Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Each Thursday at noon in Jerusalem, Sabeel holds a Communion service that is open to the community. It is a time to join together to celebrate the Eucharist, to discuss how the scriptures apply to our lives today, and to pray for the specific needs of this region. Following the 2006 Sabeel International Conference, the Friends of Sabeel coordinators met and discussed the idea of "Waves of Prayer." The premise is that in their respective time zones, individuals and groups around the world will pray together at 12:00 on Thursdays, in solidarity with Sabeel in Jerusalem and with "Friends of Sabeel" worldwide. Starting in Australia, passing through Palestine, and on around the world we will pray for Peace with Justice and focus on specific issues each week.

Wave of Prayer for Thursday, March 5, 2009

We thank God for the generous outpouring of aid by individuals in the UK who have organized a massive aid convoy for Gaza. The spontaneous, community initiative (called Viva Palestina) has resulted in 110 vehicles full of supplies-including ambulances and fire trucks-being driven across Europe, North Africa, and eventually into the Gaza Strip. We pray for the safe travels of the group-which includes several members of Friends of Sabeel-UK. We pray that this compassionate initiative will unite and inspire many people.

As countries gather this week to donate to the reconstruction of Gaza and foreign leaders meet with Israeli politicians, we rejoice that the world is turning a critical eye to devastation in Gaza and is offering significant aid. We pray that the international community will not simply give money but will also hold Israel accountable for its vastly disproportionate attack and ongoing siege. We ask God to use this opportunity to bring us closer to a just peace.

Friday is the World Day of Prayer. This annual event is a worldwide ecumenical movement of women of many faith traditions who pray collectively over a common issue. Women from Papua, New Guinea wrote this year's service. We join with them in praying for the challenges of violence, environmental degradation, and corporate exploitation facing Papua, New Guinea. We pray that through this day "informed prayer will lead to prayerful action."

This weekend Sabeel is organizing a trip for Christian young adults from Nazareth and Jerusalem to work with Muslim and Jewish young adults to plant 700 olive trees in communities affected by the Separation Wall. We pray that the event will strengthen ties within the Palestinian Christian community and will foster new friendships and understanding across religions and nationalities.

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