October 13, 2023
As the scope of the atrocities committed against Israeli people at the hands of Hamas terrorists has continued to unfold this week, I decry the deplorable rampages of death-dealing extremists and anti-semitism in all its forms. Like you, I am horrified by the images and reports of murder, rape, bombing, and kidnapping of innocents in Israel, and I pray for those who remain in danger, grief, and trauma to know the protection and consolation of God.
Additionally, the subsequent siege and bombing of the Gaza Strip is also terrible to behold, as millions of civilians are trapped in a strike zone, without access to food, water, electricity, medical care, or evacuation routes. Please join me in praying for all who suffer unspeakable devastation because of the acts of vicious, unelected militants in their midst.
All people of faith and conscience are called to lament the powers of evil which have again harnessed the worst of humanity’s inclination to dehumanize the Other. History tells us again and again that destruction and despair always follow. Our faith teaches us that reconciliation and love for all of God’s children is the only path to peace and safety.
On Sunday at Trinity, our Holy Land pilgrims led the following litany from the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, so our voices might join those worldwide who pray for peace in this seemingly impossible part of the world. I invite you to join me in prayers for the Holy Land, and for the whole world.
The Rev’d Julia Whitworth
Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church
A Litany for the Restoration of Peace in the Holy Land
God of peace, we pray for the people of Palestine and Israel in these perilous and dangerous times.
For all who are fearful for the safety of their loved ones and themselves, we pray that the assurance of unfailing love, even in the midst of danger, settles upon them. Shelter them from despair and protect them from harm.
For all who are wounded, we pray they find healing.
For all who have died, 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 mercy, help us to remember there is no border that can separate us from your great love and protection, no stone that can sound the well of your deep mercy.
God of justice, we pray with hopeful hearts that your beloved children of the Holy Land will be spared a future of sustained violence and unrest and that a recognition of the humanity of all people will prevail.
We ask all this in the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen