God of Israel, Lord of all nations, Prince of Peace, we cry out to you today for the people of Israel and Gaza - these very lands you know so well.
First, we pray with all our hearts for those grieving the sudden loss of loved ones, those who've been captured, and those whose homes have suddenly been destroyed. ďA voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." Matt 2:18
Second, we pray for a miraculous de-escalation of this dangerous conflict. Terrible things are being done, thousands have died, hospitals are overflowing, many are suddenly grieving. Violence is provoking violence but we pray for reason to prevail over rage and mindless revenge. May Israelís military response be decisive and appropriate, and may other nations with a vested interest in escalating this crisis somehow be restrained. "He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still!' Then the wind died down and it was completely calm." Mark 4:39
Finally, we pray for active and effective peacemaking at an international political level. May the measured voices of diplomacy constrain warmongering on every side. "Jesus said: 'Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.' Matt 5:7,9
Please note that, in crafting this prayer, I have simply sought to find a few words to intercede for one of the most politically contentious and militarily dangerous regions of the world. I realise that many will object, saying that I havenít gone far enough in one direction or the other. Such people must feel free to add their own, more particular prayers to mine. I accept that my prayer is inadequate. But these lands and these peoples clearly have a special place in the heart and purposes of God and so we must surely pray for them, without worrying too much about getting every word right, especially at a time like this.
Salam / shalom
Credit: used with permission
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