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 4, 2010
The Old City of Jerusalem was quarantined on Sunday, with a cordon of police barring all Palestinian males under 50. Heavily armed Israeli riot police attacked Palestinian youths who had encamped all night in the Al Aqsa mosque. Israeli settlers, celebrating the festival of Purim, were understood to be attempting to invade the compound, and the youth were seeking to prevent them. All residents of the Old City suffered. We pray for an open and free Jerusalem where all people may live in dignity and peace.
Sabeel's departments have started the year in full swing. The Women's and Community programs have already held programs in Jericho and Birzeit and the Clergy have had a major conference. This weekend, the youth from Nazareth, the West Bank and Jerusalem will gather in Ramallah for worship and fellowship and go to Nebi Samuel to plant olive trees. We give thanks for these programs and offer our prayers for all those who participate, as well as all who lead and coordinate them.
March 2010 marks the 100th year of the building of the Ramallah Friends Meetinghouse. With a presence since the late 1800's, we give thanks to God for the great cloud of witnesses - including Sabeel's Vice President and Clerk to the Friends, Jean Zaru - who have offered worship in the meetinghouse and service beyond it to the people of this land in the pursuit of justice and peace. Hear our prayers for a good week of celebrations ahead with food for heart, soul and body.
While welcoming the rain here in Jerusalem, we recognize that we seem to live in a world which is truly groaning, with ferocious winds, torrential rains, floods, snows and another destructive earthquake. Our hearts turn to those who have been so horribly affected by these natural travails and we pray that through the earthquake, wind, and fire, we might also listen for and hear God's still, small voice of calm.
This week we join with the World Council of Churches in praying for:
Andorra, Austria, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland