A prayer for Palestine and Israel

“Then justice will dwell in the land
and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
The effect of righteousness will be peace
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.” — Isaiah 32:16-17

In December 2013, Hashem Al Attar stood in front of his tin-roofed, one-story, two-room concrete home in the Beit Lahia area of northern Gaza. Beit Lahia is one of the areas where MCC is providing a month of food to people affected by the recent conflict with Israel. MCC's partner, Al Najd Development Forum, is working in this area to address food shortages and malnutrition, which were problems even before the assault. (MCC Photo/Ryan Rodrick Beiler)

In December 2013, Hashem Al Attar stood in front of his tin-roofed, one-story, two-room concrete home in the Beit Lahia area of northern Gaza. Beit Lahia is one of the areas where MCC is providing a month of food to people affected by the recent conflict with Israel. MCC’s partner, Al Najd Development Forum, is working in this area to address food shortages and malnutrition, which were problems even before the assault. (MCC Photo/Ryan Rodrick Beiler)

O God of life and love and peace,
As the cycle of violence in Palestine and Israel repeats itself,
Our hearts break once again.

Our hearts break for the people of Gaza —
For those killed and injured and displaced by Israeli bombardments
For the children and young people who have witnessed and experienced violence
For the parents who cannot protect and provide for their families
For the grandparents who have lost hope and a will to live
For all who live with indescribable suffering.

Our hearts break for all Palestinians—
For the victims of violent attacks throughout Palestine
For those who have endured decades of occupation and oppression
For those whose homes and olive orchards have been demolished
For those who languish in Israeli prisons
For those who steadfastly choose nonviolent resistance
For those whose rage has turned to hatred and violence.

Our hearts break for the people of Israel—
For those threatened by rocket attacks
For the families of abducted and murdered teenagers
For those who live with fear and insecurity
For those who re-live the trauma of the past over and over
For those who work for a just peace for all
For those who support violent force as the only way to security.

Our hearts break for the wider world—
For those who are indifferent to the pain in your “holy land”
For those who distort or turn their eyes from truth
For those who label all resistance, even nonviolent resistance, as “terrorism”
For those who fail to see the humanity of all your children.

Heal us all, O God. Heal the brokenness.

May weapons and war, apathy and blame be laid down
May diminishing and demonizing of “the other” cease.
May there be acknowledgement of harms committed
May there be new energy for building bridges of understanding
May there be new efforts to address root causes of the violence
May there be new visions of a shared and peaceful future.

O God, whose heart breaks for the world,
May your justice dwell in the land
May your righteousness abide in fruitful fields
May the effect of righteousness be quietness and trust forever
May the effect of justice be peace — enduring peace.

Amen

By Esther Epp-Tiessen, Public Engagement Coordinator for the Ottawa Office.

5 thoughts on “A prayer for Palestine and Israel

  1. Both Palestinians and Israelis are God’s children with so many innocent keenly suffering. We do indeed pray for all who fail to see the humanity of all His childen wherever violence and injustice exist.

  2. A Spanish translation:

    Oh Dios de la vida y el amor y la paz,
    A medida que el ciclo de violencia en Palestina e Israel se repite,
    Nuestros corazones se rompen una vez más.

    Nuestros corazones se rompen para el pueblo de Gaza –
    Para los muertos y heridos y desplazados por los bombardeos israelíes
    Para los niños y jóvenes que han sido testigos y víctimas de violencia
    Para los padres que no pueden proteger y sustentar a sus familias
    Para los abuelos que han perdido la esperanza y la voluntad de vivir
    Para todos los que viven con el sufrimiento indescriptible.

    Nuestros corazones se rompen para todos los palestinos-
    Para las víctimas de ataques violentos por toda Palestina
    Para aquellos que han sufrido décadas de ocupación y la opresión
    Para aquellos cuyos hogares y olivares han sido demolidas
    Para aquellos que languidecen en las cárceles israelíes
    Para aquellos que firmemente se elija la resistencia no violenta
    Para aquellos cuya rabia ha convertido en odio y violencia.

    Nuestros corazones se rompen para el pueblo de Israel-
    Para las personas amenazadas por los ataques con misiles
    Para las familias de los adolescentes secuestrados y asesinados
    Para aquellos que viven con el miedo y la inseguridad
    Para los que vuelven a vivir el trauma del pasado una y otra vez
    Para aquellos que trabajan por una paz justa para todos
    Para los que apoyan la fuerza violenta como el único camino hacia la seguridad.

    Nuestros corazones se rompen para el mundo en general-
    Para aquellos que son indiferentes al dolor en su “tierra santa”
    Para aquellos que distorsionan o giren sus ojos de la verdad
    Para aquellos que etiquetan toda resistencia, incluso la resistencia no violenta, como “terrorismo”
    Para aquellos que no pueden ver la humanidad de todos sus hijos.

    Sane todos nosotros, oh Dios. Curar el quebrantamiento.

    Que las armas y la guerra, la apatía y la culpa se establezcan
    Que el disminuido y demonización del “otro” cese.
    Que haya reconocimiento de los daños cometidos
    Que haya una nueva energía para construir puentes de entendimiento
    Que haya nuevos esfuerzos para abordar las causas profundas de la violencia
    Que haya nuevas visiones de un futuro compartido y pacífico.

    Oh Dios, cuyo corazón se rompe por el mundo,
    Que habite tu justicia en la tierra
    Que vuestra virtud habite en campos provechosos
    Que el efecto de la justicia sea tranquilidad y seguridad para siempre
    Que el efecto de la justicia sea la paz – una paz duradera.

    Amén

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