World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, 14 – 21 September – Prayer, Advocacy, Education.

World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, 14 – 21 September – Prayer, Advocacy, Education.

 

During the third week of September each year, The World Council of Churches encourages us to unite as Christian witnesses in peaceful actions around the world to promote a just peace in Palestine and Israel.

During this week, which includes the International Day of Prayer for Peace on 21 September, all people of faith are encouraged to bear a common witness by participating in joint prayer and spreading awareness in our Christian communities to educate how the situation in Palestine and Israel has been unchanged for generations and people there continue to suffer. Thereby to commit to practical acts of support in favour of a sustainable future and a lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

The restoration of peace in the Holy Land, as various efforts over the decades have already shown, is a very fragile process and the harmful consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic only accentuate, day after day, this fragility and impasse today. We still believe in the power of prayer because only the Spirit of God can soften hearts and change attitudes.

In this time of extreme fragility, solidarity is a sign of hope that, through the power of prayer and practical action, we can make the restoration of peace in the Holy Land both possible and a lived reality for all people of the region.

Over this week, we will share with you a daily prayer which we hope you and your friends and family will join, and some stories of the practical work we have provided with your help this year.

FHL Team

 


Prayer 1 - Monday 14th

Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem.

Gracious God, you have promised through your prophets that Jerusalem will be home to many peoples, mothers to many nations. Hear our prayers that Jerusalem, the city of your visitation, may be for all - Jews, Christians and Muslims – a place to dwell with you and to encounter one another in peace. We make this prayer in Jesus' name. 

Amen.


Prayer 2 - Tuesday 15th

A Prayer for the Courage to work for Peace.

Lord, help us support the leaders of the people of the Holy Land to know your will and have the courage to establish peace for all of your children.

You ask for our courage to protect the powerless but we prefer to remain safe, preserving ourselves for future challenges.

You ask us to speak out for justice but we whisper, in case we are heard.

You ask us to stand up for what is right, but we would rather blend into the crowd.

You ask us to have faith, when doubting seems so much easier.

Lord forgive our calculated efforts to follow you, only when it is convenient to do so, only in those places where it is safe to do so, only with those who make it easy to do so.

As we walk with our Brothers and Sisters the streets as you once walked, guide our feet so that we will go boldly into the places that are forgotten and overlooked; open our eyes to see the pain of others who are struggling simply to survive; use our hands to help rebuild those whose lives have been torn apart because of conflict and war; use our voices to bear witness in our local communities of the challenges they face.

Together we pray God forgive us and renew us; Inspire us and challenge us. So that we have the courage to Stand Firm with our Brothers and Sisters in the Holy Land.

Amen


Prayer 3 - Wednesday 16th

A Prayer to Love for one another -

Lord, guide the leaders of the people of the Holy Land to know your will and to love all of your children.

God of love, lifting up the Holy Land for all humankind, breathe love and compassion into our prayers with a desire for nothing other than peace: peace in our hearts, peace for all creation, and especially peace in the land that is called holy.

Your love is infinite and embraces all people and all of creation. We cannot fully comprehend the height, depth or width of your divine love.

Though it is beyond measure, we give thanks that your love has captured our hearts enabling us to love all, especially those with whom we disagree and who see us as their enemies.

Inspired by your love, may we seek to be in solidarity with each other, sharing in a common humanity.

Possessed by your love, may our hearts be opened and our fists unclenched; lead us by the Holy Spirit to reach out across the barriers that divide us as neighbours.

Amen


Prayer 4 - Thursday 17th 

A Prayer for Hope for Peace

‘Amid so much darkness we need to see the light of hope, and to be men and women who bring hope to others.’ Pope Francis

Lord, guide the leaders of the people of the Holy Land to know your will and to fill all of your children with hope.

God of Hope, you continue to call us to work for Peace in our world, broken and wounded by injustice, violence, and indifference. Alone, we are overwhelmed by challenges but together, and inspired by your Spirit, we can prevail beyond dreams and imagination. In fear we lose hope and feel the futility of our efforts. Instil in our hearts and minds the image of your suffering and compassionate love as a source of courage and strength.

Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence and to seek reconciliation with their enemies

Inflame the Universal Church with compassion for the people of the Holy Land and give us hope for a future built on justice and peace for all. Sustain together in undiminished hope those who continue to labour with undiminished determination to build peace.

Amen.


Prayer 5 - Friday 18th

A Prayer for Mercy towards each other 

Lord, guide the leaders of the people of the Holy Land to know your will and to have mercy on their enemies.

God of mercy, even as we long to understand that which is often beyond our comprehension, we lay before you the hearts, minds and bodies of all those suffering from conflict in Palestine and Israel.

Inspire their leaders to transform oppression and violence into freedom and peace for the sake of the poor, the vulnerable and the broken-hearted. Help them to respect and promote the equality and dignity of all. Grant discernment to leaders and legislators, that righteousness and truth may flourish among all peoples throughout the Holy Land.

Shower upon all the people of the Holy Land the spirit of justice and reconciliation. Give to them all the blessings of well-being, freedom, and harmony, and, above all things, give us faith in you that we may be strengthened to care for all those in need until the coming of your son, our Saviour and Lord.

Amen