th June due to a long-term illness.

  • Lord, we pray for the family and friends of Yazan as they mourn their loss. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, the 3rd of June, the Palestinian Authority announced that it would reject the monthly taxes collected on their behalf by Israel. This amounts to almost half their income. The rejection is a protest against Israel’s plan to annex large swathes of the occupied Palestinian West Bank. The livelihoods of many Palestinians will be threatened at this time. The coronavirus has led to a sharp downturn in the economy and many living in the West Bank will have lost jobs in Israel. These factors, compounded by the lack of funds from the Palestinian Authority, will certainly lead to greater hardship and need in the wider Palestinian community.

  • Lord, you are our rock of refuge. We pray for those Palestinian families who face unemployment and hardship. We pray for resilience and determination in their communities to support one another through these difficult times. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Palestinian watermelon farmers in the northern Jordan Valley are struggling to make a living. Just when they harvest their crop in May, they find their markets flooded with cheap Israeli melons. They already struggle with access to water and, for decades, their land has been confiscated and given to settlers or had their land declared a ‘closed military zone’. Now they find it is uneconomic to harvest their crop when settlers, with access to free land and water, undercut their prices.

  • Lord of justice and righteousness, we pray for the plight of the Palestinian farmers. Lord, so many endure violence and unfair practices and now face the prospect of the illegal annexation of their land. We pray that, even at this late stage, international lawmakers and governments around the world would speak out and stay the hand of the Israeli government from implementing ‘the power of their hand’ (Micah 2:1). Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for Malawi and Zambia. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer 11.6.20

The Kumi Now Initiative invited the Rev.Dr.Stephen Sizer, founder of the Peacemaker Trust to lead an online talk entitled ‘What is Christian Zionism?’, on Tuesday, the 9th of June. The author of ‘Zion’s Christian Soldiers?’ helped us to understand the challenge posed by Christian Zionists and what can be done to counter their influence. (The Kumi Now Online sessions take place on a weekly basis at 6pm (Jerusalem time), more information can be found at www.kuminow.com/online)

  • Thank you, Lord, for the work of the Peacemaker Trust. Lord you have raised up your children from all the families of the earth, help us to show love for one another and to work together for peace and justice. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

As numbers of confirmed Covid19 cases increase in Israel (mainly from infections in schools), four new cases were registered by the Ministry of Health on Thursday, the 4th of June, raising the total number of cases in Palestine to 640. Three of the cases were recorded near Jenin, while the fourth was in Gaza. The coronavirus has led to an abrupt decline in economic activity and many Palestinians have lost their livelihoods.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for all those who have been affected by the pandemic in Palestine/Israel and around the world. We pray especially for those who have lost loved ones, those who are struggling to recover and those who have lost their income as a result of the economic downturn. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in cities across Palestine/Israel on Tuesday, the 2nd of June, to remember recent victims of police brutality in the US and Israel. On the 25th of May, George Floyd, an African American, was arrested, handcuffed and suffocated by a US policeman in Minneapolis. On the 30th of May, Iyad Hallaq, a Palestinian man with autism, was shot dead by an Israeli policeman. Outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, protestors lit candles in front of a photo of Floyd and Hallaq and chanted, ‘Black lives matter, Palestinian lives matter’.

  • Lord of heaven and earth you give to all mankind life and breath and everything (Acts17:25). We pray, in your strength, to care for victims of brutality and to value every life as precious in your sight. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Some Palestinian communities are facing a wave of violent gun crime. Israeli police neglect and decades of political indifference has allowed this cycle of violence to escalate.

On Monday, the 1st of June, a four-year-old Palestinian girl, Rafif Qara’een died in hospital after she had been shot in the head at her home in the East Jerusalem district of Isawiyah.

Although the family dispute this, Israeli police claim that she was shot from a gun fired from Anata, a Palestinian town beyond the separation wall in the West Bank and some considerable distance from the little girl’s home.

  • We pray for the family of Rafif as they mourn the loss of their young daughter. We pray that the Israeli police would pursue the perpetrators of such violent crimes within the Palestinian community and restore peace and stability. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society based in Ramallah reported on Wednesday, the 3rd of June, that dozens of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli Hadareem prison are about to start a collective hunger strike. The strike is their response to poor medical attention during the pandemic. The prisoners have also been denied the right to phone family members, which has increased their sense of isolation as all prison visits were cancelled due to the virus.

