Prayers for Zimbabwe and Israel/Palestine

posted by Kaihsu Tai on February 15th, 2009

Commitment for Life is a network within the United Reformed Church committed to praying, giving, and campaigning for better lives all over the world. My church, Saint Columba’s, is a Commitment for Life congregation. As part of this network, we take action, pray, and give for people across the world. Particularly, we support partners in four countries: Bangladesh, Israel/Palestine, Jamaica, and Zimbabwe.

Seventy-five percent of the money we raise through Commitment for Life goes to Christian Aid. In this way, the United Reformed Church raised more than half a million pounds for Christian Aid last year. A tenth of the money goes to World Development Movement, a radical campaigning organization tackling the underlying causes of poverty. There is more information on the Commitment for Life website.

The United Reformed Church, through the Commitment for Life programme, supports partners in four countries: Bangladesh, Israel/Palestine, Jamaica, and Zimbabwe. Today we pray for two of these, Israel/Palestine and Zimbabwe. Will you pray with me.

First, we join in prayer with Patriarchs, Bishops and the Leaders of Christian Churches in Jerusalem.

God, we share their deep sorrow at the renewed cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians and the continued absence of peace in the Holy Land. We hold seriously our responsibilities as part of the international community to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with a just and comprehensive solution, based on international resolutions.

We pray that Christ will inspire the authorities and decision makers on both sides, the Israelis and the Palestinians, for immediate action to end the current tragic situation in the Gaza Strip. We pray, O God, that your will be done in the aftermath of the Israeli election this week.

We pray for the victims, the wounded and the broken-hearted. Lord God Almighty, grant all those who have lost loved ones consolation and patience. We pray for all those living in panic and fear. God, bless them with calm, tranquillity and true peace.

We pray for justice and peace, in the land of peace.

Now, we join the All Africa Conference of Churches in prayer.

We pray for the church in Zimbabwe to take its appropriate role in responding to the needs of the people.

We pray that the formation of a Government of National Unity this week will ensure delivery of services to the people of Zimbabwe.

We pray that the food supplies reach the dying people in remote parts of Zimbabwe, and that there be enough food for everybody. We pray that medical supplies are made available to all areas of the country and save threatened lives.

We pray that there be unity, tolerance, love, and mutual respect among all Zimbabweans, regardless of political differences.

Lord, have mercy on Zimbabwe and give enough rain for a good harvest which will result in the restoration of human dignity.

We pray that Christians worldwide may be inspired by the Spirit to remain in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe until the end of crisis. We pray that the faith of Christians in Zimbabwe may be made stronger by their suffering, so that in hope they retain their joy and commitment to Christ.

We pray that the resources being extracted from Zimbabwe may benefit the whole nation, including the poor, rather than individuals. God, we pray that you will change the hearts of those who do not put the interests of the people first, but think of themselves as more important than others.

We pray that your will be done.

Now we pray in silence for a moment.

God, we give thanks to you for the people in our city who feel a strong connection with Zimbabwe and Israel/Palestine.

We remember our fellow people of faith, who prayed together for Israel/Palestine in Keble College chapel this Tuesday. We remember our friends on the annual Interfaith Friendship Walk. We pray that their concern and their campaigning, and our care and action, will be acceptable unto you.

As we receive Communion, we think of the many Zimbabweans in exile, here in our country. Some of them work to serve us and care for us. Some of them are destitute or in detention. They live among us, often without us taking much notice.

God, at this table of Jesus, at this table of yours, remind us of our solidarity with them. Remind us that we are all your children, we all belong to the Communion of Saints and in the Body of Christ. Holy Spirit, move in us so we act accordingly in justice.

Here is a copy of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (Number 19) Act 2008, passed ten days ago by the Parliament of Zimbabwe, to enable the implementation of the Interparty Political Agreement. I place it next to the offertory plate, to commit it to God, and also as a token of thanksgiving. We conclude our prayer.

Almighty Father, we pray all this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Published in: Creative Resistance, Itinerant Communicant, Oxford, Prayer | on February 15th, 2009 | Permanent Link to “Prayers for Zimbabwe and Israel/Palestine” | Comments Off on Prayers for Zimbabwe and Israel/Palestine

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