Friday, June 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.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer, Thursday, June 2, 2011

► With this week's commemoration of the 1967 War marking Israel's invasion and control of East Jerusalem, Gaza, the Golan Heights and the West Bank, and especially with the Jewish celebrations for Jerusalem Day, which marks the “unification of Jerusalem” in violation of International Law, set to take place in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, we remember in prayer all those who became refugees during this Naksa, or “setback,” and those who continue to suffer under forty-four years of illegal Israeli occupation. Our prayers and actions remain for a just resolution based on the 1967 borders, which has long been the basis for negotiations to ensure peace for everyone in this land.

► Our prayers are with all the people of Gaza as the Rafah passageway, Gaza's sole official border crossing with Egypt, opened for the public on Saturday, May 28. As documented residents of Gaza are now able to travel for the first time in four years, we remember the many refugees and others without identification documents that are still unable to cross. We pray that this will be the first step to a better future for Gaza as an area free of military raids, tight border constrictions and closures.

► We pray for the Thursday, June 2, Sabeel Young Adult program of hiking through the depopulated village of Lifta, whose Palestinian residents were expelled in 1948. Originally meant as a program for young adults from the West Bank who have permits to visit Jerusalem for Ascension Day, we especially pray for all those who were not granted permits, who are a majority of the young adults this year. We also pray for Sabeel's upcoming Prayer Service for the peace of Jerusalem on Wednesday, June 8, held in remembrance of the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967 as a part of activities for the World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel.

► We pray for all those in Europe who pray with us each week through the Wave of Prayer. As the European Union plays an increasingly vital role for a just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we pray that all those working towards a just peace in the Middle East will find support and realization of those goals.

With the Prayer Cycle of the World Council of Churches, we pray for:
Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland (

Wave of Prayer for Thursday, May 26, 2011

We pray for participants in World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, a World Council of Churches initiative taking place May 29-June 4 that encourages prayer, education, and advocacy in support of a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel. As people of faith around the world gather next week in prayer and action, we pray that God will change the hearts of those who maintain the occupation, filling them with a desire for justice and peace, and that all those who continue to suffer from oppression and violence will find reprieve. We also join Sabeel in prayer for the peace of Jerusalem:

As the Palestinian schools and universities finish another school year this week and enter the summer holidays, we pray for the wellbeing of all the children and young adults who are the promise of the future. We especially pray for all the students graduating this year; may God's blessing and peace be upon them and help guide them through the next stages in life.

This weekend, May 28 and 29, a joint Sabeel Jerusalem/Nazareth Young Adult program will bring together youth from the Galilee, Jerusalem and the West Bank to commemorate the Nakba in the Galilee. As they join Christian and Muslim youth from the area on Saturday to clean the church and mosque in the Palestinian village of al-Bassa that was depopulated in 1948 and to visit and worship on Sunday in the village of Kufr Yasif, we pray that this time of remembering the past nakba, or catastrophe, will help all of us work to end the ongoing nakba.

We pray for all of those who pray with us each week through the Wave of Prayer in North America, that they would be encouraged and strengthened to work from their own countries for peace with justice for all people. Especially as the Canadian government continues strictly pro-Israel rhetoric and after Obama's and Netanyahu's meetings with AIPAC and the US Congress, we pray for the increasingly important grassroots movements and advocacy in North America.

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

Botswana, Zimbabwe

Wave of Prayer for Thursday, May 19, 2011

► We pray for the family and community of Milad Ayiash, a sixteen year old Palestinian boy who died Saturday morning after being shot in the stomach during East Jerusalem's Friday demonstrations to commemorate the Nakba, the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. We continue to pray for a just and lasting solution to this conflict that has brought such pain the last 63 years, so that future generations may live in peace.

► Nonviolent mass protests on Nakba Day, Sunday May 15, in Gaza, the West Bank and along Israel's borders with Syria and Lebanon left as many as 16 dead, hundreds injured and many arrested. We pray for all those affected by the military's violence and that this grassroots movement will inspire the political activity and discussions in the US, Israel and the Palestinian territories this week towards bold and positive change that will bring an end to the suffering all around.

► We pray for the participants in the joint Jerusalem-Nazareth Sabeel Clergy and Women program on Tuesday, May 24. Women from Jerusalem, Nazareth, and several villages in the West Bank will visit Kufur-Qud, Burqiin and Zababdeh to discuss challenges facing women, study the Bible and worship together. We pray that this time of fellowship and learning from each other will lead to closer relationships among these Christian communities. We also pray for Sabeel Nazareth's programs this week: a lecture with Mr. Foud Farah about the Christian Presence in the Holy Land on Wednesday, May 18, as well as a children's program about the Nakba on Saturday, May 21.

► Our prayers are with the organizers, speakers and participants of the Friends of Sabeel UK Conference and Annual General Meeting titled "Christianity, Zionism and Justice?" on Saturday, May 21, 2011. We pray that speakers Prof Ilan PappĂ© and Rev Stephen Sizer will inspire new conversations and actions towards a better understanding of the nature of the conflict and ways to a peaceful resolution. We also pray for safe travels and open audiences as Rev Naim Ateek speaks in Germany this week.

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

Malawi, Zambia

Wave of Prayer for Thursday, May 12, 2011

We pray for the people of Egypt where 12 people died and more than 180 were wounded in clashes last Saturday after Salafi (extremist) Muslims attacked a Church in the Imbaba neighborhood of Cairo. During the Egyptian revolution, Christians and Muslims demonstrated and prayed alongside each other. But in March 13 people died in sectarian clashes in another neighborhood. We pray that the new Egyptian Government will equally protect the human and religious rights of all citizens and that both communities will respect each other and live together peacefully.

As Israel celebrated Independence Day on Tuesday May 10, and the Palestinians commemorate the Nakba (catastrophe) on Sunday May 15, despite the recent Israeli Knesset Law severely restricting such commemorations, we pray for a just and lasting resolution of the conflict. We pray especially for the millions of Palestinian refugees in the Arab countries, in the West-Bank and the Gaza-Strip, in the diaspora around the world and inside Israel, who are still longing for the implementation of their legitimate Right of Return according to International Law. We thank God for the few brave Israelis who organized a Nakba commemoration in Tel Aviv on Monday evening May 9.

As the Kairos Palestine document called on people from around the world to 'Come and See', we pray for more participation in our upcoming Young Adult Conference on July 20- 31 and Witness Visit on September 14- 23. We pray for the Sabeel staff and volunteers who are organizing the programs, and for the participants that they will be encouraged to work for a just peace in Israel and Palestine.

We pray for the programs organized by the Sabeel Nazareth branch in the Galilee this week. This Friday, young Palestinian Christians in Nazareth gather for a workshop entitled "Living in a Pluralistic Society: how to respect each other and work together". This workshop will be led by a Palestinian-Israeli Muslim. We pray that this workshop will inspire the young people to approach every human being as a beautiful creation of God, who deserves to be loved and respected.

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

Kenya, Tanzania

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