Friday, September 21, 2012

Sabeel's Wave of Prayer and the Sabeel Conference set for Albuquerque

Friends, I am sorry that I have been AWOL for a while this summer. No excuses, I just got diverted. 

I hope the posts I send in the coming days will be helpful. This one from Sabeel addresses concerns of this week. I especially draw your attention to the important Sabeel Conference in Albuquerque next weekend (Sept. 27-28). I will be there but if you can't be, please hold this event in prayer.

Sabeel's Wave of Prayer

Each Thursday at noon in Jerusalem, Sabeel holds a Communion service that is open to the community. It is a time to join together to discuss how the scriptures apply to our lives today, to pray for the needs of this region and our world and to share the Eucharist. Starting in the Pacific Islands, passing through Asia, Africa, Palestine, Europe, the Americas and on around the globe, we pray for peace with justice.

Sabeel Wave of Prayer, September 20, 2012

·        Heavy on our hearts is the condemnable anti-Islam film released last week and the horrible acts of violence that followed. Lord of peace, please lead us into a mutual respect of all people and all faiths. Bring about a swift end to all the abusive speech and violent contempt that have been stirred up between religious communities in numerous countries across the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. We praise you for those who seek peace amidst these incendiary circumstances - especially for the less-publicized non-violent responses of many Muslims, and for the words of inter-religious reconciliation given by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Lebanon last week. Lord, in your mercy...

·        Sovereign Lord, we bring before you the forthcoming appeal to the UN General Assembly for the Palestinian Authority to become an observer non-member state. We pray that the Palestinian people, having their own identity, culture, *and human dignity, would be recognized as such and allowed to use their own voices to represent themselves before the UN. Please grant that they would receive the necessary number of votes, and bless their efforts with a favorable outcome. Lord, in your mercy....

·        We pray for the upcoming Friends of Sabeel in North America Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Praise God for Immanuel Presbyterian Church who has volunteered to host the event. We pray for all attendees, speakers and organizers, and for the event to be well attended. God please use this conference to teach us important truths about yourself and about the current injustices in Israel and Palestine. Lord, in your mercy...

·        We pray also for the Sabeel young adults who have begun meeting to discuss Father Rafiq Khoury's new book on contextual theology. Please encourage them with this fellowship and with a deeper understanding of how the Gospel is relevant to the specific challenges and joys of life in the context of Palestine and Israel. Lord, in your mercy...

·        Finally, we pray alongside the World Council of Churches for the countries of Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania. We praise you, God, for the long history of Christians in these places who give their lives to prayer and to the service of the poor and marginalized. Protect those who face discrimination, and bring about a stable economic and political system. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

[For more about Sabeel, go the the website.  Sabeel is an ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians. Inspired by the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, this liberation theology seeks to deepen the faith of Palestinian Christians, to promote unity among them and lead them to act for justice and peace. Sabeel strives to develop a spirituality based on love, justice, peace, nonviolence, liberation and reconciliation for the different national and faith communities. The word "Sabeel" is Arabic for 'the way' and also a 'channel' or 'spring' of life-giving water. Sabeel also works to promote a more accurate international awareness regarding the identity, presence and witness of Palestinian Christians as well as their contemporary concerns. It encourages individuals and groups from around the world to work for a just, comprehensive and enduring peace informed by truth and empowered by prayer and action.]

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