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.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer 7.5.20

This week’s Kumi Now initiative looks at the work of Al-Quds University in Jerusalem as it seeks to educate and develop its students to the highest standards despite ongoing occupation and oppression.

  • Lord, we pray for the teachers at Al-Quds University and other educational establishments who seek to build the confidence and self-esteem of students who face prejudice in their own land and abroad. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Religious leaders stood on the terrace of the King David Hotel in West Jerusalem to offer their prayers in Hebrew, Arabic, and English for relief from the Covid-19 virus on Friday, 24th April. More than 200 people have died from the virus in Israel, while so far at least two people have died in the West Bank and Gaza. However, concerns have been raised over the thousands of Palestinian workers who have recently returned home to the West Bank from Israel. At least a third of the confirmed cases of the virus among the Palestinian population have become infected while working in Israel.

  • Lord, we bring our prayers to you asking that the authorities in Palestine and Israel may share the will and their resources to limit the spread of this deadly virus. So many Palestinians are already suffering from the loss of employment, a lack of food and medication. We pray that the Israeli government will work with the Palestinian Authority to provide the necessary emergency support. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On the last day of April 2020, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), finally won a landmark victory against the UK government to allow Local Government Pension Schemes to divest from companies seeking to profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The final verdict given by the Supreme Court marks the end of a campaign which has been running since 2017.

  • Lord, we give thanks for the long and hard-fought campaign and for the verdict at the Supreme Court.  UK public bodies can now make their own ethical decisions on how to invest their finances without fear of incrimination. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Farah Nabulsi a Palestinian filmmaker living in London recently announced that her film, ‘The Present’ has qualified for the Oscars, after winning the Jury Award for the Best Live Action Short Film at the Cleveland International Film Festival. Her film follows Yusef, a Palestinian living in the West Bank, who sets out with his young daughter to buy a gift for his wife on their anniversary. The search for the present soon turns into an ordeal as they encounter Israeli soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints.

  • We thank you, Lord, for film makers like Farah Nabulsi who use their storytelling gifts to expose the harassment and intimidation experienced by Palestinians every day under the Israeli occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer

Kairos Palestine has drawn attention to the recent actions of the Israeli ‘emergency’ government. Under the cover of a ‘Coronavirus cabinet’ Israel has continued to use its policies of home demolitions, child arrests, and support for settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories despite the crisis. It is also intent on carrying out the annexation of around 30% of the West Bank by the 1st of July so that it can be carried out with the support from the Trump administration before the November US elections.

  • Lord, we raise our voices together with the voice of Kairos Palestine. We pray for an end to the occupation of Palestine and that international lawmakers and governments around the world will actively condemn Israel for their plans to annex more Palestinian land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Thursday, the 30th of April, Fatou Bensouda, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, published her decision to affirm that Palestine is a state. A panel of three judges will now examine the case and the statements of a number of countries both in support of the Palestinians and of the Israelis before making a decision on whether the lengthy process of investigation into potential war crimes by Israel in Gaza and the West Bank can proceed.

  • Lord, we pray for those invested with power to uphold the law at an international level, knowing that such responsibilities weigh heavily on the lawmakers. We remember that ‘whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness and honor’ (Proverbs 21:21) Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

This month, the Catholic Church around the world celebrates the Virgin Mary, leading up to the feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary on the 31st May.

  • Lord, as the Catholic Church celebrates Mary, the mother of Jesus, we pray that peace, like the flowers used to crown the statues of Mary, is given the chance to bloom around the world and especially in Palestine at this challenging time. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary Prayer

Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

John 14:1-14

Heavenly Father,

You are the source of our life.

You have given us a wonderful world

and permeated it through and through

with your grace and your love.

You have promised that you will give us your Spirit,

to be with us as we journey through this life.

Yet, we confess the many times when

our eyes can’t see you,

can’t take you in,

can’t comprehend how you can be at work

in occupation and oppression, pain, disappointment and sorrow.

We need your Spirit to lift our sights to your wide horizons.

Teach us to pray with such openness to your Spirit that you make yourself plain to us.

Bring us to that place where we are willing

to place our lives in your keeping,

to submit to your life-changing love,

and to move with you into your large open spaces of salvation.

We ask these things in Jesus’ name, our light and our salvation, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Spirit in the bright glory of the holy Trinity, forever and ever.

