Wave of Prayer

 16th of February 2023

Next week’s Kumi Now will consider the issues of Israeli illegal settlements and settler violence. According to B’Tselem more than two hundred settlements were established between 1967 and 2017 on land annexed from the occupied West Bank. These settlements depend on water and resources stolen from Palestinian villages. The settlers now living there routinely harass and assault Palestinian villagers and destroy their crops and property. This activity takes place under the protection of Israeli soldiers and without fear of prosecution by the Israeli authorities.

  • Merciful Lord, we cry out to you as we hear the Israeli government speak of a further expansion of illegal settlement building on Palestinian land in the West Bank. Can Israel continue to breach international law with impunity?
    Lord, in your mercy..

A car ramming incident took place in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ramot on Friday, the 10th of February. A six-year-old child, Yaakov Pelli and his brother eight-year-old Asher along with twenty year-old Alter Liderman, were killed and several other people were seriously injured while waiting at a bus stop when a car drove into them. The driver, Hussein Qaraqe, a 31-year-old Palestinian, was shot dead at the scene by an off-duty Israeli police officer. Qaraqe had just been released from a psychiatric ward after receiving treatment following an injury he had received on a construction site six months previously. After the incident a large number of Israeli police raided Qaraqe’s home in Isawiyah and arrested members of his family.

  • Lord, we pray for the relatives of the Israelis injured and killed in this recent incident. We pray for the relatives of Qaraqe who are now being punished for his crime. We pray for wisdom and restraint for all those in positions of authority in Palestine/Israel that they will act to calm the tensions between the communities and guide them in the way of peace.
    Lord, in your mercy..

Tens of thousands of people have died and been injured in Turkey and Syria following the devastating earthquake in Southern Turkey on Monday, the 6th of February. The full scale of the damage and the number of victims is still being investigated. Efforts to bring aid to north-western Syria are being hampered by ongoing warfare in the region.

  • May we join with the prayers requested by a church leader in Hatay, Turkey, (Open Doors 9.2.23), ‘Please pray for the people who have lost their loved ones and are in sorrow and despair, that God would comfort them. Please pray for the people who are helping and serving. And please pray that ways would be opened soon, so we can bring more help to the area.’
    Lord, in your mercy..

The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has severed her city’s official ties with Israel, charging the country with ’the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people’. In a letter to the Israeli Prime Minister, she cited a number of Israeli policies in her charge, including the military occupation of the West Bank, the annexation of East Jerusalem and the construction of illegal settlements on Palestinian land.

  • Lord, we are thankful for the voices of protest over Israel’s violation of the human rights of Palestinians being raised around the world.
    Lord, in your mercy..

National Security Minister Ben Gvir has accused police in Jerusalem of, ‘losing control of the city to a group of anarchists’, after they held back from using force to disperse anti-government protestors last Thursday night. The Police Commissioner gave public support to the way the protest was handled, as tensions rise between the minister and the police authorities. For the past five weeks thousands of Israelis have been demonstrating across the country against the controversial legal reforms planned by the right-wing government to weaken the judiciary.

  • God of justice, we continue to pray for all people who face injustice, especially these days, for the situation inside Israel, in particular the Palestinian minority in Israel and the Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank. We pray that freedom of speech and the right to protest for all people is protected and upheld.  May your spirit Lord continue to give courage to the people not to be silent and echo your words “For he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Proverbs 2:8 ,
    Lord, in your mercy..

Naseem Alatrash, a  Palestinian cellist, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the recent ceremony in Los Angeles. He has been recognised for his work on ‘Crisalida’ a Latin Jazz album by Danilo Perez and the Global Messengers. He gives soloist concerts around the world and works as a professor at the Berkelee College of Music in Boston. Naseem was born in Beit Sahour and began studying the cello at the age of 12 years at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.

  • Lord, we praise you for the musical talent of Naseem Alatrash and for the way he is receiving international recognition for his gifts.
    Lord, in your mercy..
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
    Lord, in your mercy…