November 24, 2015 –
ACT PALESTINE FORUM
PRAYER VIGIL FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
24th of every month
Prayer Petitions for the Restoration of Hope
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Every day in the month ahead, we 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.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
This coming month, inspired by the Season of Advent, we offer prayers for the people of Palestine and Israel and for all who struggle to find hope and light even in the darkness of daily violence and injustice. We pray for an end to the bloodshed and hostility, for healing and reconciliation, and for peace with justice. During the Advent Season, we are filled with hope for the coming of Christ’s kingdom in the Holy Land and the world. We invite you to send your prayers to us throughout this month so that APF may share them with others via the APF website.
This month, the ACT Palestine Forum prayer vigil also coincides with the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. On 29 November 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution for the establishment of an “Arab State” and a “Jewish State” in Palestine.
The International Day of Solidarity provides an opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the fact that the Palestinian people have yet to attain their inalienable rights, namely,the right to self-determination, the right to national independence, and the right of the displaced to return to their homes. Through this prayer vigil, we join the international community in solidarity with the Palestinian people and in steadfast hopefulness even in the darkest of days.
Prayers for 24 November 2015 and the month following
L: We cry out to you in prayer, O Lord, for our brothers and sisters in Palestine and Israel who are paralyzed by injustice, fear, and violence. For those who live with suspicion instead of hope, and uncertainty instead of security,
C: We long for your holy and life-giving Spirit to restore hope, grant healing and bring lasting peace in the Holy Land.
L: When hearts are discouraged and tired, where political prisoners are separated from their loved ones, when whole families despair because they have been forced out of their homes, where children cannot walk to school without the threat of being attacked, where farmers cannot harvest their crops without being harassed,
C: Grant that your love and life-sustaining power will flow; encouraging, freeing, uniting and protecting all your children who struggle to keep hope alive.
L: When despair and hopelessness lead to heavier hurt and deeper divides in communities under occupation, when youth resort to hostility or depression as their only means to cope, when parents, struggling to keep their family fed, borrow money they cannot repay,
C: God of refuge and strength, restore hope to communities that are worn down by the daily hardships of occupation and sustain those who struggle to cope. Lead them from despair to hope and fill their hearts with your light.
L: When bullets, knives, tear gas, and grenades seem to rule the day, where hatred breeds indiscriminate violence and desperation brings senseless aggression,
C: We pray that Palestinians may see the image of God in Israelis and Israelis may see the image of God in Palestinians, so that they can recognize the humanity in each other. Challenge Israelis and Palestinians to follow a nonviolent path toward the end of the occupation and empower those who dare to take risks for peace.
L: O God of mercy and grace, you alone can remove the hearts of stone from our bodies and give us instead hearts of flesh. Do this, and more among us and among those who have power to make a difference in the land we call Holy. Stir up your Spirit in children and youth, mothers and fathers, prime ministers and prisoners.
C: Let your peace rest gently on our hearts and minds; grant that we may have the strength to work for peace and the grace to inspire others to live with hope.
L: O God of the exiles and the oppressed, you promise restoration and wholeness through the power of Jesus Christ. In this hope-filled Season of Advent, give us faith to live joyfully, sustained by your promises, as we eagerly await the day when they will be fulfilled for all the world to see, through the coming of your son, Jesus Christ.