  • Dear Lord,  there are more than four thousand Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli prisons, some of them without charges or release dates. We pray especially for those who are desperate to draw attention to their maltreatment. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Israeli military training took place in the Jordan Valley on Tuesday, the 2nd of June. They used live ammunition which set fire to two thousand acres of Palestinian agricultural and pastoral land. Palestinian farmers lost wheat and barley crops and grazing for their livestock, endangering their livelihood. Israel has already allocated 86% of the land in the West Bank portion of the Jordan Valley to Israeli settlements and proposes to annex the rest on the 1st of July.

  • Lord, we cry out to you as we see the land of Palestinian farmers destroyed and stolen in front of their eyes. We pray that international lawmakers and governments will speak out against the illegal Israeli annexation, before it is too late. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Botswana and Zimbabwe. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary Prayer

Proper 6 – Sunday 14th June

O God the Father, origin of divinity,

good beyond all that is good,

fair beyond all that is fair,

in whom is calmness,

peace and concord;

make up the dissensions which divide us from each other and bring us back into a unity of love, which may bear some likeness to your sublime nature. And as you are above all things, make us one by the unanimity of a good mind, that through the embrace of charity and the bonds of affection we may be spiritually one, as well in ourselves as in each other, through that peace of yours which makes all things peaceful,

through the grace,

mercy and tenderness of your only-begotten Son.

Amen

The Jacobite Liturgy of Dionysius, in Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

June 4th, 2020

This week’s Kumi Now initiative looks at the work of the Palestine Museum of Natural History, (PMNH) and the Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS). The mission of both these institutes, (see www.palestinenature.org) is to research, conserve and disseminate knowledge about the cultural heritage and the natural environment of Palestine. Their joint aim is to use their knowledge to interact responsibly with their environment.

  • Dear Lord, everything you created is good (1Tim 4:4). We are so thankful for those who work for the PMNH and PIBS as they look carefully at the natural environment around them and care for it in a respectful way. We pray that their hearts will be filled with awe at the wonders they discover. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Israeli police have shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian near the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem. The slain man, 32-year-old Iyad el-Hallak, attended and worked at a school for people with special needs in the Old City, close to the spot where he was shot on Saturday morning. el-Hallak who is a person of disability was heading to the school when he was shot by several bullets and he was left on the ground bleeding for a while until he died. The shooting came a day after Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah who the Israeli occupation forces alleged had tried to ram them with his vehicle.

  • Dear Lord, we remember the family of Iyad as they grieve for the loss of their son. We pray that the Israeli soldiers and their commanders are held accountable for their crimes. Bless us God with courage and determination to continue to speak truth to power and our words never abandon the marginalized. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Even at the young age of twenty-nine years, Ayman Safiah was considered one of the most talented Arab Israeli dancers. Sadly, on Sunday, the 17th of May, he was swept away by strong currents when he was swimming off the coast off Neve Yam in northern part of the country. He managed to push his female companion back towards the shore, but he was unable to save himself. His body was found by Israeli police on Wednesday.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for the family of Ayman as they grieve their loss. Thank you that so many young people came forward to take part in the rescue search. We are saddened to know that a dancer of international renown has drowned at such a young age. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

During the Sabeel general assembly meeting at the end of May, the newly elected Sabeel board was approved.

  • Dear lord, we pray for the Sabeel center new leadership as they take over their new responsibilities. We give thanks for the time and energy of all our past board members. May the ministry of Sabeel continue to serve all people, speak prophetically to the powerful and help the oppressed to demand their rights. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Médecins Sans Frontières, (MSF), reports that the combination of Covid19, the lockdown and its financial impact has seriously affected many Palestinian families living in the occupied territories. Those Palestinians living in the vicinity of Israeli settlements often experience high levels of violence. When you add to this further anxiety over the pandemic, it can lead to outbursts of anger and abuse within families.

  • Dear Lord, ‘You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble’; (Psalm 46:1). We pray for an end to the vicious cycle of violence experienced by Palestinians and an end to the brutal Israeli occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The lockdown was set to remain in place in the West Bank until the 5th of June, but with fewer cases recorded in recent weeks restrictions were eased as of Tuesday, the 2nd of June. Places of worship, shops and factories have been allowed to open, but the authorities are asking people to exercise caution. As of the 22nd of May, four deaths from the pandemic have been reported in the West Bank, with 547 confirmed cases, including 139 in East Jerusalem. This week the Sabeel Offices are reopening.

