Wave of Prayer

Since the 7th of October, the situation continues to worsen in Gaza. Israel’s intense bombardment of the Gaza Strip, one of the world’s most densely populated areas, has caused the reported deaths of over 11,000 Palestinians, including more than 4,000 children as of the 13th of November. Thousands are trapped under the rubble. Unfortunately, the death continues with every hour. With the restriction of water, food, medical supplies, fuel, electricity, and the displacement of over one million people, Gaza is facing an unprecedented health crisis that risks outbreak of deadly infectious diseases. Meanwhile, the 240 Israeli hostages remain in captivity in Gaza and their security is becoming more and more uncertain. 

Divine Creator, as we lament all loss of life, we plead for you to send manna to the hungry and multiply their food as Christ did to feed the 5000. Lord, quinch the thirst of all who are searching for water and justice. May our prayers ascend to the heavens like incense. Have mercy and protection on all who are suffering, particularly those vulnerable in Gaza. How much longer shall this suffering continue, O Lord?  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 9th of November, Sabeel Jerusalem held a silent vigil with the lighting of candles and lifting of prayers for the current situation. This occurred in the Tera Sancta School courtyard and was attended by at least 300 people. Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzabella shared a short reflection on the situation and was among the many who attended the event. Additionally, on the 10th of November, Sabeel held a webinar titled “Transnational Solidarity amongst Liberation Theologies: Palestine and Beyond”. This event was aimed to foster more transnational solidarity and action amongst liberation theologies. 

Resurrected Christ, whilst feelings of despair are dominating our daily lives, we “Trust in the Lord and do good”. We thank you Lord, for the efforts of the Sabeel Jerusalem staff, their allies, and many others who played a role in making these events possible. We pray that these events planted seeds that one day will grow. We ask your Spirit to water the seeds already planted, as we know that they hold future promise. May the Holy Spirit work in all our efforts for justice, liberation and peace.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer        

As the period of suffering continues with the continuous bombing and fighting in northern Gaza, many Palestinians from northern Gaza have been displaced and forced to walk an unsafe route by foot to take refuge in the south. These images of displacement remind us of the painful memories in the Nakba of 1948. This is evidence that the Nakba was not a historical event but is an ongoing system affecting all aspects of life.

Emmanuel, you were displaced as an infant to Egypt, forced to flee for your life. You were a refugee, vulnerable to suffering and abuse. Lord, as your precious children in Gaza are displaced for the second or even third time from their homes and lands, grant them your protection and mercy. Lord, we pray that you help our unbelief and provide a liberation where all Palestinian refugees can return to their homes with dignity.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

On the 8th of November, the Israeli Knesset passed an alteration to the Counter-Terrorism Law. This amendment introduces a new criminal offense, namely the “consumption of terrorist materials”, with a maximum penalty of one year’s imprisonment. Arrests have already been made against Palestinians with Israeli citizenship under the pretext of the amendment. This is happening in addition to the many Palestinians with Israeli citizenships who have been fired from their jobs or are under threat of violence for expressing sympathy over the loss of innocent life in Gaza.  

Almighty God, whilst governments, media platforms, and organizations attempt to control the thoughts and voices of the oppressed through intimidation, we remember that you, O Lord, are the highest authority. We pray for the freedom of expression, whilst wisely discerning that in exercising this freedom, we must refrain from violence, discrimination and marginalization of any peoples. We hold on to our faith that you, O Lord know and listen to the cries of the oppressed.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

Over the last week, Israeli raids in the West Bank, especially in Jenin refugee camp, have been a frequent occurrence. Moreover, settler-violence in the West Bank has soared, especially in Area C. As a result, several Palestinians have been displaced from their homes due to fear of settler-violence. The whole of the West Bank has been damaged economically and socially as nearly all checkpoints are under complete closure, restricting the movement of Palestinians. 

• God of liberation, we come before you like the persistent widow pleading for justice. We continue with our prayers for all Palestinians in the West Bank, especially in Jenin refugee camp, who are undergoing immense violence. Comfort the bereaved families and heal the injured. Lord, liberate the Palestinians in the West Bank by ending the brutal occupation and colonization they experience. 

On the 7th of November, Sabeel and other Israeli organizations conducted a silent vigil for all lives lost since the 7th of October. Among those who attended the vigil were Palestinians and Israelis whose loved ones have been killed or kidnapped. Additionally, on the 10th of November, Sabeel organized a meeting for Palestinian Christian church leaders and organizations in Jerusalem to discuss how to respond to the situation in the best manner. 

• God of inclusivity, whilst we are overwhelmed by the ongoing suffering, we know that we must be courageous and act so that we may be witnesses to your kingdom. Lord, send your Holy Spirit to help us act for justice, mercy, liberation, and peace. When we are tempted or afraid, encourage us to walk faithfully and carry our own crosses. We hold on to our belief that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

• We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Australia.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers