Thursday, February 17, 2011

17/2/11 - English

We give thanks for the example of successful nonviolent resistance the people of Egypt give to the world with the stepping down of President Mubarak on Friday and pray for a smooth and meaningful transition to democracy. Our prayers are also with the people who continue in their struggles for more freedom in Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Yemen, and other places around the world.

As the new PA Cabinet is being formed, we pray for Palestinian unity and a democratic government to govern a future Palestinian state when the occupation ends.

Our prayers for safety and wellbeing are with the international and local travelers and pilgrims to Bethlehem for Sabeel’s 8th International Conference, Challenging Empire: God, Faithfulness and Resistance. We continue to pray for the participants, speakers, organizers, staff and volunteers as everyone prepares in the last days before the conference.

Please continue to pray next week for the Conference, which takes place in Bethlehem from February 23-28, 2011: for open hearts and minds for the participants, wisdom and clarity for the speakers, and strength and patience for the organizers, staff and volunteers.

With the Prayer Cycle of the World Council of Churches, we pray for: Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain

Thursday, February 10, 2011

10/2/11 - English

We pray for all those affected by the recent increase of illegal settlement construction in East Jerusalem. Last week several Israeli Knesset members, Jerusalem councilmen, and former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee attended the cornerstone-laying ceremony for settler housing units on the Mount of Olives, with intentions for further expansion. This week the Jerusalem City Council approved the plans for settler apartments in Sheikh Jarrah whose construction will cause the eviction of a number of Palestinian families. We pray that the national and international community will not let this settlement construction that is illegal under international law and destructive for peace go unheeded.

Prices of essential items such as food, water and gas are steadily increasing in Israel and Palestine, the Middle East, and all over the world. We pray for everyone for whom this is a hardship, especially for those who already struggle to make ends meet and for whom this is an additional burden.

Our prayers remain with the people of Egypt; we especially give thanks for the Christians and Muslims working together for a better nation and protecting each other during Muslim prayers and Christian services. May they be encouraged and strengthened, and continue to give inspiration and hope across the Middle East.

We pray for the upcoming Sabeel conference, Challenging Empire: God, Faithfulness, and Resistance, that is now less than two weeks away. We remember the people from Africa and Latin America who were unable to get visas to join us for the conference. We also give thanks for the international volunteers who have arrived in Jerusalem and for the affirming atmosphere of teamwork among all the staff preparing for the conference.

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

Thursday, February 3, 2011

3/2/11 - English

We pray for the wellbeing, safety and fulfillment of all people everywhere who seek social justice, freedom and truth. We pray that rulers will listen to the just cries of their people.

Our prayers are with the family, friends, and community of Yousef Fakhri Ikhlayl, a 17-year-old youth from Beit Ommar who was very involved in community building and non-violent initiatives with Palestine Solidarity Project. Last Friday he was shot in the head by illegal Israeli settlers while in his family vineyard; at his funeral procession the next day Israeli soldiers fired tear gas, sound grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets. As violent settler attacks in the West Bank increased this past week, we pray for the security of all and an end to this occupation that encourages such violence.

We give thanks for Israelis who are willing to stand up against injustice as they protest outside the Jerusalem offices of the Jewish National Fund, who is responsible for the 11th demolition of the Bedouin village Al-Arakib. We pray for the dozens of people who were shot with sponge bullets, brutally beaten and arrested during the demolition and for the dozens of families who lost their homes in the middle of winter.

As we enter the month of February, Sabeel’s 8th International Conference, Challenging Empire: God, Faithfulness and Resistance, to be held in Bethlehem from February 23-28, draws ever closer. We pray for the over 160 participants coming from 10 different countries, the speakers, and the conference organizers as they enter the last few weeks of preparation for what appears to be a more timely gathering than ever on this topic.

With the Prayer Cycle of the World Council of Churches, we pray for: Ireland; United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales