Wednesday, February 10, 2016

English 11/2/2016

Ash Wednesday is this week and marks the beginning of the Lenten season.
God of mercy, be with us as we enter this season of reflection and repentance. Give us the strength to look into our hearts and souls and find those areas in which we desperately need your help and guidance. Grant us also the hope that comes with the good news of your son’s resurrection, and let it stir life within us as we look towards an end to the suffering all around.
Lord, in your mercy…
Three Arab members of the Israeli Parliament - the Knesset - have been suspended for several months after visiting families of individuals who carried out attacks on Israelis. The Arab MKs were intervening as a humanitarian act, on behalf of the bereaved families, so as to get their children’s bodies returned for burial which are currently being held by Israeli authorities. These families usually have no prior knowledge of their children’s intentions, but are still subjected to collective punishment like having their homes demolished.
God, we weep at the current political situation here, where parents on both sides mourn the loss of their children. We beg you God, calm the fear that causes us to dehumanize the other, and allow people to view all life as precious, and the ending of all life as a loss.
Lord, in your mercy…
Leaders of both political parties, Hamas and Fatah, met Sunday to reestablish ties between the West Bank and Gaza. The unification of these two factions would support peace efforts in the region, and relieve much suffering for those trapped within the Gaza strip.
Lord, we ask that you make the similarities between these two parties shine out stronger than their differences, and allow the goals of peace and an end of suffering for their people to become the focal point for both governments.
Lord, in your mercy…
Last week Sabeel’s friend and partner, the director of the al-Liqa center in Bethlehem, Dr. Geries Khoury, died while leading a delegation to the Vatican to speak to the Pope. Dr. Khoury was one of the first theologians to view theology through a local, Palestinian lens, and did much to further interfaith ministry within Palestine.
Lord of all, we lift up to you Dr. Geries Khoury, and ask that you be with his family and friends as they mourn his passing. Send your spirit to fill the gap that the loss of his ministry has created, and allow his work to continue on in the lives of those he touched and mentored.
Lord, in your mercy…

We pray alongside the World Council of Churches for the countries of Ireland, United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

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