Pray for the Holy Land

The Most Rev. Hosam Naoum addressing those gathered at Virginia Theological Seminary over a livestream.

At this time of war and destruction occuring in the Holy Land, the leaders of the Christian churches in Jerusalem are calling for the hostilities to cease, for the leaders in Israel and Gaza to lay down their weapons, and for the safety of all the people in the region, especially those who have been taken hostage by Hamas.

Christians the world over have been called upon to mark today as a day of fasting and prayer for the Holy Land.

The following Litany for the Holy Land is offered by the Rev. Leyla Kamalick King, a Palestinian-American priest in Texas:

God of Love, you created all people as one family and called us to live together in justice, harmony, and peace.

Surround us with your love as we pray for the Holy Land.  Lord, in your mercy,
God of Righteousness, who demands that our worldly governors take up their responsibility to protect those in their charge and uphold the dignity of all human beings, pour your wisdom into the leaders of this world [especially Benjamin Netanyahu, the leaders of Hamas, and Joe Biden].  

For all who bear such responsibility, that they may put the good of the whole over their own greed for power, Lord, in your mercy,

God of Compassion, who even in the darkest times, shows us your path: we give you thanks for all those who in the face of crisis wrought by evil-doers, work to help the helpless, to hold out hope to the desolate, to speak for the voiceless and to bring understanding and knowledge to a world darkened by ignorance and hate.

For our siblings who risk much to aid others, that their actions may be successful, and their words may be heard, Lord, in your mercy,

God of Mercy, who binds up the wounds of those who suffer, bless the victims of the consequences of fear and hate in the last week and over the past 75 years of conflict in the Holy Land: those injured and traumatized, those bereaved and grieving, those held as captives and prisoners, those who face deprivation and desperation because of systems of violence and oppression, so that they may move forward in this life standing firm in your truth and avoiding the temptation of vengeance.

For all whose lives are forever marked by suffering, that they may be blessed with the hope of your presence, Lord, in your mercy,

God of Life, whose faithfulness to us is never-ending, we remember before you those who have died by the violence that has become shockingly routine in your Holy Land; receive them into your heart where they may know the peace and joy of eternal life in you.

For all who have died, that they may rest in that place where pain is no more, Lord, in your mercy,

God of Justice, who calls us to uphold the dignity of every human being, every child of this earth, beloved of you: empower your Church to help you heal this terrible cycle of violence and revenge; give us courage to rise above our fear that nothing can be done in the face of the conflict and chaos of our own creating; grant us the conviction to advocate for change and to work for the establishment of your peace, your shalom, your salaam, in this broken world.

For your dream of justice and peace on earth, and for us, that we may take up your call to build it, Lord, in your mercy,

All this we pray in the name of the One who offered his life so that we might live, Jesus Christ. AMEN.

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