24 February 2017
ACT Palestine Forum Prayer Focus:
Settler violence endangers the lives of Palestinians, but also wreaks havoc on the land, and destroys or endangers olive trees which are often many hundreds of years old.
“Israeli civilians have perpetrated various forms of violence against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, damaging their lands, their persons and their property. In recent years, settlers have carried out violent acts under the slogan “price tag.” B’Tselem has documented many such acts including the blocking of roads, throwing stones at cars and houses, making incursions into Palestinian villages and land, torching fields, uprooting trees, and other damage to property.”
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the rivers.
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”
Leader: Holy God, in the beginning you created the heavens and the earth
All: And you called it good.
L: The earth is yours, and all that is in it,
A: The world, and those who live in it.
L: And yet, through human greed, carelessness, and violence,
A: Your good creation is destroyed.
L: Today we pray for the land called holy, caught in an unholy conflict.
A: We pray for Palestinian communities threatened by settlements and settler violence.
L: We pray for farmers who cannot reach their olive groves, for families whose land has been stolen, and for children who live in fear of attacks.
A: We pray for the land itself, for water, for animals, for the environment which suffers after fifty years of military occupation.
L: And we pray for the olive trees: proud symbol of Palestine, strong and resilient, steadfast and true, bearing fruit even in the harshest conditions.
A: Give us the sumud (صمود) of the olive trees. Strengthen our commitment to peace and justice for Palestine. Keep us steadfast in prayer, in advocacy, and in action. Like a tree standing by the water—we shall not be moved.
Opportunities for Advocacy:
“The core task of all good spirituality is to teach us to “cooperate” with what God already wants to do and has already begun to do through us.” – Fr. Richard Rohr
Listed here are a few sources that invite you to advocate an end to settler violence against Palestinians and the land:
Find a printable version of this month’s prayers here: 24 Feb 2017 Prayer Vigil