  • Lord, we are thankful that the rate of infection in Palestine and Israel appears to be falling. We pray that the pandemic will soon die away in this country and in countries around the world. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Israeli forces arrested Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, president of the Supreme Islamic Council and cleric of Al-Aqsa Mosque, after storming his house in occupied Jerusalem. Sheikh Sabri is 79 years old and was born in Qalqilya. He is the cleric of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the former grand mufti of Jerusalem and co-founder and president of the Supreme Islamic Council. Al-Aqsa Mosque is facing Judaization plans, as the temple organizations called to storm and occupy the holy site and divide prayer time and space between Muslims and Jews.

  • Dear God, we pray for the speedy release of Sheikh Ekirma Sabri from Israeli custody. We give thanks to all people of conscience who take the risk to speak truth to power and are willing to pay the costly price for their positions on justice. We pray for the safety of Jerusalem and all its children who continue to feel the brunt of unjust policies of the occupation. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.  
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday

Lectionary Prayer

Matthew 28:16-20

Loving liberator of all peoples,

breathe your Holy Spirit on us

that we may become instruments for justice, peace and healing

in all places where oppression and fear reign

Teach us how to remain faithful to your words and teachings

so that we see your kingdom come

in our broken and troubled world where the powerful prioritize their greed and ambitions over the wellbeing of the people.

Amen.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer 28.5.20

Here is a reminder that the Kumi Now initiative will be holding weekly video conferences with different organisations working for Palestine. The conferences will start on Tuesday, the 2nd of June at 6pm Palestinian time, with Dr Mazin Qumsiyeh who will speak from the Palestinian Museum of Natural History about the environmental impact of the Israeli occupation. (www.kuminow.com/online)

  • Lord, we pray that many people around the world will watch the Kumi Now video conferences to find out how the Palestinian people survive under occupation in their own land. We thank you for their resilience and their resourcefulness. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The spread of the Covid-19 virus across the world is being monitored on a world map and dashboard run by the Johns Hopkins University Centre for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE). Initially the website listed the number of Covid-19 cases recorded by the Palestinian Ministry of Health under the entry for Palestine, separate from Israel’s data.

At the end of March Birzeit University challenged the CSSE to explain why the Palestine entry was first changed to ‘occupied Palestinian territories’ and then, on the following day, it’s figures were merged into the entry for Israel.

  • Dear Lord, we pray that vital information about the spread of the coronavirus in Palestine would be restored on the CSSE. We pray that scientists will not be drawn into political actions attempting to erase Palestine from the map of the world. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The European Union and the governments of Italy and Finland are making a contribution of €17 million to the Palestinian Authority to support East Jerusalem hospitals. This support will enable the six hospitals to maintain vital medical services to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, while also being able to respond to the pandemic.

  • Thank you, Lord for the ongoing assistance of European countries to the maintenance of the Palestinian health care system. It is encouraging to hear of nations reaching out to other nations to provide help in times of crisis. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Fishermen in Gaza have been violently attacked, as they fished within the allowed limits, by the Israeli navy far more frequently in the month of April than in the previous three months, according to the human rights’ organisations Gisha, Adalah, and Al Mezan. Israeli occupation forces have been firing live ammunition and powerful water cannons towards the fishermen, causing injury to the fisherman and damage to their boats. The organisations have written to the Israeli authorities to request an end to these unwarranted attacks.

  • Lord, we pray at this time of acute need, particularly in impoverished areas like Gaza, that fishermen would be allowed to follow their trade and provide for their families. We pray that the rights of all people in Gaza are respected and that the Israeli administration and occupation forces cease their violent blockade of the area. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

This year the day of Pentecost falls on Sunday, the 31st of May. On this holy day Christians in the Holy Land and around the world celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit in tongues of fire, transforming the disciples into apostles.

