Thursday, October 01, 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, October 1, 2009

On Sunday morning, Israeli riot police used stun grenades and batons to disperse unarmed protesters at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound after a suspected extremist Jewish group tried to enter the compound on the eve of Yom Kippur. We pray that religious sites be respected and that religious tolerance be truly honoured by Jew, Muslim and Christian in this land.

The recent meeting of the American president, Barack Obama, with Israeli and Palestinian leaders initially raised hopes about the prospect of peace. Unfortunately, the situation continues to worsen as Israeli policies continue to restrict freedoms, take land and force Palestinians out of Jerusalem. We pray that world leaders demand for Israel to respect international law and hold Israeli leaders accountable for human rights abuses.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fuad Twal, recently stated that due to Israel's policies of "limiting movement and ignoring housing needs, taxation burdens and infringing on residency rights, Palestinian Christians do not know where to turn." In light of this reality, and other concerns in the region, Sabeel speakers are traveling and speaking in many different conferences and meetings this autumn to highlight the experience of all Palestinians. We pray for those traveling and pray that truth defeats distorted messages about the Palestinian situation.

We pray for Friends of Sabeel--UK as they begin their search for a new coordinator to replace Jennifer Oldershaw when she retires in 2010. May the committee be blessed with a multitude of good candidates. We thank God for the many coordinators and volunteers around the world who help spread Sabeel's message of justice and peace. Their hard work and dedication are vital to maintaining connections between people in Palestine/Israel and the rest of the world.

This week we join with the World Council of Churches in praying for:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia

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