Join Me in Prayer
On Tuesday, it was reported that the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza had
been destroyed by a missile strike, with hundreds feared dead. There are
varying reports about who was responsible for the attack, with each
side in the Israel-Hamas conflict accusing the other. While it is
impossible at this stage to sort out questions of responsibility, I can
say now that my heart is broken. The Ahli Arab Hospital has been operated for several decades by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, with strong financial support from many Episcopalians through American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem,
a group I appreciate for its support of many schools and hospitals in
the Holy Land. I was able to tour the Holy Land with two board members
in 2017, including several of the diocese’s schools and hospitals, and I
saw firsthand the loving and dedicated work they do.
The loss of life at the Ahli Arab Hospital is horrifying. We weep for the hundreds of dead and wounded, for the loss of medical experts and humanitarians, and for the diocese whose ministries are deeply affected by this devastating loss. As a Christian hospital, Ahli Arab has long treated all people, seeing everyone as a child of God.
This week, there was a call from Christian church leaders of the 13 denominations in the Holy Land, including Anglicans, to fast and pray for peace in the Holy Land. I ask you to join me in prayer for relief of the suffering of innocent civilians in Israel and Gaza. Pray for victims and for humanitarian relief for civilians who are in danger. Pray for the dead, the wounded, those still held hostage after the Hamas attacks on Israel, those who are refugees, and all innocent civilians who suffer from the actions of the powerful. Pray for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Pray for world leaders who may be able to bring an end to the conflict. Pray also for peace here in our country. A horrifying attack on a 6-year-old Muslim boy in Chicago this week killed him and grievously injured his mother. Jews in the US have also experienced anti-Semitic threats. Pray that all of us may respect and protect the dignity and safety of all of our fellow citizens.
Pray for peace in the Holy Land, that people of all faiths may live together in security and that the land that is home to three of the world’s great religions may reflect God’s peace that passes understanding.
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, all people may live in justice and peace. We pray now for peace among the nations, and especially for the people of Israel and Palestine. Guide us all into the way of justice and truth, and establish among us that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that all people may live and flourish in the world you have created. All this we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bishop Susan Brown Snook