February 24, 2015 –
ACT PALESTINE FORUM
PRAYER VIGIL FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
24th of every month
Prayer Petitions for Assistance for Gaza and for Justice in Accordance with International Law
Tuesday, 24 February 2015
On this day and in the month ahead, we will continue to pray with and for our sisters and brothers in Palestine and Israel who have called for an ecumenical prayer vigil across the globe on the 24th of every month.
Our prayers this Lenten season focus on Gaza and the urgent need for humanitarian assistance, the promotion and protection of human rights and the importance of non-violent means of pursuing justice in accordance with international law.
During the month between 24 February and 24 March 2015, the ACT Palestine Forum will continue to focus its awareness building and advocacy efforts on Gaza and on seeking justice in accordance with international law. We will continue to pray for Israelis and Palestinians and advocate for non-violent means of pursuing justice. We invite you to prepare and send prayer petitions for us to share on the APF website.
In addition to the prayers offered for this season of Lent, APF offers a study provided by Churches Together in Ireland and Britain, which reflects on Christians of the Middle East.
Leader 1: In this season of Lent, as we make our spiritual journey through the wilderness and prepare as a faith community to meet the risen Christ at Easter, we are reminded that God calls us to lives rooted in justice. We pray for a change of heart that we may be in right relationship with God and neighbor. Our fast is from indifference to people living in poverty and suffering oppression.
Leader 2: Let us pray for peace in Palestine and Israel, and healing and hope for our sisters and brothers in Gaza.
L1: O God, source of all goodness and compassion . . .
L2: Where people live with suspicion and fear, uncertainty and upheaval as their constant companions,
Congregation (C): grant that your holy and life-giving Spirit may move among us, breaking down walls that divide, giving light and courage to the refugee and the most vulnerable in society, and ushering in the day that all may live in safety and security.
L1: God of hope . . .
L2: when hearts are discouraged and tired, where political prisoners are separated from their loved ones, when husbands and wives are not permitted to live together because of unjust laws, when whole families despair because they have been forced out of their homes,
C: grant that your love and life-sustaining power will flow, encouraging, energizing, freeing, uniting and protecting all your children who struggle to keep hope alive.
L1: O God, our creator . . .
L2: Where unemployment is staggeringly high, where many have difficult access to medical care and basic necessities, where land and water and other resources are taken illegally,
C: reveal your justice and life-preserving grace to us, opening our eyes, inspiring leaders to work for the common good. Embolden advocates and activists to speak truth to power. Strengthen teachers, social workers, pastors and bishops, scientists and lawyers, farmers and laborers, and all who help in the delivery of humanitarian services to ensure that everyone may enjoy a fair portion of the abundance of the earth.
L1: God of peace . . .
L2: Where there is reliance on the force of arms to frighten, harm or subjugate a neighbor, where children cannot walk to school without the threat of being attacked along the way, where farmers cannot harvest their crops without being harassed,
C: grant that your righteousness and life-affirming presence be proclaimed, challenging Israelis and Palestinians to follow a nonviolent path toward the end of the occupation, agitating for the protection of human rights, and comforting those whose lives have been afflicted by abuse and violence.
L1: God of reconciliation . . .
L2: Where relationships are broken, where people are isolated – from each other and also from goods and services that alleviate suffering – and where political processes meant to restore dignity produce cynicism and anger,
C: grant that your mercy and life-restoring steadfastness may astound us, animating in us an eagerness to forgive and be forgiven. Empower individuals, communities, and nations to be generous and tenderhearted. Bless Palestinians and Israelis who dare to take risks for peace. Guide and refresh all those who accompany them.
L1: Open the eyes of Palestinians and Israelis so that they may witness your image in the eyes of the other and recognize that the freedom and security of one people is dependent on the freedom and security of the other.
L2: Accompany our journey through these forty days. Renew us in the gift of baptism, that we may provide for those who are poor, pray for those in need, fast from self-indulgence, and above all that we may find our treasure in the life of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.