Christian leaders in Jerusalem issued this joint prayer in 2014 to be used in services of worship during the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, held annually during the third week of September.
The Jerusalem Prayer
Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. (Hebrews 13:3)
With these words we pray together for those who are in prison all over the world, those easily forgotten. We pray especially for the political prisoners of Palestine and Israel. We pray for the sick among them and those who cannot handle the hardship of a prison cell, for the children and women who are mistreated behind bars. We also remember those left behind, the families who are bereaved as their beloved ones are sent to prison. We pray for inner transformation for those who committed crimes, and in need of conversion. We pray for hearts and minds that are haunted by hatred and fear, that we will soon find peace and reconciliation in souls and in the societies.
This region aches with so much troubles of the body and soul, both presently and in history. In Palestine and Israel today many lack freedom and too many are behind bars. For too long injustice, violence and fear have shaped this region. We pray and ask for human treatment and justice for all, as we are all children of God.
At last we pray for a just peace settlement and reconciliation, a peace where there will be no more political prisoners behind bars and where harmony will prevail in the hearts of all the peoples of this region. We pray for God’s mercy, for freedom for those in shackles and for peace in our time.
As we observe this week with our brothers and sisters from churches all over the world we pray:
Do not hold against us the sins of past generations;
may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
for we are in desperate need.
Help us, God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name’s sake.
Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Before our eyes, make known among the nations
that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants.
May the groans of the prisoners come before you;
with your strong arm preserve those condemned to die.
Psalm 79, 8-11
Each September the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum of the World Council of Churches invites participation in this week of advocacy and action supporting an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel. Congregations and individuals around the globe who share the hope of justice unite during the week to take peaceful actions, together, to create a common international public witness. For more resources click here.