Thursday, January 27, 2011

27/1/11 - English

We pray that this week’s release of the “Palestine Papers,” un-verified leaked documents from the past ten years of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations concerning East Jerusalem, refugees and the right of return, and more, do not distract attention away from what is really needed: a restart to serious peace talks based on justice and international law.

We pray for leaders all around the world to actively support a just peace in Israel and Palestine. We give thanks for Peru’s recognition of a “free and sovereign" Palestinian state and especially we pray for President Obama with the State of the Union Address this week, that this year the United States will take a bolder and more even-handed approach in their role resolving this conflict.

Our prayers are with the people of the many countries in the region who are experiencing political, social and economic upheaval, especially Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Yemen. May human rights and the representation of all peoples in the world be upheld without resorting to violence.

We hold in prayer two of Sabeel’s programs on Friday: women from Jericho, Jerusalem, Nazareth and Ramallah will join together for a day visiting the different churches, the YMCA and the refugee camp in Jericho, among other activities; while the Nazareth young adult group will visit Cana of Galilee with a bible study in the church. We pray that all participants will be spiritually, emotionally and physically nourished from these gatherings.

With the Prayer Cycle of the World Council of Churches, we pray for: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden

Thursday, January 20, 2011

20/1/11 - English

We pray for people around the world working for freedom, justice and peace:
- We pray for the people of Tunisia as they work to rebuild democracy after removing a corrupt leader through popular resistance;
- We pray for the movement in Israel to work “for democratic values, freedom of speech, equal rights for citizens and the end of the occupation" that motivated thousands of demonstrators to gather in Tel Aviv last Saturday to protest the possible Knesset investigation into the funding of Israeli “left-wing” human rights organizations; and
- We pray for ICCO of the Netherlands as they stand up against pressure from the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs to change their policy that includes supporting organizations who endorse BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions).

Our prayers are with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the patron of International Friends of Sabeel, as he lately has been personally targeted with slanderous attacks because of his outspokenness for a just peace in Israel and Palestine and especially because of his call for the Cape Town Opera to not perform in Tel Aviv when there is not freedom for everyone to attend. We pray that the petition-pledge of support for him, found at, will encourage and strengthen him in his ministry.  

We give thanks for the time of fellowship, volunteering and fun together in the Galilee for the young adults from the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Galilee who came on the joint Nazareth-Jerusalem Sabeel trip last weekend. Most of the young adults from the West Bank are only able to enter Israel and Jerusalem when they are granted permits over the Christmas season, making this trip a special opportunity. As these permits now expire we remember in prayer the many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza whose movement is severely and unjustly restricted.

As the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins this Saturday we join the Christians in Jerusalem and our brothers and sisters around the world in praying for a renewed commitment to active unity as we struggle for justice, peace and equality for all people.
With the Prayer Cycle of the World Council of Churches, we pray for: Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Western Sahara, Tunisia

Thursday, January 13, 2011

13/1/11 - English

We pray for “the peace of Jerusalem” after the Monday demolition of the historic Shepherd Hotel and planned building of a Jewish-only settlement in its place in the heart of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. We pray that these actions, criticized by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton as a  disturbing development [that] undermines peace efforts to achieve the two-state solution” and condemned by the EU and the UN, will be a catalyst to draw attention and put an end to the systematic undermining of the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

At least 165 Israeli professors have declared an academic boycott against Ariel University Centre because of its location in a settlement illegal under international law. We give thanks for this strong statement from Israelis who recognize that illegal settlements in the West Bank are a major obstacle to peace and pray that such important initiatives will continue within Israel and around the globe.

As Sabeel’s 8th International Conference Challenging Empire: God, Faithfulness and Resistance approaches in less than two months, we pray for the spiritual, mental and physical preparation of the participants and speakers, and for strength, clarity, and grace for the organizers. We also pray that more people will be moved to join us for this gathering in Bethlehem before the registration deadline. (See for more information). 

We give thanks for the hard work of those who redesigned the Sabeel website at We pray that through this renewed website the ministry of Sabeel will continue to grow and serve you, Lord, and the cause of justice, peace, and reconciliation of all the people in this land.

With the Prayer Cycle of the World Council of Churches, we pray for: Cyprus, Greece, Turkey

Thursday, January 6, 2011

6/1/11 - English

We remember in prayer all those affected by the bombing outside the Coptic Church of St Peter and St Paul in Alexandria, Egypt, killing twenty-two and injuring nearly one hundred as the New Year’s Eve mass was ending. On Wednesday, January 5, Sabeel held a service in Jerusalem to pray for Christians all over the world, in the Middle East, and especially in Egypt, and for an end to all prejudice and its violent expressions. We join in this prayer.

We pray for the family and friends of Jawaher Abu Rahmah, a young woman who collapsed and later died after Israeli soldiers used tear gas against the protestors at the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall cutting the Palestinian villagers of Bil’in away from their land. Her brother, Bassem, was killed two years ago by a tear gas grenade hitting his chest. We pray for an end to the increasing violence against peaceful demonstrators as well as an end to the injustice that creates the need for demonstrations.

As 2011 opens in an unhealthy political limbo, we pray for all the peoples of this land. Please give Palestinians and Israelis the wisdom and courage to make the right moves to get out of this stalemate and resume serious peace talks to end this conflict.

The first Palestine National Orchestra rang in the new year with debut performances in Ramallah, Jerusalem, and Haifa. More than 40 Palestinian and foreign musicians from leading orchestras around the world played a program that included western and Palestinian classical songs, including one by a Hungarian Jewish composer. It was the first time some members of the Palestinian diaspora were able to come to Palestine. We give thanks for this musical expression of hope and cooperation, and pray that the introductory words of the concert will come true: "Today an orchestra, tomorrow a state."

With the Prayer Cycle of the World Council of Churches, we pray for: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yeman, Iran, Iraq