Thursday, December 29, 2011

29/12/11 - English

We pray for the millions affected by the typhoon in the Philippines. On December 17th, storms triggered flash floods that caused the death of more than 1,250 people (and 1,000 people still missing).  Soil erosion, over-logged forests, and environmental degradation amplified the destructive effects of the typhoon. We are grateful for the many churches that opened their doors to serve as sanctuaries to the victims.  We pray for caregivers’ and relief workers’ strength and courage in these days and months ahead. Lord in your mercy…

This week, an eight-year-old girl expressed her fears of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish men who yell at her because of her clothes as she walks down the sidewalk near her home in Bet Shemesh, Israel.  Incidents of violence against women are increasing in the Jewish community, with some ultra-Orthodox Jewish religious fanatics currently pushing for increased gender segregation in public spaces. We pray that these incidents of segregation in Israel will expose the wider patterns of racial and gender segregation and injustice in the region.  We pray for an end to violence against women, everywhere. Lord in your mercy…

As 2011 comes to a close we pray that 2012 will bring a little bit more peace and justice for everyone.  We mourn the high-level of violence this year, and the increased numbers of people who became poor and marginalized. We are grateful for the many acts of beauty that happened, too. We pray for our families, and we thank God for Friends of Sabeel everywhere, for their support, prayers, and generous giving.  We praise God for each person who has shared with us this year, through the Wave of Prayer. Lord in your mercy…


We pray for the work of the World Council of Churches.  We thank God for the work they do for the family of faith worldwide. We remember the General Secretary Olav Fykse Tveit and all of the WCC staff, and ask God’s blessing upon them. We pray for all ecumenical councils of churches around the world.  Lord in your mercy… 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

22/12/11 - English

Extreme settler violence continued in and around Nablus and Hebron this week.  Stones launched by illegal Jewish settlers also struck the bus full of students from Bethlehem Bible College as it returned from a choir concert. Settler violence against Palestinians increased by 50% in 2011, and has terrorized people, agricultural land, and caused considerable amount of property damage.  In just this month, three mosques near Ramallah, Jerusalem, and Salfit were torched and covered with racist graffiti.  Rather than enabling these attacks and then protecting settlers from prosecution, we pray that the Israeli government takes responsibility for stopping this violence. We pray that God will change the hearts of the settlers. Lord in your mercy…

People around Palestine rejoiced as 550 more political prisoners were released from Israeli jails early this week, completing the second stage in the prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel.  The detainees included 55 children and six women.  We pray for their swift reintegration in society, and increasing wisdom.  We pray for the release of all political prisoners.  Lord in your mercy…

We pray for all those who must pick up the pieces of life and death after the official end to the US-led war in Iraq this month. Looking at the effects of this war that raged for nine years and destroyed millions of lives, we grieve. We pray for the people of Iraq as they face a very uncertain future, and seek to rebuild after the unjust war.  Lord in your mercy…

The Christmas season continues in Palestine-Israel with multiple celebrations led on different days by Roman Catholics and Protestants, Armenians and Orthodox Christians.  While we are privileged to host people from all over the world for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, we mourn the fact that many Palestinian families cannot reunite at this time, because they did not receive travel permits to leave the West Bank.  Lord in your mercy…

With the World Council of Churches we pray for Ghana and Nigeria. We thank God for the gifts they bring to the family of faith worldwide, and we pray that their needs will be met. Lord in your mercy…

Thursday, December 15, 2011

15/12/11 - English

We pray for Sabeel Nazareth’s Christmas community celebration this week, taking place despite recent anti-Christian discrimination in the region.  The mayor of Nazareth Illit, an Israeli town with a 40,000 population and 7% Arab Christian minority, decided to ban the public display of Christmas trees.  Calling Nazareth Illit “a Jewish city” he promised to maintain the ban for as long as he is mayor.  We pray that all people of good will and democratic ideals will reject this racism and make space for Christians to celebrate their holiday in peace. Lord in your mercy…

We pray for the Sabeel Jerusalem Christmas dinner on Saturday.  Local clergy from different denominations, international workers, and community members from all walks of life will gather for food, fellowship, and song.  We pray that God will be glorified by our celebration. Lord in your mercy…

Jesus said to the weeping women, “Oh Daughters of Jerusalem! Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” We join weeping family and friends who mourn the death of 28-year-old nonviolent activist Mustafa Tamimi.  Killed by a tear-gas canister fired into his face at close range, Mustafa died in Nabi Saleh protesting the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.  Lord in your mercy…

Israel constructed more segments of the separation wall around the residents of Shu’afat refugee camp.  This portion of the wall cuts through the municipal area, separating 40,000 tax-paying Palestinian Jerusalemites from the rest of the city. Access to Jerusalem from Shu’afat camp is restricted to one entry and exit checkpoint, controlled by the Israeli Defense Force.  We are discouraged by the wall’s existence, and furthermore frustrated about its path through the town.  So long as the wall exists peace will continue to be elusive. We pray that the wall will be dismantled. Lord in your mercy…

This week, the city of Bethlehem prepares to welcome Christmas pilgrims from all over the world. We pray that each pilgrim will be deeply affected by their visit.  We pray that their firsthand experience of the land of the Holy One will compel them to work for an end to the imperial occupation of this place. Lord in your mercy…


With the World Council of Churches we pray for Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo. Lord in your mercy…

Thursday, December 8, 2011

8/12/11 - English



“Wisdom calls aloud in the street, raising her voice in the public squares…” We cry out with lady Wisdom today as we mourn the ongoing sexual harassment and violation of female-bodied people.  Several high profile rape and murder cases in Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Palestine surfaced this week, reminding us of the daily struggle for justice and voice that the majority of women around the world endure.  We pray that perpetrators of violence against women will be held accountable for their actions.  Lord in your mercy…

Celebrations in Palestine and around the world this week affirmed the gifts and talents of differently-abled people.  We are grateful for the cultural events and political actions that physically and mentally challenged activists organized, to focus on the issues and rights of differently-abled Palestinians, and promote gains to be derived from their integration in every aspect of community life.  We seek God’s help to make society more amicable to them, and we feel the pain of the situation surrounding their disablement (as the Israeli army’s reaction to the first intifada, and its Cast Lead operations left record numbers of Palestinians paralyzed).  We pray for affirmation and access for all citizens.  Lord in your mercy…

We are grateful to have the chance to experience another Advent, and celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world.  We pray that the Christmas Message we published this week will inspire action and conversations around the world this holiday season. (Available at http://sabeel.org/events.php?eventid=237) Lord in your mercy…

Waiting is easier in company, and Sabeel’s programs have joined their efforts during Advent. We pray for the upcoming women and clergy program in Jericho, and the Sabeel women’s meeting in Nazareth.  May the faith of each of the participants be encouraged by their fellow travelers.  Lord in your mercy…

With the World Council of Churches we pray for Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal. Lord in your mercy…

Thursday, December 1, 2011

1/12/11 - Français

Prions pour les Églises de Syrie et d’Égypte au moment de changements considérables dans leurs pays. Prions pour qu’elles soient des références d’espérance et d’amour, au milieu de la confusion politique et de conflits violents. Prions pour que leurs célébrations et leur recherche d’une solidarité commune témoignent de l’importance de la réconciliation et de la tolérance. Seigneur, dans Ta miséricorde, entends notre prière.

Tout comme Dieu a donné la manne tombée du ciel, nous avons confiance qu’il nous donnera ce dont nous avons besoin pour vivre. Nous présentons à Dieu ceux qui ne recevront pas leur salaire ce mois-ci en raison du manque de liquidités de l’Autorité Palestinienne, un manque du à la retenue injuste par Israël du produit des taxes palestiniennes sur le revenu et les échanges commerciaux, en guise de punition pour notre candidature à la reconnaissance en tant qu’état aux Nations Unies. Alors que le taux de chômage augmente en Cisjordanie, nous nous accrochons fermement à l’invitation de Dieu de ne pas être inquiets, mais nous demeurons fidèles et positifs au milieu des difficultés croissantes de la vie. Prions pour que ces travailleurs reçoivent bientôt leurs salaires. Seigneur, dans Ta miséricorde, entends notre prière.

Il arrive qu’en plein milieu du temps ordinaire (kronos), un temps extraordinaire (kairos) survienne. Souvenons-nous cette semaine de ce temps exceptionnel  que nous avons connu il a deux ans lorsque des chrétiens palestiniens se sont rassemblés pour rédiger le document “Kairos pour la Palestine”. Prions pour la prochaine rencontre de planification stratégique qui va se tenir à Bethléem afin que le processus Kairos continue à porter des fruits localement et partout dans le monde. Seigneur, dans Ta miséricorde, entends notre prière.

Aujourd’hui, de jeunes adultes vont se rassembler à Nazareth pour leur rencontre mensuelle et plus de 120 membres du clergé musulmans et chrétiens vont se réunir à Beit Sahour. Réjouissons-nous de voir tant de gens de tous âges, de toutes religions et vocations reconnaître le besoin absolu de la soliadarité et du dialogue les uns avec les autres. Prions pour la sécurité des déplacements des jeunes et des membres du clergé, pour des échanges fructueux, une confiance renouvelée en Dieu et une nouvelle perspective pour le peuple de Dieu. Seigneur, dans Ta miséricorde, entends notre prière.
      

1/12/11 - English



We pray for the churches in Syria and Egypt at this time of dramatic change in their countries.  We pray that they would be beacons of hope and love, in the midst of political confusion and violent conflict. We pray that their practices of worship and seeking the common good will witness to the importance of reconciliation and tolerance. Lord in your mercy…

Just as God provided manna from the heavens, we trust in God’s provision for the needs of our lives.  We hold up to God those who will not receive their salaries this month because of shortages of money in the Palestinian Authority, a shortfall due to Israel’s unjust withholding of Palestinian tax income and trade revenue, as punishment for our bid for statehood at the United Nations.  As the unemployment rate in the West Bank rises, we grip tightly to God’s invitation not to worry, but remain faithful and positive through the increasing difficulties of life. We pray that the workers will soon receive their wages. Lord in your mercy…

In the midst of ordinary time (kronos), extraordinary time (kairos) can happen. We are reminded this week of the fullness of time that came two years ago when Palestinian Christians gathered to write the “Kairos for Palestine” document.  We pray for the upcoming strategic planning meeting in Bethlehem, that the Kairos process will continue to bear fruit locally and around the world. Lord in your mercy…

Today, young adults will gather in Nazareth for their monthly meeting and over 120 Muslim and Christian clergy will gather for an encounter in Beit Sahour.  We rejoice that so many people of all ages, faiths, and vocations recognize the absolute need for solidarity and dialogue with one another.  We pray for the safety of the clergy and youth in travel, for excellent discussion, and a renewed sense of commitment to God and vision for God’s people.  Lord in your mercy…

With the World Council of Churches we pray for Liberia and Sierra Leone. We trust that God knows their needs and gifts.  We pray they feel a sense of God’s presence, and support from the global Christian family this week. Lord in your mercy…