Prayer for Israel: A Nation at War
Last week, when our friends at the Jewish Community Center and Judea Reform had their lives interrupted by yet another threat of violence in the form of a bomb threat, I began to compose a letter to you. Before I finished that letter, intense violence broke out in Israel and Gaza as Hamas brazenly and violently attacked Israel. Hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians have been killed as a result. Many others have been kidnapped and are being held hostage. Destruction abounds across the region. We cannot be silent in the face of such horror. We have friends and neighbors in Durham who have already been dealing with persecution, threats, and hateful rhetoric against them because of their faith, race, and culture. They have friends and family members in Israel and Palestine and are terrified about what might happen to them, or what already has happened.
As Christians, we follow a leader of peace. Jesus never chose violence as a solution. Violence is not the answer for people of faith who live in a covenant of love with God and with our neighbors. While there are many things we cannot do in this horrendous situation, we can offer words and gestures of support and kindness to our neighbors in Durham who are feeling attacked locally and globally. As others lash out with antisemitism and religious hatred, we can offer our prayers and support and seek to counterbalance the darkness and despair with regular infusions of light and hope.
I invite you to join with me in this prayer for peace among all the nations:
God of all the nations, we cry out to you for peace. We cry out for an end to acts of hatred and violence against innocent people of all ages in Israel and Gaza. We pray for an end to the horror. Stop the madness. Bring about the peace and love that we are called to share with our neighbors of every race and creed. May anything and everything we do here reflect that peace and love you have shown us through Jesus. God give us peace. Give the world peace. Save your people. Save us all. We lift our voices in prayer. Amen.