A Call to Pray and Respond
Those Experiencing the Hostilities that Rage in Israel and Palestine
Alex Awad and Kristen Brown, missionaries with the General Board of Global Ministries, offer a prayer of support for those caught in the devastation of the Israel/Palestine conflict. United Methodists are encouraged to use and share this prayer at this critical hour.
As each day passes, the number of casualties and injured people in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel continue to rise. The people of Israel are living in fear of Qassam rockets, and 1.8 million people in Gaza, who live in a virtual open-air prison, are inundated by massive bombardments of missiles and bombs coming from Israel.
A small minority of Christians continues to survive in Gaza and Christians can be found serving in a few churches, schools, the YWCA, Shifa hospital, DSPR (Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees) health clinics and a library. They work with the greater community in a variety of ways. Some of these services are ministries with whom The United Methodist Church partners.
Christians and Muslims alike live with less than 5 percent potable water; have their electricity on for 8 hours, followed by 8 hours off (much less in times of war); have no freedom to travel, and can only fish between 1 to 3 nautical miles of the sea. Unemployment in Gaza stands at 65 percent.
We invite you to pray this prayer with us:
Gracious and Loving God,
We give you thanks and praise for you are with us always.
There are many of your children who are crying… who are scared… who are living in fear in Israel and Palestine.
Comfort children who are living in fear of the missiles, rockets and bombs that are falling. Some children are gathered in bomb shelters while others don’t have any place to find shelter.
Comfort mothers who are mourning their children and relatives who have been injured or killed.
Comfort fathers who don’t know where their families are located.
Strengthen doctors who are working endless hours to try and save lives with limited equipment and supplies. Comfort the doctors when lives are lost in their hands.
Strengthen your churches, though small in number, to reach beyond their walls to extend your amazing grace and love.
Strengthen our faith in the midst of so much suffering, death and disaster; may our voices be heard as we speak and act in compassion.
Open the eyes of soldiers and members of resistance brigades who launch rockets, missiles and bombs; may they be convicted of their actions, which take or injure the lives of others.
Open the eyes of neighbors; may we all have the strength to love our neighbors as you have asked us to do.
Open the eyes of the world; may we all learn to cherish and value your life breathed into humanity.
We pray for leaders on all sides to have compassion beyond their imagination so there will be an end to this kind of human destruction.
Give courage to politicians to focus on the root causes of the conflict and give them wisdom to discover just solutions.
Bless the efforts of the United States and United Nations officials as they take steps to protect civilians and negotiate a ceasefire.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers, and show us how to respond with your amazing, transforming love.