All views expressed in this blog post are the author’s own. They do not necessarily express the views of the Unreached Network or Newfrontiers.
Saturday 7th October 2023. A date that will be seared into the collective memories and consciousness of Israeli’s and Palestinians alike for decades to come. The day when Hamas launched sudden assaults on Southern Israel that left hundreds of Israeli’s dead and the nation reeling in grief and horror at the scale and brutality of the attacks.
As in Israel, men, women and children in Gaza mourn their dead and their shattered lives, with hundreds of Gazans now killed by retaliatory Israeli airstrikes and non-stop bombardments.
The roots of this conflict are deeply complex and go back generations, fed by the mass displacements and dispossession of Palestinians over decades; the continued confiscation of Palestinian land and homes; the political factions that have arisen in Palestine and the interventions of external nations with political and ideological interests in the region.
For those of us watching this terrible crisis unfolding on our phones and media channels, we feel shocked and overwhelmed. How do we pray?
Romans 8:26 says, ‘…we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.’
So let us ask Holy Spirit to fill us with his deep love and compassion and to help us to pray with humility for Israel and Gaza alike. Let us seek to pray in a way that is informed. AlJazeera is a news website that you may find helpful, known as it is for its intelligent reporting: https://www.aljazeera.com/
Please join us in praying:
For those on both sides of the conflict whose loved ones have died or are missing. For those who are injured. Pray for God to reveal himself to them through Jesus, to sit with them in their grief, and to bring deep comfort and healing.
For restraint on both sides. There is an escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza as the people face a vehemence of response from Israel that is seen by many as contravening international rules of war. Relentless Israeli bombardment has reduced large parts of Gaza to rubble and has led to the deaths of many civilians. Israel has imposed a total siege on the Gaza Strip, cutting off all supplies of energy, food and water. Pray for the creation of humanitarian corridors that will enable medical, food, fuel and water supplies to get through and Gazan civilians to be evacuated to safety. Pray for the safe return to their families of the hostages abducted by Hamas.
Pray that God will divinely restrain any harmful responses from other nations that would escalate violence in Gaza and Israel and cause it to spread to other regions. Pray that God will raise up national and international peacemakers and leaders who can negotiate an end to these hostilities and pave the way to a lasting peace.
Lift to God our Christian brothers and sisters in Israel and Gaza. Pray that Holy Spirit will fill them with courage and his living presence, and enable them to reflect the love and light, hope and truth of Christ in this dark time. Pray for the disempowerment of all powers and principalities at work in this conflict. Ask God for righteousness and justice to flow like a mighty river throughout this region and for Jesus to be revealed to many.
You may also join us for a special edition of ‘Friday Prayers’ on Friday 20th October 2023, 7-8am (UK time) on zoom. Join us as we pray for Gaza, Israel and the region. Email us for the invitation.