As I write this pastoral message my mind and heart are seeking the Holy Spirit to prevail in our understanding, in our reactions and in our witness as disciples of Jesus with the war-torn state of Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
My initial reaction was shock, horror, concern and confusion. I needed time to process and ask the Lord to help me to say something as a church leader that would exalt Jesus’ name. In my early morning walk on Tuesday 10 October God responded to my prayer with the word “Chaos” and he directed me to Genesis 1:1-2.
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
How amazing is our God. He created the heavens and earth from chaos and ordered light to appear and there was light.
Friends, God is concerned with the light of His son Jesus to be shown to all nations and corners of the Universe. I invite you to pray and fast as a response for the people of Israel and the Palestinians during this time. Pray for God people Israel that the light that has guided its nation since Abraham call (Genesis 12:1-9) will be evident in today’s activities.
As followers of Jesus, we are commanded by God to pray for the peace of Israel as
Psalm 122:6-7 reads:
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. 7 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”
“Father God, remove the veil You have sovereignly placed over the eyes of Israel that they would recognize their Yeshua as their Messiah.” (2 Corinthians 3:14)
A PRAYER FOR PEACE IN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
BY ROSE MARIE BERGER
“They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain…” —Isaiah 11:9
God of Comfort,
send your Spirit to encompass all those whose lives
are torn apart by violence and death in Israel and Palestine.
You are the Advocate of the oppressed
and the One whose eye is on the sparrow.
Let arms reach out in healing, rather than aggression.
Let hearts mourn rather than militarize.
God of Love,
we lift up Palestine and Israel — its people, its land, its creatures.
War is a monster that consumes everything in its path.
Peace is a gift shared at meals of memory with Christians, Muslims, and Jews.
Let us burn incense, not children. Let us break bread, not bodies.
Let us plant olive groves, not cemeteries.
We beg for love and compassion to prevail
on all your holy mountains.
God of Hope,
we lift up the cities of the region: Gaza City and Tel Aviv,
Ramallah and Ashkelon, Deir El Balah and Sderot,
so long divided, yet so filled with life and creativity.
Come again to breathe peace on your peoples
that all may recognize you.
God of Mercy,
even now work on the hearts of combatants
to choose life over death, reconciliation over retaliation,
restoration over destruction. Help us resist antisemitism in all its forms,
especially in our own churches. All people, Israelis and Palestinians,
deserve to live in peace and unafraid, with a right to determine
their future together.
God of the Nations,
let not one more child or elder be sacrificed on altars of political expediency.
Keep safe all people from unjust leaders who would exploit
vulnerability for their own distorted ends.
Give wise discernment to those making decisions to pursue peace.
Provide them insight into fostering well-being, freedom, and thriving for all.
Teach all of us to resolve injustices with righteousness, not rockets.
Guard our hearts against retaliation, and give us hearts for love alone.
Strengthen our faith in you, O God of All Flesh,
even when we don’t have clear answers,
so that we may still offer ourselves non-violently
for the cause of peace.