“Lead me in your truth and teach me.” (Psalm 25:5)
God of truth, in his last days, in Jerusalem, Jesus of Nazareth gave his friends a new commandment: “As I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34). He showed them that the way of love is God’s way of life. Hear now our prayers for our brothers and sisters of Israel and Palestine. Help us all to hear the painful truths of our past, and to learn ways to live now as your children.
We pray, O God, for all those in the land of the Holy One who mourn the loss of loved ones, and find themselves living in the shadow of death. We pray, O God, for all those who seek peace and stability in the midst of horrific violence. We pray, O God, for all those who struggle to find hope when despair seems to be overwhelming. We pray, O God, for all those who feel alone and forsaken, and yearn for basic compassion and kindness. We pray, O God, for all who pursue avenues of understanding, only to find divisions and divisiveness at every turn.
God of truth, “work through our struggle and confusion,” through the suffering of all your children, the weeping and wounds of war, and the pain of the past hurts of our history. Help us to find the path of peace by living in love that seeks the good and well-being of the others as well as ourselves. By your Spirit help us to join hands with you and with each other until the night that surrounds us is transformed into the dream that you intend for us and for all creation. This we pray in the Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, the Prince of Peace. Amen.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
The Episcopal Church
We pray for Bishop Sani Ibrahim Azar (ELCJHL) and Archbishop Hosam Naoum (EDJ), that God would give them grace, wisdom, and strength as they seek to serve the churches, ministries, and communities in their care amid tremendous challenges and pressure.
We pray for all the pastors, priests, and other ministers of the ECJHL and EDJ who are doing all they can to bear witness to the love and hope of Jesus in circumstances that are so profoundly painful and complex.
We pray for the wider Christian community in the Holy Land and across the Middle East; the people who are the living stones of the church in the land where Jesus lived and walked; our siblings in the one Body of Christ.
We pray for the Church of the Redeemer, St. George’s Cathedral, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, in Jerusalem; for all those who work and worship in these sacred places, and the ministry that flows from them to the surrounding community.
We pray for Dar Al Kalima Lutheran School, The Evangelical Lutheran School of Beit Sahour, Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre, St George’s School, and St George’s College; for teachers, staff, and students in this unsettled and anxious time.
We pray for Augusta Victoria Hospital, Al Ahli Hospital, Gaza, St. Luke’s Hospital, Nablus, St. Andrew’s Diabetes Clinic, Ramallah, and the Penman Clinic, Zababdeh; for those who care for others under significant duress, and all those are sick, injured, or in any other kinds of need.
An Advent Cycle of Prayer for Churches in the Holy Land and the Middle East - 2023
The above photo depicts the painting "HOPE" by Palestinian artist Sliman Mansour.
The white building it portrays is the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem