A Service of Prayer for Peace in the Middle East

A Service of Prayer for Peace in the Middle East

Lighting of the Christ Candle

The light shines in the darkness,
And the darkness has not overcome it.
In our Lord Jesus Christ there is light and peace.
Thanks be to God!

Scripture Readings

Responsive Reading Psalm 87 (adapted from Grail Translation)

On the holy mount stands the city founded by the Lord.
The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God.
Egypt, Babylonia, Philistia, Phoenicia, and Ethiopia are some of the nations that know you,
And all their people say, “We were born in Zion.”
God most high will strengthen the city of Zion.
Then everyone will say, “We were born here too.”
The Lord will make a list of his people,
And all who were born here will be included.
All who sing or dance will say, “I too am from Zion.”

Psalm 27:7-10

A Moment of Silent Reflection

Isaiah 2:1-5

A Moment of Silent Reflection

Isaiah 65:17-25

A Moment of Silent Reflection

Prayer of Intercession (Responsive)

Give us ears to hear, O Lord,
to hear the cries of a people living under occupation,
of farmers whose land has been taken,
of parents whose children have been killed or wounded,
of faithful Christians and Muslims barred from worshiping in the Holy City.
Hear our prayers for justice and peace for the Palestinians.

Give us ears to hear, O Lord,
to hear the voices of those who bear the scars of the Holocaust,
Of mourners grieving the deaths of those killed in recent conflicts,
of those who seek new ways of bringing reconciliation,
Of those whose bright hopes for a “promised land” have ended in despair.
Hear us as we pray for security and peace for the people of Israel.

Eternal God, merciful and compassionate,
we pray for the Christians of Israel and Palestine.
Surround them with the prayers of their sisters and brothers around the world,
strengthen them to witness fearlessly for justice and peace.
We pray for the Jews of Israel and the settlers of the Occupied Territories,
that the spirit of the prophets may flourish among them
and then they may know your shalom.
We pray for the Muslims of Israel and Palestine,
that they may worship freely and be richly blessed.
We pray for all the children of Abraham-Christian, Jewish, and Muslim-
that justice and peace shall clasp hands and the “Holy Land” become truly holy.


Closing Responses

When the song of the angels is stilled
and the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home
and the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to proclaim liberty to the oppressed,
to bring peace to the people.

Salaam. Shalom. Peace.

(adapted from a service at Hunter Presbyterian Church, Lexington, Kentucky, on December 19, 2000)