Prayer Palestinian Territories | 10-10-2023

How to pray for all affected by violent conflict in Israel and Gaza


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Image: Palestinian youth protesting at near the main checkpoint at Bethlehem in 2016, to which Israel responded with tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition.

Your prayers are urgently needed for all caught up in the escalating violence following a surprise attack by Hamas on southern Israel last Saturday (7 October).

Several news outlets have reported that more than 700 people have been killed in Israel since Hamas launched its attacks, including 260 at a music festival. It is reported that more than 100 Israelis have also been kidnapped and taken to Gaza. Israeli authorities announced a state of war and launched massive retaliatory air strikes into Gaza in response, which have already killed more than 500 people. Thousands of people in southern Israel and Gaza have been injured in the ongoing attacks. Christians in Israel and Gaza are asking for prayer – for protection, an end to hostilities, and for justice and peace to reign. Civilians on both sides are living in intense fear, and believers are sharing their experiences and asking for prayer from the global church.

“There is no safe place”

“My family and I feel fear, due to the heavy bombardments, and we feel that the house will fall – it is a permanent earthquake,” a Christian father in Gaza shared with Open Doors partners. He asked to remain anonymous. “We try to hug our children and relieve them of fear and terror.

“We do not know what is coming… all we see, hear and feel is war… explosions and destruction everywhere and the screaming of children from the intensity of the bombing. There is a strong fear of what is coming as there is no safe place in Gaza,” he continues.

This man is one of about 800 Palestinian Christians in Gaza. The churches in Gaza cancelled all their services last weekend, due to the current war and the bombings of the Israeli air force.

Christians in Israel are – like all civilians – also fearful of how they, their families and communities will be affected by ongoing violence. Around two per cent of Israelis identify as Christians.

Open Doors partners working in the region have recently confirmed that they are all currently safe – though one of them, on Saturday morning, had a rocket hit the house next door to them.

How to pray

In this complex, ongoing situation, your prayers are earnestly requested by believers.

The Christian in Gaza asks: “We pray that love and peace will prevail in our country and I ask for a prayer for God's protection over my family and our home, that the war will end quickly, and that the Lord will meet all needs, especially at this time, and that we be can be the light in the middle of this total darkness and reflect the light and love of Christ in Gaza.” Please join with him in this prayer.

Christians in Israel similarly ask for peace and protection, and to be able to shine the light of Christ in an area that is so significant in Jesus’s ministry on earth and in the history of our faith.

Pray for an end to all violence and injustice in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Pray that the church might be a beacon of hope for the people around through their testimony in words and actions.

Pray that the Lord will comfort those who have lost loved ones, or who are waiting to hear about missing family and friends.

Pray also that the international community will work towards lasting peace in the Holy Land.

please pray

Sovereign God, I pray for peace in Israel and Gaza – for an end to hostilities and for peacemakers on both sides. Comfort all who mourn and all who are waiting to hear news of missing loved ones. Give boldness and compassion to Christians on both sides to shine the light of Christ in their communities, and equip national and international leaders with wisdom. May Your will be done, and may Your loving kindness be evident to all. Amen.

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