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, February 18, 2010
Last week's Sabeel clergy conference in Jericho brought together 51 ministers and priests from all Palestinian denominations to discuss the challenges facing today's clergy in this land. Thirty Muslim sheikhs also participated in one day of the conference. We pray that the relationships made at the conference will develop into strong ties between the various Palestinian denominations and faiths.
As we enter this Lenten season of prayer and penitence, our prayers for justice take a more personal tone. We confess there have been times when we have failed to speak the truth because it meant confrontation, times when action seemed too difficult, and instances when we failed to fully trust in God. May we use this season to reflect on the things that make for peace and to recommit ourselves to Christ's message of nonviolent transformation that was demonstrated at the cross.
The Canadian government, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), recently began to distance itself from groups that speak out about the current situation in Palestine and Israel and organizations that provide support to Palestinians. CIDA also canceled its regular $15 million donation for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). These developments in Ottawa can only hamper the important work of organizations that seek a just peace. We pray that politicians and voters will recognize the need for, and the value of, speaking the truth to power.
Israel continues to hint at its interest in military actions in Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Gaza. We pray that the nations of the world will denounce this saber-rattling and encourage Israel to engage in an honest peace process instead of maintaining a perpetual state of war.
This week we join with the World Council of Churches in praying for:
Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain