In the wake of the killing of an Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza by Israeli security forces, subsequent missile strikes from Gaza into southern Israel, and retaliatory air strikes by Israel, 34 Gazans - including civilian children and adults, were killed last month and 111 wounded. Fifty-three Israelis received medical attention for shrapnel wounds, injuries incurred while seeking protection, and symptoms of acute stress.
An intercession for the people of Gaza (or download a pdf version):
God of peace, whose beloved Son was born nearby in Bethlehem, we pray for the people of Gaza that they may be assured of your unfailing love.
Grant them freedom from fear and give them hope for a future safe from harm. In the midst of their sorrow, keep them from despair.
For all who are injured, in mind, body, and soul, we pray they find healing.
For all who have been killed, we pray they find rest.
For all who grieve, we pray they find comfort.
For leaders on all sides, we pray for a renewed will to lay down arms, for the strength to put the grievances and wrongs suffered by their people to rest, and for the conviction to embrace a path of reconciliation and peace that preserves the rights and dignity of all of your children.
God of justice, help us to remember there is no border that can separate us from your great love, no stone that can sound the well of your deep mercy.
Bless our sisters and brothers in Gaza, especially your servants at Ahli Arab Hospital whose loving and tender care for all of their neighbors reveals the face of Christ.
With abiding hope for a just and lasting peace in the land of the Holy One, we ask all this in the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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