  • Lord, we remember this holy day when visitors from different nations came to Jerusalem and heard ‘the mighty works of God’ spoken about in their own language, (Acts 2:11). We pray that we may be filled with your spirit and give clear witness to your faithfulness and power. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, the 20th of May, Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process spoke at a UN Security Council video conference. He stated that the Palestinian withdrawal from its agreements with Israel was a cry for help to the international community as it faces Israel’s imminent annexation of over 30% of the West Bank. Mladenov appealed to the Quartet, (the EU, the UN, Russia and the US), to convene as soon as possible to work ‘jointly with countries in the region to advance the prospect of peace’.

  • Lord, we cry out to you as hundreds of Palestinian communities now face the illegal confiscation of their homes and land. We pray that international lawmakers and governments would step in to stay the hand of the Israeli government before it launches its annexation plan in contravention of international law. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

More than fifty Palestinian journalists had their profile pages deleted by Facebook on the 4th of May. No reasons were given, and the journalists were told the decision was irreversible. Middle East Eye reported that “for years, Facebook has been deactivating the accounts of Palestinians in coordination with the Israeli government and security agencies, on the pretext of preventing Palestinian “incitement” on its platform.”

  • Lord, we pray that the censorship of Palestinian journalists will cease. We pray that the Israeli government would respect the rights of all those living in the Holy Land, including their right to freedom of speech. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Angola and Mozambique. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary Prayer

Pentecost Sunday (Year A)

John 20: 19-23

O Parent of all peoples,

breathe your Holy Spirit on us

that we may see the peace

in the places with oppression and fear reign

and be filled with the joy of the risen Christ.

Teach us how to speak his words of justice

so that we can be your agents of a just peace

in our broken and troubled world.

Amen.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

21st May 2020

Kumi Now announces new weekly video conferences with organisations working for Palestine. All the information you need to participate in these conferences is available at Kumi Now Online (www.kuminow.com/online). The first video will focus on the work of Dr Mazin Qumsiyeh and the Palestine Museum of Natural History on Tuesday, the 2nd of June at 6:00pm Palestinian time.

  • Lord, we thank you for the possibility of using technology to reach out across the world to link with other people and to discover their hopes and dreams. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Tuesday, the 12th of May, the Palestinian Health Minister, Dr Al Kaila stated that Palestine had not recorded any new case of COVID-19 for the fifth consecutive day running. The first cases of the virus showed up in Bethlehem. The town has now been declared virus-free, but it has been hit by a very serious economic downturn caused mainly by the cessation of tourism.

  • Dear Lord, we pray for all those in Palestine/Israel and around the world who have lost loved ones in the COVID-19 pandemic. We pray too for those who have lost their livelihoods and are now destitute, that support may be offered to those in need. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Israeli occupation soldiers shot and killed Zeid Qeisieh, a fifteen-year-old Palestinian boy in Fawwar Refugee Camp, south of Hebron on Wednesday,13th May. Zeid was shot in the head while four other boys were also shot and injured. Local reports state that the youths clashed with soldiers when they broke into the camp.

  • Lord, we pray for the family of Zeid as they grieve the loss of their young son. We pray that this young generation of Palestinians will not be condemned to spend their whole lives in refugee camps facing daily violence from occupation forces and that a just solution to the ongoing occupation of Palestine will give them hope. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Three senior United Nations’ officials have called for the release of Palestinian children from Israeli prisons and detention centres. As of the end of March 2020, there are 194 Palestinian children being held on pre-trial detention. During a pandemic, children who have been detained should, by right, be released and detentions prohibited to avoid further contamination.

  • Oh Lord, we cry to you for the Palestinian children held without charge for an unspecified length of time in Israeli prisons. We are to ‘remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them’ (Heb13:3). Lord, many of these children will be scared and missing their families, we pray for their release. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Eleven Palestinian women gave been killed as a result of domestic violence so far this year, with five of these victims having died since the lockdown which began in early March. A surge in cases of domestic abuse of children and sexual violence has also been reported.

  • Lord, we pray that the pressures on people across the world since the start of COVID-19 will start to ease as families adjust to a new normal way of life with fewer restrictions. We pray particularly that this rise in domestic violence in Palestine will end and that the strong Palestinian women can live without threat of violence within their own families. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Every year, on the 21st of May, UNESCO celebrates the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. It is a day on which different cultures from all over the world are promoted, alongside ways in which these communities might benefit from sustainable development. At this time, we think of all those Palestinian craftspeople who strive to keep the culture of Palestine alive in Olive wood, mother of pearl, fabric, and many other materials.

