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13-20 September 2020

Each year the World Council of Churches (WCC) designates the second week in September as the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel (WWPPI). If one were to be somewhat cynical, we could see this as just another of the days, weeks or months designated by the United Nations or other bodies, some of them most worthy, some quite humorous. From one pray-er to others, however, I see this call as a sign that here is something worthy, even vital, that we bring before our God. Justice and peace are so sorely needed for all Israelis and Palestinians.

The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network (PIEN) in Australia has brought together at this time threads from two different organisations, the WCC and Kairos Palestine, a Palestinian Christian body who have embarked on a Cry for Hope campaign. By distributing certain wording for prayer in early September, PIEN hoped to remind people of the need for prayer and then call them to prayer.

This year’s WWPPI theme is ‘creative solidarity in common fragility’. The restoration of peace in the Holy Land, as various efforts over the decades have already shown, is a very fragile process. In addition to existing troubles, the harmful consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic only accentuate, day after day, this fragility. The prayers below are from the WCC and the Cry for Hope campaign.

God of all creation, your love is infinite and embraces all people and all of creation. Hear our prayers for peace in the lands of Israel and Palestine. Give wisdom to all who work for a just peace that they will not grow weary in their efforts. May the cries coming from your people in the Holy Land resonate around the world, awakening us to prayer and solidarity. Inspired by your love, may we acknowledge our common humanity.

Jesus, born in the lands that we call holy, we hear you weep as closed minds and acts of injustice separate people in that place today. We issue our cry for hope, a cry that hope is still possible. We dream of equality for all Israelis and Palestinians and embrace your vision of love, mercy, forgiveness and compassion.

Holy Spirit, lead us and all peoples to reach out across the barriers that divide. May hearts be opened and fists unclenched. God of Peace, hear our prayer.

by Helen Rainger
St Saviour’s Cathedral Parish