Thursday, September 24, 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, September 24, 2009

The UN Fact Finding Mission released its report on Gaza last week but the controversy sparked by the report rages on. By documenting violations of international law and demonstrating how Israel's attack on Gaza amounted to "war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity," the report and its authors have come under fire by Israel and the United States as "politically unbalanced." We thank God for the courage of all people who stand against systems of power in the name of justice.

On Thursday evening, Sabeel is hosting a prayer service for Jerusalem as the city faces serious challenges to peace. Many voices from the church and community will offer their petitions for the people of this land. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

Life in areas of conflict and occupation takes many tolls on people. Today we pray for the friendships and relationships of those who encounter daily injustices. May we find solace in God and pray that personal relationships would not suffer from insecurity or distrust. May we all recognize, and work to stop, the cycle of pain that tears apart our connections with one another.

We lift up in prayer the ministry of Sabeel's Study Circle program, which facilitates discussions about current events and the exploration of academic articles. This week, Dr. Toine van Teeffelen, a Dutch anthropologist, presented on the topic of Sumud (steadfastness) within Palestinian society. Next week begins a 12-part study of Rev. Naim Ateek's new book, A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation. We are grateful for the many scholars and theologians who have graciously shared with the Jerusalem community their thoughts and reflections.

This week we join with the World Council of Churches in praying for:
Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine

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