Prayers for Peace During the Gaza War, July 2014

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PRAYER PETITIONS:  24 JULY 2014

APF PRAYER VIGIL FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

24TH of every month

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Almighty God, deliverer, protector and advocate of the injured and suffering; when the foundations of the earth are shaking, give strength to all your people to uphold justice and safeguard the rights and lives of all, especially the most vulnerable in society.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray not for Arab or Jew, nor for Palestinian or Israeli, but pray rather that we might not divide them in our prayers, but keep them together as one humanity in our hearts.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

God of Justice, bless our Christian, Muslim, and Jewish sisters and brothers who work for peace through justice. Strengthen our resolve to advocate for an end to the Occupation and to the hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians in the face of seemingly endless violence and tragedy. Guide the leaders of the nations of the Middle East to know your will and to support a just peace for all of your children.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Merciful Father, we cry to you from the depths of our beings for all those wrongly imprisoned or held captive; for those trying to secure their release, that the ways of peace and diplomacy may prevail over acts of violence and aggression, that their captors may know a change of heart; through him who was sent to proclaim liberty for captives and to set free those who are oppressed.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

God of Mercy, even as we long to understand that which is often beyond our comprehension, we lay before you the hearts, minds and bodies of all those suffering the consequences of rockets, missiles, and tank shells. Shower your love upon all the people of the Holy Land and restore them with a spirit of justice and reconciliation.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

God, our refuge and strength, you have bound us together in a common life. In all our conflicts, help us to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, without calls for revenge, to hear your voice amid competing claims, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect to end all violence, hate and bloodshed.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

O God of all, with wonderful diversity of languages and cultures you created all people in your image. Free us from prejudice, racism, and fear, that we may see your face in our neighbors of every land and race, and that we may strengthen our resolve to speak out when the human rights of our neighbors are crushed.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Emmanuel, God with us, you do not distance yourself from the pain of your people, but in Jesus you bear that pain with all who suffer at others’ hands. With your cleansing love bring healing and strength to the people of the Holy Land; and by your justice, lift them up, that in body, mind, and spirit, they may again rejoice.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Merciful God, your healing power is everywhere about us. Strengthen those who work among the sick and wounded; give them courage and confidence in all they do. Encourage them when their efforts seem futile or when death prevails. We rejoice that your love is stronger than death, and your passion more fierce than the grave. And yet at this time we mourn with the families of those whom you have drawn into your eternal embrace.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

God of earth and air, water and fire, height and depth, we pray for those who work in danger, who rush in to bring hope and aid and comfort when others flee to safety, whose mission is to seek and save, serve and protect, and whose presence embodies the protection of the Good Shepherd. Give them caution and concern for one another so that in safety they may do what must be done, under your watchful eye. Support them in their courage and dedication that they may continue to save lives, ease pain, and mend the torn fabric of lives and social order.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, bless public servants, journalists, and health and human rights workers that they may do their jobs in a spirit of wisdom, charity, and justice. Help them use their vocations to bring an end to killing, oppression, and suffering, and to use their positions to promote tolerance and the common good.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work or watch or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who are made homeless by war.  Tend those who are broken in body, give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, comfort the afflicted; all for your love’s sake. Both the hours of the day and night are yours, and to you the darkness is no threat. Be present, we pray, with those who dread the hours of the night, especially innocent civilians in Gaza who have no place to retreat for safety and are living in constant fear and pain.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Gracious God, in times of sorrow and depression, when hope itself seems lost, help us remember the transforming power of your steadfast love and to give thanks for that new life we cannot now imagine; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Amen.

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Compiled and written by the LWF Jerusalem Program staff.