Praying for peace (23-10-23)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 122:6-9
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels."
For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, "Peace be within you."
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity.
Bible Reading: Ephesians 2:11-14
You Gentiles by birth… remember what you were in the past.
At that time you were apart from Christ.
You were foreigners and did not belong to God's chosen people.
You had no part in the covenants, which were based on God's promises to his people,
and you lived in this world without hope and without God.
But now, in union with Christ Jesus you, who used to be far away,
have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For Christ himself has brought us peace by making Jews and Gentiles one people.
With his own body he broke down the wall that separated them and kept them enemies.
On Saturday 7th October, more Jews were killed in a single day than on any other day since the Holocaust, many entire families murdered in their homes and villages. Since then many hundreds more have been killed, both Israelis and Palestinians as centuries-old conflicts are fanned into flame by extremists and terrorists today.
As we have watched with horror as this situation has unfolded on our screens, let us continue to hold these people before God and pray, as the psalmist calls us to, for the peace of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem today is the home of both Israelis and Arabs and a place that Christians, Jews and Muslims all regard as sacred. As we pray for the peace of Jerusalem we are therefore, by default, praying for the peace of the neighbouring towns and villages, as well as the countries that look on from its borders.
As Paul explains to the Ephesians, the death of Jesus brings an end to the hostility between Jew and Gentile as they become one through faith in Jesus. Today there are many churches where Israeli and Arab Christians worship together in peace. Let us also pray for their protection and that the light of Christ would shine from them into the darkness around them.
A Prayer, then, for the peace of Jerusalem:
God our Protector,
May those who love you, Israeli and Arab, families and friends, be secure.
Lord, have mercy.
May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels... in Israel, Gaza and Lebanon.
Christ, have mercy.
For the sake of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity,
for the injured, for the homeless, for the bereaved,
we pray for emergency aid, for food, for water and for medical care.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy on us.