Wave of Prayer

Mar 1st, 2024

On the 19th of February, UN experts were appalled by reported human rights violations against Palestinian women and girls in Gaza. The experts also are particularly distressed by reports that Palestinian women and girls in detention have also been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault, such as being stripped naked and searched by male Israeli army officers. Moreover, at least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped, while others were reportedly threatened with rape and sexual violence.

God of humanity, we pray for all women, Palestinian women, and especially all mothers, grandmothers, women and girls in Gaza. Be with them, hear their cries, and heal their oppression with empowerment. How broken must our oppressors be? Help us understand the multilayered oppression Palestinians experience so that we can better struggle for liberation.    

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

Austin Seminary will be holding a lecture on March 2nd titled “God & Religion in the Midst of Fear and Violence: Palestinian & Jewish Perspectives and Theologies Towards Liberation”. This lecture will feature Kohenet Shoshana A. Brown, a Black Jewish liberation theologian, and Omar Haramy, the director of Sabeel. This will be held virtually via Zoom for online attendees

God of inclusivity, grant us a vision of our world as your love would have it. Give us the revelation of peace built on justice which is guided by love. Help all voices and movements which stand for truth to be one united stream which overcomes the barriers of oppression and lies. May the words of Shoshana and Omar bear witness to love and cultivate alliances. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) held hearings from the 19th to the 26th of February in a case against Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. The ICJ heard at least 50 countries and three international organisations on the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. This case is separate from the case by South Africa which charged Israel for committing the crime of genocide in the Gaza Strip.   

Loving God, we know that whoever has eyes to see and ears to hear will recognize truth and deceit. We remember that you see and hear all good and bad deeds. For us Palestinians we endure the burden of surviving colonial violence and explaining it to those unaware. Lord, use the ICJ hearings not to determine what is true and false, but to further advance the struggle for justice. Help us to resist creatively in all spaces on the foundation of your divine love.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

Last week, Benjamin Netanyahu accepted the recommendations of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to limit the entry of Palestinians into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during the upcoming month of Ramadan. This decision was made contrary to the Shin Bet recommendation, as it would fuel the existing tensions and anger by Palestinians. 

Holy God, we recognize that this decision was not made for security reasons, but to increase the violence towards Palestinians. Illuminate the deceiving ways which our oppressors use to justify their violence towards us on the pretext of security. Help us stop the Judaization of our land and advocate that all have the right for the freedom of worship.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

After four months of constant bombings, massacres, starvation, and numerous methods of collective punishment on 2.3 million people, Gaza is unrecognizable. The little aid that makes it into Gaza can barely meet the needs of the people. Children have died from starvation and dehydration, and many are sick due to the hellish conditions. Moreover, Israel has repeatedly opened fire at Gazans while they were trying to access aid. The death toll has reached 30,000 lives but is expected to rise with every minute that passes. 

God of creation, we come before you lamenting like the Psalmist, “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy” (Psalm 130:1-2). Hear our cries and deliver us from modern day pharaohs. We plead, O Lord, for an immediate ceasefire and deliverance from the yoke of oppression.

Lord in your mercy… hear our cry        

In the last two weeks, a large police force descended on the home of Fakhri Abu Diab, one of the most prominent social activists and neighborhood leaders in Silwan. Masked officers forcibly moved Abu Diab, his wife and son, and several journalists away from the house. Shortly afterward, a municipal bulldozer demolished the house. These house demolitions are done to make room for a religious Zionist theme park in Silwan. 

Everlasting God, as we witness violence justified in your name, we remember the words of Amos, “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me” (Amos 5:21). Lord, we pray that justice may roll like a never-failing stream, restoring all demolished homes and holding all unjust agents accountable. Help us be better witnesses to the injustice taking place in Silwan.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer