Join us as we pray for
Peace in Gaza and the Holy Land
Since Good Friday 2018, when civil organisations in Gaza began the “March of Return” protests, at least 123 Gazans have died, an estimated 17,000 have needed medical helps and 4,000 have been hit by live fire.
Heavenly Father we pray for all those who have been bereaved, injured, lost limbs or traumatised by the events of the last weeks. As people continue to protest we pray that they may do so peacefully and without threat of injury.
Living conditions in Gaza continue to deteriorate. Almost all the water is unsafe to drink, sewage pours untreated into the sea (creating a terrible smell), Electricity is on for only four hours a day, many have insufficient food, many common medicines cannot be obtained.
Lord we pray for an end to the blockade of Gaza, for reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, and for a just resolution of the issues in dispute over Gaza, so that the ordinary people of Gaza can receive the services most of us take for granted.
Unemployment amongst youths in Gaza is amongst the highest in the world. Some estimates put it at 85%. At the same time the military wings of militant organisations offer a steady wage to young people who will take up arms.
Lord we pray that young people will not be persuaded to join armed groups, and that the ways of non violent resistance may be followed by the young of Gaza.
Hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities are being overcome by the sheer numbers of casualties. We pray for hard pressed doctors and nurses trying to provide modern standards of care without the medicines and facilities needed.
Loving Father, we give thanks for the dedication and generosity of medical charities and of Doctors and Nurses. Bless their skills and give encouragement to them as they face huge challenges.
Lord Jesus, when you walked the streets of Palestine, you knew what it was like to live under occupation. You cared for soldier and civilian alike. You walked the extra mile in the example you gave of love in action, even across the divisions of your time. We pray today for the people of the Holy Land, Israeli and Palestinian, Jew, Muslim, Druze and Christian. In this rich and diverse population there is so much fear, so much suspicion, so much hatred, so much injustice, so much history and so much division. Inspire your people today with that same love you showed so long ago and that same quest for justice – that we may overcome the failings of the past and enable a new community to grow where all the children of Abraham may live in Peace with one another, in mutual respect. May all the people of this land turn away from violence and hatred, learn anew of how to respect each other and find that true Shalom where every person is valued, every right respected and every dream cherished. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who proclaimed blessed are the peacemakers, in every age.
We thank you Lord for the excavations in Gaza that reveal a historical narrative for the people of Gaza. We pray for those who use their gifts to restore lovingly and faithfully the story of the past. We pray for all that has been found as a result of excavations of an area that was rich in resources, that people from all the areas of the known world at the time would travel to buy the produce of the land and trade. That it was and is a vibrant place that given the opportunity has so much to offer to neighboring areas. Lord thank you for the rich past and history of Gaza and its people, as we pray for its future for a just solution and a way forward that it may be a place of great industry once again.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
We pray for the Near East Council of Churches in Gaza, for the leaders and the approximately 1000 Christians. We hold the issues the leadership have concerning the reduction of numbers of Christians. We pray for their continued struggles as a minority people, their faith, vision and commitment to the Lord seeking to live in harmony with their neighbours. We pray for the projects the churches are involved in, that they may receive continued support from partners around the world. We pray for all organisations that seek to offer aid, hope and support for the people of Gaza, remembering that UNWRA has reduced drastically their funding. For the devastating affect this has had on the various organisations and the fearful concern the people of the land have as a result. We thank you Lord for those who continue to offer assistance, may there be others who are willing to offer such needy support that Gaza faces at this time.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
We pray for the people of Gaza as they continue go about their daily routines, realising the restrictions they face concerning freedom of movement. We pray that the movement of trucks bringing resources into the Gaza strip would increase the necessary resources into the land. We pray for the continued lack of permits for the people to be able to leave the Gaza Strip for urgent medical assistance, visiting religious sites during festivals. We remember the many families that have not been able to visit families living elsewhere in the West Bank. We praise you for the opportunity the staff of the Methodist Liaison Office had to visit some families and receive amazing hospitality, to hear their stories, difficulties, hardship and joys during their recent visit. We thank you for the permits obtained to visit Gaza and learn more of the effects the siege has on the people’s lives to be able to return and share their stories, reminding the Methodist World Church that the people of Gaza desire us not to forget them and to continue to hold them and their situation in prayer. That the Methodist World Church would be a prophetic voice that upholds justice and advocates for freedom and the humanitarian rights of the people of Gaza.
Lord hear our prayer, Lord graciously hear us.
On the 20th of June two boats which are taking part in the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza arrived in Lisbon, Portugal. The ‘Al Awda’ (the ‘Return’) and ‘Freedom’ have 25 activists on board and hundreds of people greeted their arrival. These boats and several other boats are heading towards Gaza in a new attempt to break the eleven- year Israeli siege. Two other boats arrived in Paris, but the French police prevented them from landing along the River Seine. Nevertheless, hundreds of supporters waved Palestinian flags while standing on the banks of the river, to cheer them on their journey.
Lord, we thank you for people who care about those living under siege in Gaza. We are grateful for the actions of those living abroad who seek to give a voice to those who are oppressed. Lord may they depend on your strength for you are ‘a stronghold in times of trouble’ Psalm 9:9. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Communion Liturgy: A resource from Sabeel, a Palestinian Ecumenical Christian Liberation Center in Jerusalem, shared with permission. www.sabeel.org