Thursday, March 19, 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 19, 2009

We pray for healing and comfort for Tristan Anderson, an American shot in the head by the Israeli military with a tear gas canister while participating in a nonviolent protest against the Separation Wall in Ni'lin. This tragedy reminds us of the many nonviolent protests happening regularly in the West Bank. We pray for strength and safety for people participating in demonstrations in Jayyous, Budrus, Bil'in, Ni'lin and Umm Salamonah. May God use this terrible event to prick the consciences of people around the world.

Even as this prayer is being written, the Herbawi home in Beit Safafa-a neighborhood of Jerusalem-is being demolished. We pray that the world will not stand by and ignore the ongoing campaign against Palestinian communities within Jerusalem.

We pray for Sabeel's four-part Lenten community programs. Each week of Lent, Sabeel has been organizing events designed to expand upon the theme of 2 Peter 3:13: "But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells." The events are designed to find practical ways to promote righteousness in our daily lives and current situation.

Rev. Naim Ateek travels to Lund, Sweden next week to attend the yearly "Jerusalem Day" event organized by the Church of Sweden. This year's theme is "Jerusalem: A Shared/Divided City." We pray that the commitment of the Swedish community seeking a just peace in Palestine and Israel will help result in a Jerusalem that is shared by all peoples and faiths of this region.

Wave of Prayer for Thursday, March 12, 2009

We thank God for a successful and peaceful Sabeel interfaith activity last Saturday. Thirty-five young adults-Palestinian and international Christians along with Israeli Jews-assisted the Sabri family of Beit Ijza in planting several hundred olive trees and almond trees in fields cut off by the Separation Wall and an illegal Israeli settlement. We pray that the personal encounters at this event will foster long-lasting goodwill and friendships.

As more and more homes in East Jerusalem receive demolition orders from Israeli forces, we pray that public pressure and attention will grow large enough to prevent the homes from actually being demolished. Currently, 173 homes (including 88 homes in the neighborhood of Silwan) are being threatened with demolition while settlement expansion around Jerusalem is rapidly accelerating. We pray that these two trends can be reversed quickly and justice can prevail.

We pray for the ecumenical clergy meeting this Friday in Mjaidel near Nazareth. May their time of prayer, Bible study, and discussion strengthen the ties between the Christian denominations and contribute to the building of the Body of Christ in Galilee.

This week, Palestinian leaders are meeting in Cairo to discuss the formation of a coalition government. In the mean time, their Israeli counterparts are also working to form a ruling coalition. We pray that each country will instate a government willing to speak with the other and interested in establishing a just peace.

See Christian Aid's Virtual Lenten Pilgrimmage at

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