Praying for those who are enemies – 25 February 2019
A family find their way from the wreckage of their homes. This is Gaza, and the clay figures here depict the suffering of many, many families who have had to flee their homes because of destruction. They seem almost mummified, consumed by the death and devastation that has come over them. The sculptures are placed in front of blown-up buildings, what remains of the places of residence of so many affected by this severe conflict.
The clay figures in this installation (2014) were made by the Palestinian artist Iyad Sabbah representing the citizens of Shuja’iyya, who had been bombed out of their homes. They represent a people whose enemies are often far away, not seen.
How can the way of peace be found after this? How can reconciliation be achieved? Did you know that on 24th of each month you can join in the ecumenical prayer vigil for the Middle East.
You can pray in silence or in words.
Prayer in silence:
May our silence speak the peace of God.
May our silence sing the peace of God.
May our silence bring about the peace of God.
Prayer with words:
God of peace, encourage those who seek to establish a fair and just peace in the Middle East. Bless their efforts as they work to end conflict. Lead those who engage in violence to put down their weapons and to live in peace with one another.
God of justice, bless those who work for peace through justice. Strengthen their resolve in the face of seemingly endless violence. Guide the leaders of the
peoples of the Middle East to know your will and to support a just peace for all of your children. God of love, lifting up the holy land for all humankind, breathe love and compassion into our prayers with a desire for nothing other than peace: peace in our hearts, peace for all creation, and especially peace in the land that is called holy.
God of mercy, even as we long to understand that which is often beyond our comprehension, we lay before you the hearts, minds and bodies of all those suffering from conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, and from the ongoing occupation. Shower upon all the people of this holy land the spirit of justice and reconciliation.
In particular we pray for children and young people caught up in terror beyond their understanding or control. We pray for those who have been killed, maimed, bereaved; those who have had their future torn away from them; those whose lives are bleak, lacking opportunity, mobility and hope. We repent of our complicity in silence, our closing our eyes to the needs and wellbeing of the children and our failure to reject the ways of violence, threat and injustice.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our peace and our hope. Amen