Prayer Vigil for Peace in the Middle East
24th of every month
Leader 1: (introduction) 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. On this day, we 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 that will continue until we all can celebrate an end to the occupation and a just and lasting resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Leader 2: Let us pray for the peace of Jerusalem, of Israel, and of Palestine.
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 in Jerusalem 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.
Help the Palestinians to see the image of God in the Israelis and the Israelis to see the image of God in the Palestinians, so that they can accept each other’s humanity and mutually recognize each other’s civil, religious, political and national rights in order to live in their states in peace based on justice, reconciliation and forgiveness.
L1: All this, and everything else that is needed for wholeness in the Holy Land, we pray, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.