Thursday, April 01, 2010

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, April 1, 2010

For the week of Passover, Israel has enforced a closure on the entire West Bank. Until next Tuesday, very few Palestinians can enter Jerusalem, including Palestinian Christians hoping to participate in Holy Week and Easter activities. Also, in response to a nonviolent protest on Palm Sunday, Israel has barred international tourists from visiting Bethlehem. We pray for freedom of movement and freedom of worship for the many people who are still denied both.

Last week, Israel approved more settlements in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. In response, Israelis and Palestinians held a protest on Friday. Michael Solsberry, an Israeli leader of the nonviolent protest, was among the participants arrested in their homes later that night following Shabbat dinner. We pray for courage for the leaders of nonviolent movements throughout Israel and Palestine. May they continue to speak out boldly in spite of the efforts to silence them.

At a time when President Obama is publicly pressuring Israel to freeze settlement expansion and engage in the peace process, support from his government and constituency is vital. We pray that the American people and their elected officials will support their President and will have the will to maintain pressure on Israel to respect international law.

We pray for Sabeel's staff and volunteers in Palestine and Israel, and Friends of Sabeel leaders and members around the world. Negative reactions to Sabeel's work are common and sometimes progress seems slow. May we all draw strength from Christ's message of hope, justice and truth. We give thanks to God for the life-giving prayers, encouragement, and action of our friends around the globe.

This week we join with the World Council of Churches in praying for:
Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore

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