Amen

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer 30.4.20

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Palestinian Center for  Development and Freedoms, MADA (www.madacenter.org). It was established as a nonprofit organisation in 2006, with its headquarters in Ramallah. It works to support and protect journalists in the Palestinian Territories. They are currently facing greater restrictions and suffer frequent assaults from the Israeli authorities as they try to go about their work.

  • Lord, we thank you for the work of the MADA centre as they seek to help journalists to continue their witness. We thank you too for the courage of journalists as they shed light on the darker aspects of the occupation of Palestine, even at the cost of their own liberty. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The drastic cut in US aid under the Trump Administration has left hospitals in East Jerusalem seriously under-equipped and ill-prepared to deal with the COVID-19 virus. The Israeli government has been slow to respond to requests for help, and, until recent weeks, had not registered the number of cases in East Jerusalem or majority Arab cities within Israel. As Israel begins to lift restrictions, identifying and treating those with the virus is becoming more and more important.

  • Lord, we cry out to you as we think of those living in cramped and impoverished places like East Jerusalem. We pray that this virus may not run like wildfire through such places. We pray too that the Israeli government will start to share their resources more equitably to limit the spread of the virus throughout the land. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown there has been a spike in the number of attacks by Jewish settlers, supported by the Israeli army, on Palestinians. There have already been twenty three settler attacks in April according to B’Tselem, despite the movement restrictions ordered countrywide.

  • Lord, we pray for an end to these violent settler attacks and for the Israeli government’s tacit support for such actions by providing military support. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Monday the 20th of April virtual vandals disrupted the Holocaust Remembrance Zoom event organised by the Israeli Embassy in Germany. They posted anti-Semitic videos and images during the time they were logged in. The event, which hosted the Holocaust survivor Zvi Herschel, was suspended and reconvened shortly afterwards by invitation only. This incident was referred to as ‘Zoombombing’ and security measures are now being strengthened to protect such meetings.

  • Lord, we are deeply saddened by such incidents of slander and hate. We pray for an end to these outbursts of abuse online and in person. We must remember to, ‘keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit’, (Psalm 34:13). Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Benjamin Netanyahu has secured his tenure as Israel’s longest serving prime minister. He has come to an agreement with his main opponent Benny Gantz. The initial plan was to set up an emergency government for six months to deal with the Covid 19 virus, however, the agreement signed was for a full term government with Netanyahu serving as prime minister for one and a half years and then Benny Gantz taking over. The annexation of large swathes of Palestinian land in the West Bank will be brought to a vote in the cabinet and the Knesset, as early as the 1st of July.

  • Lord, we pray that international lawmakers and foreign governments around the world will speak out against the illegal land grab supported by Israel and the US. We pray that the Palestinian land will not be stolen while the world is distracted by the outbreak of the virus. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The level of water in the Sea of Galilee has reached a sixteen year record high after an unusually wet winter. The level of the freshwater lake is just five inches below its capacity.

If it reaches its peak, predicted in early May, the Degania Dam, which regulates water flow to the Jordan River, will be opened.

  • Lord, we look at the beautiful photographs of the Sea of Galilee this springtime in full flood with  trees appearing to grow out of the water. And yet the scenes are strangely empty and we remember the lockdown due to the virus and think of those confined to home and those suffering from lack of food and water. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia,Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary Prayer

John 10:1-10

Patient and loving God, we stand at the gates of lockdown and peer through.

We keep creating our own ways,

believing that we know what is in our own best interest,

and we ignore the voice of the one Shepherd who will guide us to peace and hope.

We wander aimlessly and then wonder why we get so lost.

Help us stop and listen to the Shepherd’s voice.

Let us place our trust in the Shepherd who has never failed us,

who loves and guides our lives.

Forgive us our stubbornness and stupidity.

For we ask this in Christ’s Name.

AMEN.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer 23.4.20

This week’s Kumi Now initiative looks at the work of the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees, (DSPR). It is an ecumenical group run by the Middle East Council of Churches which was originally set up in 1948 as a result of the Nakba. The DSPR focuses on the chronic level of unemployment suffered by young Palestinians, especially those from refugee camps, due to discrimination and economic deprivation. They offer vocational training and start-up loans to empower young people and to enable them to earn an income.

  • Dear Lord, we seek to serve you through the work of our hands and yet so many young people born in poverty are deprived of the dignity of work. Thank you for the work of the DSPR as they seek to support young people through vocational training and support. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Many Israeli Arabs are working on  the  frontline of the fight against Covid-19 in Israel. They make up a fifth of the population in Israel, but have a high level of representation in the medical community with half of the country’s pharmacists, a quarter of its nurses and just under a fifth of its doctors. Israel is dependent on their care at this critical time, particularly to treat the outbreak of the virus among the country’s Jewish ultra-orthodox communities.

  • Dear Lord, we thank you for the selfless professionalism of the medical staff who put their own lives at risk to help treat all those suffering from the Covid-19 virus, no matter their race or religion. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Tuesday, the 14th of April, the Israeli police raided a Covid-19 clinic which had been set up by Palestinians in Silwan, East Jerusalem. Israeli government rules mean that the Palestinian Authority are prevented from doing anything to support communities in occupied East Jerusalem. The  overcrowded living conditions in this area make it particularly susceptible to the rapid spread of the virus.

  • Oh Lord, we pray that the Israeli government would work with the Palestinian Authority to help Palestinians test those in need of treatment and to help them access hospitals equipped to treat those suffering with the deadly virus. Lord, in your mercy..,hear our prayer.

The occupied and besieged populations of Palestine and Gaza are seen as extremely vulnerable by the World Health Organisation of a serious outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, as well as from the effects of the economic fallout. The NGO Who Profits? have released a new report which is monitoring and analysing the Covid-19 crisis in occupied Palestine, (whoprofits.org). Palestinians are experiencing a lack of testing kits, protective clothing and availability of intensive care beds. There are also serious concerns about the authorisation of heightened surveillance and the introduction of further repressive measures under the guise of ‘a state of emergency’.

  • Lord, we pray for those who are  trying to survive under the occupation and we pray for those ‘writers who keep writing oppression’( Is10:1), that they would turn again and stop their harsh treatment of those in need. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Wednesday, the 15th of April, Jewish settlers assaulted Palestinian shepherds as they grazed their sheep, east of Yatta, near Hebron. Under heavy military protection from the Israeli army, the settlers seriously injured one of the shepherds. Across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank there are between 500,000 and 600,000 Israeli settlers in illegal settlements, in violation of international law.

  •  Dear Lord, we pray for those Palestinians living in the West Bank who have had to endure frequent violent attacks, damage to their land and property, including the uprooting of many olive trees. We pray for a cessation of these hate crimes and for the risk of spreading the contagious virus through the attacks. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On the evening of Thursday, the 23rd of April, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins and ends on a month later with Eid al-Fitr. During this month Muslims will be fasting during daylight hours from dawn to sunset. This year will be especially difficult with restrictions preventing prayer in Mosques and no groups allowed to gather in homes for the evening iftar meal.

  • We pray for our Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine as they start fasting for Ramadan. Many of them will be experiencing worry over lack of work, income and food, as well as concerns and grief over those close to them who are affected by the virus. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary Prayer

Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Luke 24:13-35

Meet us, Lord, on the Emmaus road.

Guide us on the path toward our destination,

and renew our strength as we continue to walk with you.

Open our eyes, so we see the signs of your presence around us

despite occupation and fear;

Open our hearts, so we may receive your peace and love;

and empower us to pass on to others

the grace you have shared with us so freely.

Amen.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Ministry of the Word

Thursday 16th April 2020

This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. Addameer is a Palestinian institution which works to support Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons. It has also launched a global campaign to stop administrative detention. This procedure allows the Israeli military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information, without charging them or allowing them to stand trial.

  • Lord, we thank you for the work of Addameer which seeks to support prisoners, especially those who have no right to plead their case.  At Easter time we remember how our Lord Jesus was arrested, and suffered mocking and beatings while in prison, abandoned by even his closest friends. Help us to remember those who suffer in prison. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The world continues to suffer from the COVID-19 Coronavirus, almost 2 million people have contracted the virus and over 110,000 people have died worldwide. People around the world continue to live their daily lives under strict restrictions and lockdown conditions.

  • Jesus, during Your ministry on Earth You showed Your power and caring by healing people of all ages and stations of life from physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. Be present now to people who need Your loving touch because of COVID-19. May they feel Your power of healing through the care of doctors and nurses. Take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation from people receiving treatment or under quarantine. Give them a sense of purpose in pursuing health and protecting others from exposure to the disease. Protect their families and friends and bring peace to all who love them. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Sunday, 12th April, illegal Israeli settlers began to create a new illegal outpost in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron. The settlers, protected by Israeli occupation forces, erected a large tent and harassed Palestinians as they peacefully protested this attempt to establish a new illegal settlement. Settlers also continue to destroy Olive trees near Bethlehem with over 500 destroyed in the past week.

  • O Lord, illegal Israeli settlers continue to steal land and uproot the Palestinian people with no mercy. We pray that the international community will act courageously to enforce international law and put an end to the Israeli government’s greed and arrogance which allows this to happen. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The No Way to Treat a Child campaign has begun a petition calling for Israel to release the children held in prisons and detention centres throughout Israel and the West Bank. The campaign recognises the increased risk to everyone held in detention during the current pandemic and states that “There is no way Israeli prison authorities can ensure the health and well-being of Palestinian child detainees as long as they continue to be in a custodial detention setting.”

  • Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’(Luke18:16). We pray that children in detention may be restored to their families at this challenging time for all around the world. We pray that the hearts of our children may be full of hope and free from fear. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Over the past week, those who follow the Gregorian calendar have been celebrating Easter in new ways – online or in empty churches. This week marks Holy Week and Easter in the Orthodox calendar. Under the Coronavirus restrictions, celebrations will be extremely limited and held behind closed doors.

  • Lord God, we are filled with hope at the announcement of your Son’s resurrection at Easter. The celebrations of this day remind us that the victory has already been won, and that good will always and ultimately triumph over evil. However, for Palestinians living here, sometimes it is hard to see the light of the resurrection when every day they are surrounded by the darkness of the grave. Instil hope in their hearts, God, and grant them the perseverance to continue on. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary Prayer

Second Sunday of Easter (Year A)

John 20:19-31

Lord,

We find ourselves in the locked doors of occupation and Coronavirus

just as the disciples were behind closed doors.

We too are afraid, perhaps for different reasons than theirs.

But we too need the breath of the Holy Spirit to take away our fears

so that we can come out from behind these locked doors.

Lord, we are like Thomas with our questions and our doubts.

We sometimes need to see in order to believe,

we need you in order to have faith.

Lord, we too need the peace you bring

because our world is fraught with violence, and unrest.

Lord, just as Thomas confessed you are his Lord and his God,

we boldly claim for our lives.

Lord we thank you for the blessing you have given us,

the ones who believe without seeing.

Lord, may our doors be open to all

and that doubters be welcomed here.

Amen

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Thursday, 9th April 2020

This week marks the re-launch of the Kumi Now initiative. Active members of the initiative may find it helpful to plan ahead for future activities, while new members may want to familiarise themselves with the calendar of activities in the Launch Manual or on the website.

  • Lord, we pray for all those called to engage in peaceful activism to bring about change to the oppressive conditions endured by so many living in Palestine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

As COVID-19 Coronavirus continues to ravage the world, medical staff continue to put themselves and their families at risk to care for those most in need. Staff in supermarkets, pharmacies, and other businesses considered essential continue to work in order to serve our needs.

  • Lord of healing, we pray for those working in medicine and other essential services. Cast your net of protection, healing, and strength over them as they continue to work at this extremely challenging time. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The Palestinian people continue to live in fear and under occupation and oppression. Workers returning to their homes in the West Bank from work in Israel and illegal settlements are testing positive for the Coronavirus and Israeli occupation forces continue with night raids and demolitions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Gaza continues to suffer under blockade and medical staff fear that if there is an outbreak, they will not be able to cope.

  • O God, at this time of increased fear and isolation we pray that the international community will respond actively to those calling for the end of occupation and blockade. Be with all those in fear both from the virus and of occupation and oppression. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

In response to the challenge of a critical lack of ventilators in hospitals throughout Palestine, Al-Quds University have succeeded in producing a fully computerized ventilator from materials readily available in the local area. The ventilator has passed preliminary thorough medical testing and it is hoped that final approval will be given this week.

  • Lord, we give thanks for all of those working to find solutions to the shortage of medical equipment around the world. We especially give thanks for those in Palestine who, with limited resources, are able to creatively think and create lifesaving machines. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) are inviting everyone to “(Virtually) spend Easter in Jerusalem with Sabeel.” On Saturday 11th April at 9am PST everyone is invited to “join our Sabeel elders from Jerusalem as they share lessons of liberation and spiritual survival in the midst of continued dispossession, health crises, and international chaos.” (http://fosna.nationbuilder.com/easter_20)

  • Lord, we pray that this simulcast of prayers, readings, and hymns will bring people together during this Easter time in isolation. Grant that those who join will be enlightened by information and strengthened by worship. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

At this time of Easter and Passover it is harder than ever to be separated from our communities and those we love.

  • Lord God, Jesus cried out to you on the cross, “Why have you forsaken me?” You seemed so far from his cry and from his distress. Around the world, we are all now in a time of great distress, grant us your peace and strength that we may take the resurrecting and freeing message of the Passion and look forward to a time when we are again free to meet one another. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the Word Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary Prayer

Easter Sunday (Year A)

John 20:1-18

O God,

bless us this morning with resurrection rampage—

a rampage that summons us to shout yes

to the birth of new creation in our midst.

May we experience the birth of new life

in our lives and in a world free from occupation.

The Son is up!

And we are up with the Son,

despite all those things

that seek to pull us down to despair.

We are your Easter people.

Amen

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Thursday, 2nd April 2020

The Kumi Now initiative focuses this week on the work of the MA’AN Development Centre.

The Centre documents violations by Israel of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child including child arrests, exploitation, torture, denial of the right to play and access to education.

  • Lord we pray for the work of the MA’AN Development Centre as they work to protect children, who are so vulnerable and defenceless in an occupied land. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The COVID-19 Coronavirus continues to spread around the world, affecting many hundreds of thousands of people. There are now very few countries where no infections have been reported.

  • Lord, as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread around the world, we pray that you give strength and reassurance to all people as they continue to live under strict restrictions and social distancing. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The number of people with Coronavirus in Palestine has risen over 100, with the vast majority in the West Bank and 9 in besieged Gaza. Due to the lack of testing kits in Gaza, the actual number of people affected is unknown.

  • Lord of those in need, we pray for those in Palestine affected by the Coronavirus. We pray that the Israeli authorities take this time of global unity to lift permanently the blockade of Gaza, allowing medical supplies and aid to enter freely. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Healthcare workers around the world are putting their lives, and those of their families, at risk to treat those most badly affected by the Coronavirus.

  • God of healing, grace those who spend their days healing the sick with your protective and strengthening presence. Grant them peace as they sit with those who are dying, and reassurance that they are making a difference. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

The death of Father Hans Putman S.J. was announced on Sunday, 29th March. Father Hans gave his life to helping those in need— in Sudan, in Syria, and in Bethlehem. He was known for his beautiful retreats and led a number of Sabeel clergy retreats and other activities.

  • Lord, we thank you for the life and service of Father Hans and especially for his dedication to those in need. Grant peace and comfort to his family at this difficult time Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Sunday, 29th March, the 44th anniversary of Land Day in Palestine, the Arab League called on the relevant international bodies and organizations to expose Israel’s racist policies, condemning the Israeli practices and violations against the basic Palestinian rights and addressing these Israeli practices, in accordance with the rules of international law and what international conventions and laws established.

  • O God, we pray that the international community will heed the calls form the Arab League and from all Palestinians that the international community must act on the unjust and illegal policies of consecutive Israeli administrations. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of The Balkans – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Lectionary Prayer

Palm Sunday (Sixth Sunday in Lent)

Matthew 26:14-27:66

Lord, you set your face towards Jerusalem, walking alongside those who suffer.

Be our vision that we too may walk in the way of the cross and extend a hand to those we meet.

You healed the sick, cured the lame, and gave sight to the blind.

Be our vision that we too may give time to others and respond to their needs.

Lord, you said, “The first shall be last and the last first.”

Be our vision that we too may work towards your kingdom when the exalted will be brought low and the lowly exalted.

Lord, you ate with tax collectors and sinners and heard their stories.

Be our vision that we too may listen to the despised and rejected and value their lives.

Lord, you took time to pray and time to be silent.

Be our vision that through our prayers, fasting and almsgiving we too may draw closer to you and find your way.

Lord, you entered Jerusalem with peace in your heart.


Enter this broken place and be our vision that we too may desire peace where others desire war and may work for justice where injustice reigns.

Amen

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.