  • Lord, we pray that we might all learn from the way our communities have had to slow down as a result of the pandemic. Help us to consider how we live in our local community and how we respect the environment around us. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the Indian Ocean Islands, Comoros, Madagascar, the Maldives, Mauritius, and the Seychelles. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

14.5.20

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of BADIL, the Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights. This human rights’ organisation works to protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons.

Many Palestinians were forcibly displaced by the Nakba in 1947-9 and the Six Day War in 1967. Their communities continue to suffer forcible displacement due to the discriminatory policies enforced by the Israeli government including denial of residency, denial of permits and land confiscation.

  • Lord, we thank you for organisations like BADIL who stand with Palestinian refugees and the dispossessed. Millions of refugees in the West Bank, Gaza and in neighbouring Middle East countries struggle to survive in the overcrowded refugee camps. They long to return to their homeland but their rights and their hopes are continually denied. We pray for a fair and just negotiated settlement to the Palestine/ Israel conflict. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA), has launched a new emergency appeal to raise $93.4 million. The UNWRA appeal is set to prevent a disastrous situation that could leave thousands of lives at risk, by providing basic needs such as food, water and health care to an impoverished population.

  • Lord, we pray that the international community would rally to fund the UNWRA appeal as they seek to support vulnerable refugee communities in the Middle East as they grapple with the pandemic. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Patriarchs and Heads of the Holy Land Churches issued a statement on the 7th of May concerning Israel’s plan to annex land in the occupied West Bank. They stated that such an annexation would jeopardise any attempt to reach a future peaceful agreement.

They expressed their ‘utmost concern’ over Israel’s unilateral moves and called on the international community, as well as the Palestine Liberation Organisation, to respond with a peace initiative which is in line with international law.

  • Lord, you are our stronghold and our rock of refuge. We pray to you as we witness ongoing actions to annex land belonging to Palestinians. We pray that, even now, those who would ‘frame injustice by statute’ (Psalm 94:20) would turn around and seek peace and abide by international law. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Nakba Day is commemorated by Palestinians each year on the 15th of May. It recalls the forceable expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians by Jewish militants as they set out to establish the state of Israel in 1948. More than 500 Palestinian villages were depopulated during that time and many were completely destroyed.

  • Lord, we pray for the many Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, in the West Bank and Gaza and in the diaspora as they remember their homeland on Nakba Day. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, the 6th of May the Palestinian Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry condemned the approval of the construction of 7,000 new illegal Israeli settler units in Efrat, south of Jerusalem. The Israeli Defence Minister, Naftali Bennett agreed to the massive settlement expansion close to Bethlehem in flagrant disregard of international law.

  • Lord Jesus we see the hills around your birthplace covered in illegal settler units on every side, while the local Palestinians suffer from overcrowding and are denied the right to build on their own land. We pray that international lawmakers will react with more than words to prevent the Israeli government from further breaching international law with settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Israel’s Parliament (the Knesset), passed legislation on Thursday, the 7th of May, approving a new coalition government for Netanyahu and Gantz to share the premiership and to end the political deadlock. Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, followed this up by asking Netanyahu to form a government, Netanyahu will be Prime Minister for 2 years out of the new 4-year term under the coalition agreement with Gantz as deputy. Previously the High Court of Justice struck down petitions to bar Netanyahu as a lawmaker with criminal charges from forming a government.

  • Lord, we pray for the government of Israel that they would act in the interests of all the people living in Palestine and Israel, particularly at this time of urgent need in the face of the COVID 19 pandemic. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary Prayer

Seventh Sunday of Easter – Ascension Sunday (Year A)

Luke 24:44-53

Lord Jesus Christ, in you we see awesome power.

You triumph over death and bring forth new life.

You stand over all earthly powers.

You are the head of the church.

Yet, we often fail to acknowledge this power in our lives.

We see violence in the world.

We see injustice in our communities.

We see hunger and need among our neighbours.

We see longing for something more.

We see failures and faults in our lives.

In all these things, we feel powerless.

Forgive our hesitance to call upon you.

Forgive our propensity to rely upon ourselves.

Forgive our reluctance to acknowledge your power.

Speak your words of power again.

May your will may be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Amen.