Sabeel Wave of Prayer

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12 February 2024

The 14th of February marks for many Christians worldwide Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday symbolizes the first day of Lent and is traditionally observed with fasting and abstinence from meat and other animal products. Ash Wednesday derives its name from this practice, in which placement of ashes on the forehead is accompanied by the words, “for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Lent is a period of lament which ends with the great celebration of Easter.

Ÿ Crucified Christ, in this season of fasting and lament we are reminded of our mortality more than ever. As we fast, let us remember those starving in Gaza. As we place ashes on our foreheads, let us remember the Palestinians turned into dust by bombs. Lord, help us understand the message of Ash Wednesday which encourages not to be despaired from death, but to await the death of despair and suffering.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

Last week, a convoy of lorries waiting to bring food into the Gaza Strip was struck by Israeli fire, according to UNRWA director Thomas White. Moreover, OCHA reported that 66 percent of planned humanitarian missions to distribute food, water, or medical support were denied by Israeli authorities in January.

Ÿ Good God, we hold on to our faith that you hear the cries of the oppressed and see the evil actions of the oppressor. We pray that all in need in Gaza will receive their daily bread through the lorries carrying aid and the end of their oppression. We call all those perpetrating and enabling injustice to, “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 4th of February, Ibrahim Hashash, aged 4, was mauled by an Israeli military dog during an arrest operation in Balata refugee camp in Nablus. The dog was unleashed into the Hashash family’s home, viciously attacking Ibrahim, biting him repeatedly and leaving him severely injured.    

Ÿ God of protection, we pray for young Ibrahim Hashash as he is recovering in the hospital. Heal the wounds he sustained from the teeth of the Israeli occupation. Lord, save us from the brutality of colonialism as it bites all, young and old. Help us speak and act prophetically against the evil we see and bear witness to your love.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

Israel confirmed last week that its troops are pumping seawater into a network of tunnels in Gaza, a method, environmentalists say violates international law and cause dire long-term environmental consequences in Gaza. This raises questions about Israel’s plans to rescue the Israeli captives and adds to the lasting devastation of Gaza.

Ÿ Divine creator, Israel’s disregard for the consequences of their actions reveals their twisted intention. Your children and creation are victims to the sin of Israel’s military actions. Help us steward your good creation by resisting the sin of oppression and working for the redemption of all forms of life, human and ecological.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 18th of February, as a part of Voices From the Holy Land Online Film Salon Series, a webinar will be featured entitled “Oppression and Violence in the West Bank”. This webinar aims to reveal how Palestinians live under occupation in the West Bank, the plight of Palestinians families who have fled, the arguments of Israelis who want to empty Palestine through settler-colonialism, and what the international community might do to stop the violence. Omar Harami, the director of Sabeel, will be one of the keynote speakers.

Ÿ God of light, use the voices coming from Palestinians and their allies to reveal evil where it is hidden, educate where there are lies and misinformation, and speak life in times of death. Let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 7th of February, many Muslims around the world marked the Israʾ and Miʿraj, or the Night Journey, and Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad. Many Muslims believe that the night journey and ascension was a miraculous occurrence during which prophet Muhammad travelled from Makkah to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem before ascending to heaven, all in one night. This year the commemoration was somber as many worshipers were denied access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and police and settler violence in the old city are frequent.  

Ÿ God of love, we are angered and saddened that our Palestinian Muslim siblings are prevented from their right to worship, and at times harassed and attacked by settlers and Israeli police. Lord, you wept over Jerusalem, and we continue with that cry today as Jerusalem has become a city of intolerance and hate.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

Ÿ We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

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I’m republishing this post from my friend, Dr Chandra Muzaffar – president of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST). Chandra has been a long-term advocate for Palestine and is one of the best-informed people on the subject that I have ever met. Father Dave

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Father Dave

Anglican Priest, Professional Boxer,Social activist and Father of four


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