Wave of Prayer

July 11th, 2024

Last week, the Israeli army ordered a mass evacuation of approximately 250,000 Palestinians in Gaza, a sign that troops are likely to launch a new ground assault. At least 1.9 million Palestinians in Gaza have been displaced for several times. Israel continues its intense attacks all over Gaza, killing indiscriminately. Since the 7th of October, the death toll in Gaza is at least 38,000, with thousands more injured and missing. No where is safe in Gaza.    

• Emmanuel, where are you? You seem absent to us. Can you not rescue and deliver the people of Gaza? We hold on to our faith that you are co-suffering with every person in Gaza and you are truly Emmanuel. Lord, as we lament to you, help us discern and hear your voice. Give us faith, O Lord.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Last week, Israel has moved forward with its plan to reserve administrative detention solely for non-Jewish prisoners. The new law will make it illegal for Israeli citizens who are not members of prescribed terrorist groups to be held under administrative detention, meaning that the controversial order will effectively only apply to Palestinians. This allows settlers and Jewish extremists, to avoid detention due to their Jewish nationality.

• God of justice, we remember the words of the Prophet Isaiah “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees” (Isaiah 10:1). Lord, as the system views us as sub-human, we ask you to remind us that our humanity cannot be taken away by the oppressor. Lord, give us wisdom to know how most effective we can be in struggling against our oppression, and deliver us from the temptation of overcoming evil with evil.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Two weeks ago, the leaders of various churches in Jerusalem united in opposition to the Israeli municipal law to impose municipal taxes on church properties. In a joint statement released Sunday on behalf of the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches, the leaders expressed deep concern over the municipality’s move which contradicts centuries of historical agreements between the churches and civil authorities.

• Holy God, illuminate to the world how Jewish supremacy whether in the streets or in governments is oppressing all those who are non-Jews. Lord, we pray that you intervene and stop the unjust tax imposition on the Churches in the Holy Land. Lord, we also pray for the Churches not to compromise the ethics of the Kingdom to preserve their institutional life. May they have partiality for the oppressed.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has voted to divest from Israeli bonds due to the country’s prolonged military occupation and genocidal war in Gaza. The resolution was approved by unanimous consent among the roughly 500 commissioners present for the biennial gathering. Moreover, the assembly voted to confess their complicity in Christian Zionism and seek to encourage reading of educational materials to end Israeli Apartheid. The measure reflects a growing trend among institutions seeking to divest from Israel.

Just God, we thank you for working through all people who worked to pass this resolution. Lord, when we ask you “What can we do?”, give us the creativity inspired by the Holy Spirit, faith like a mustard seed, and power from Christ so that our actions bring change. Remind us, that our inactions and passivity, compromises the Gospel of the kingdom.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

On the 30th of June, the Justice and Peace Commission in the Holy Land issued a document which highlights the weaponization of the doctrine of “Just War” to justify the ongoing violence in Gaza. The Commission stated, “As Catholics in the Holy Land, who share Pope Francis’ vision for a peaceful world, we are outraged that political actors in Israel and abroad are mobilizing the theory of ‘just war’ in order to perpetuate and legitimate the ongoing war in Gaza.” The Commission remarked that the “witness that we bring is not one of war, but one of transformational love, one of freedom and equality, one of justice and peace, one of dialogue and reconciliation.”

• God of love, we confess our sins for all the ways we misuse your name and twist our faith to justify violence and oppression. Lord, help us witness your love by correcting all theologies which justify so much suffering and sin, and turn to theologies of love. We thank you for the Justice and Faith Commission and pray that other faith leaders and commissions follow their example.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Mass house demolitions are carried out in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. One example is the Ten homes which were demolished in Umm al-Khair, a Palestinian village in northern Masafer Yatta, leaving scores of families homeless. In addition, settlers are continuing and intensifying their violence against Palestinians.

God incarnated in Masafer Yatta, as we witness these crimes being done against your children, we remember your words “The Lord tears down the house of the proud but maintains the widow’s boundaries.” (Proverbs 15:25). Lord, provide the daily bread to all Palestinians who are displaced or under the threat of displacement. Provide us liberating justice.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers