Thursday, July 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, July 1, 2010

Palestinian high school students are in the midst of the very demanding and lengthy 'tawjihi' examinations. The results of these exams determine university placement and are also very culturally important. We pray for the thousands of young people who are experiencing this stressful time. May they use their education to better their communities and to strengthen the society in which they live.

Ten families in the Jordan Valley region of the West Bank have received notices giving them 24 hours to evacuate their homes. In spite of documents proving their ownership of the land, the Israeli military claims that the homes of the Daraghmah and Al-Makahmreh families now sit in a "fire zone" that puts the residents "at risk." If evicted, the families would join 600 other Palestinians made homeless in the past year by house demolitions in the West Bank. Lord, have mercy.

Municipal officials have announced their intentions to approve a "master plan" for East and West Jerusalem. Through zoning, taxation, and other legal measures, the plan will further stifle Palestinian development and expand existing Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. We pray that this far-reaching action will be stopped and that Jerusalem will one day be a city that is accessible to all people.

This week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) will begin its General Assembly in Minneapolis. The assembly will consider a report that calls for Israel to be held accountable for its military occupation and settlement expansion. The report also details American complicity in these injustices. We pray that the Presbyterian Church will act boldly for justice, in spite of the growing pressure from groups that wish to silence the church.

This week we join with the World Council of Churches in praying for:

Bolivia, Chile, Peru

Wave of Prayer for Thursday, June 24, 2010

The brutal siege on the Gaza Strip has been slightly eased as Israel has agreed to allow more goods into the area. However, imports are limited, exports remain forbidden, fisherman are still prevented from reaching the sea, and people are not allowed to travel freely. We pray that the latest Israeli action will not divert attention from the need for true justice throughout the region. May we remain bold in our calls for true peace and justice.

Authorities in Jerusalem are proceeding with a plan to raze 22 Palestinian homes in the Silwan neighborhood adjacent to the Old City. If the plan goes into effect, many families will be displaced and Israeli hotels and restaurants will be built over demolished Palestinian homes. We pray that local and international opposition will prevent its implementation.

Israel continues to revoke the residency rights of thousands of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. While Israeli Jerusalemites may leave the country for as long as they wish and return with full rights and citizenship, Palestinians who leave for several years to study or work abroad are finding it increasingly difficult to return to the city of their birth. This "silent expulsion" threatens to drain Jerusalem of many professionals and academics. We pray that people around the world will speak out to end this indefensible injustice.

This week, the Methodist Church of Great Britain will consider and vote on a document that proposes the boycott of settlement goods, endorsement of the Kairos Document, theological investigation of Christian Zionism, and political lobbying to end the Israeli occupation. In response, a campaign of intimidation and distortion has been launched against the church. We pray that representatives at the conference will courageously speak and vote in the interest of justice.

This week we join with the World Council of Churches in praying for:

Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay

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