Thursday, February 03, 2011

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, February 3, 2011

We pray for the wellbeing, safety and fulfillment of all people everywhere who seek social justice, freedom and truth. We pray that rulers will listen to the just cries of their people.

Our prayers are with the family, friends, and community of Yousef Fakhri Ikhlayl, a 17-year-old youth from Beit Ommar who was very involved in community building and non-violent initiatives with Palestine Solidarity Project. Last Friday he was shot in the head by illegal Israeli settlers while in his family vineyard; at his funeral procession the next day Israeli soldiers fired tear gas, sound grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets. As violent settler attacks in the West Bank increased this past week, we pray for the security of all and an end to this occupation that encourages such violence.

We give thanks for Israelis who are willing to stand up against injustice as they protest outside the Jerusalem offices of the Jewish National Fund, who is responsible for the 11th demolition of the Bedouin village Al-Arakib. We pray for the dozens of people who were shot with sponge bullets, brutally beaten and arrested during the demolition and for the dozens of families who lost their homes in the middle of winter.

As we enter the month of February, Sabeel's 8th International Conference, Challenging Empire: God, Faithfulness and Resistance, to be held in Bethlehem from February 23-28, draws ever closer. We pray for the over 160 participants coming from 10 different countries, the speakers, and the conference organizers as they enter the last few weeks of preparation for what appears to be a more timely gathering than ever on this topic.

With the Prayer Cycle of the World Council of Churches, we pray for:

Ireland; United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales

Wave of Prayer for Thursday, January 27, 2011

We pray that this week's release of the "Palestine Papers," un-verified leaked documents from the past ten years of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations concerning East Jerusalem, refugees and the right of return, and more, do not distract attention away from what is really needed: a restart to serious peace talks based on justice and international law.

We pray for leaders all around the world to actively support a just peace in Israel and Palestine. We give thanks for Peru's recognition of a "free and sovereign" Palestinian state and especially we pray for President Obama with the State of the Union Address this week, that this year the United States will take a bolder and more even-handed approach in their role resolving this conflict.

Our prayers are with the people of the many countries in the region who are experiencing political, social and economic upheaval, especially Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Yemen. May human rights and the representation of all peoples in the world be upheld without resorting to violence.

We hold in prayer two of Sabeel's programs on Friday: women from Jericho, Jerusalem, Nazareth and Ramallah will join together for a day visiting the different churches, the YMCA and the refugee camp in Jericho, among other activities; while the Nazareth young adult group will visit Cana of Galilee with a bible study in the church. We pray that all participants will be spiritually, emotionally and physically nourished from these gatherings.

With the Prayer Cycle of the World Council of Churches, we pray for:

Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden

Wave of Prayer for Thursday, January 20, 2011

We pray for people around the world working for freedom, justice and peace:

We pray for the people of Tunisia as they work to rebuild democracy after removing a corrupt leader through popular resistance;

We pray for the movement in Israel to work "for democratic values, freedom of speech, equal rights for citizens and the end of the occupation" that motivated thousands of demonstrators to gather in Tel Aviv last Saturday to protest the possible Knesset investigation into the funding of Israeli "left-wing" human rights organizations; and

We pray for ICCO of the Netherlands as they stand up against pressure from the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs to change their policy that includes supporting organizations who endorse BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions).

Our prayers are with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the patron of International Friends of Sabeel, as he lately has been personally targeted with slanderous attacks because of his outspokenness for a just peace in Israel and Palestine and especially because of his call for the Cape Town Opera to not perform in Tel Aviv when there is not freedom for everyone to attend. We pray that the petition-pledge of support for him, found at, will encourage and strengthen him in his ministry.

We give thanks for the time of fellowship, volunteering and fun together in the Galilee for the young adults from the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Galilee who came on the joint Nazareth-Jerusalem Sabeel trip last weekend. Most of the young adults from the West Bank are only able to enter Israel and Jerusalem when they are granted permits over the Christmas season, making this trip a special opportunity. As these permits now expire we remember in prayer the many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza whose movement is severely and unjustly restricted.

As the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins this Saturday we join the Christians in Jerusalem and our brothers and sisters around the world in praying for a renewed commitment to active unity as we struggle for justice, peace and equality for all people.

With the Prayer Cycle of the World Council of Churches, we pray for:

Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Western Sahara, Tunisia

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