A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Prayers for Lent, Day 33: Give Up, Take On, Pray

        Racism, prejudice and discrimination still exist in the world, and the Jews have endured the longest continuous manifestation of this racism. I have written that we, as Palestinians, should face Israel candidly and say that we are appalled by the Holocaust, that we should open our hearts "and with a new, magnanimous attitude we should say to the Jews, 'We will accept you and share the land with you. You have suffered for so long. Come share our land. This is God's land. We will live in it together as brothers and sisters.'"  
                   ~ Naim Stifan Ateek* 1937-

             After the discoveries and acknowledgement of the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust, a homeland for the Jews was sympathetically promoted for Palestine as "A Land Without People for People Without A Land" except the flaw in the ointment of the great repatriation was there were people already there, a few Jewish people and also non-Jewish people - Muslims, Christians, and non-believers. The debates, the wars, the persecutions, the walls, the guns, the bombs, the bloodshed continue and escalate on a daily basis....and yet, Who does any of the Earth really belong to? We cannot take the land with us when we die but so many are willing to die - or to kill - to prove it.

God of Heaven and of Earth, and of all the Universes known and unknown:
           We grieve for the pain and suffering, the torment and anger on all sides of this and every other feud over who can, must, should, shouldn't, can't live here or there. Deep as the core of this earth, the anguish belongs to everyone. We are all Your people - please, we implore, we beseech, we beg You - show Your care for Your children and help us learn to care for each other and to live together in peace, safety, and freedom.  Open our eyes, our hearts, and our souls to see ourselves in each other's faces and especially in the faces of all of our children. 
          For today I must give up worrying more about fixing blame and take on learning more about the history of all sides of a conflict whether in the Middle East, my country, my city, or even my family. I pray for the courage to support those who abhor violence and who will encourage dialogue to promote understanding among us all. I entreat You through the Saving Love of Jesus the Christ and the Wisdom of Your Holy Spirit who live and reign with You as one, the God of Abraham, for now, for tomorrow, for eternity. amen.

*The Rev Dr Naim Ateek is a Palestinian priest in the Anglican Church and founder of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. A former Canon of St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem, Dr. Ateek is a much sought after lecturer at home and abroad and receives support across all denominations and faith traditions including those of the Jewish faith.  As a well-respected author of a number of books and articles on Palestinian Liberation Theology, Dr. Ateek has been the recipient of many honors and awards for his work.

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