Pray for God’s purposes to be fulfilled in these areas:
- A just settlement of the land issue, and the future of both the Jewish settlements in Palestine and the Palestinians in Israel itself. Both sides feel strong claims to the land. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their exclusive capital.
- Improved living conditions. Estimates suggest that 70% of Gaza live in deep poverty, and 80% depend on external aid. Only 28% of Gaza have regular access to clean water. Debate over the causes and the fault does not change the fact that there is much suffering.
- A legitimate and effective leadership to govern Palestine. Political groups Fatah and the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) both have low approval ratings, but somehow retain power and influence. Together with the sometimes heavy-handed treatment by Israel, this leaves many open to recruitment by radical and violent Islamic groups. Pray for every Palestinian family to hear and see the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Pray not only for the peace of Jerusalem, but also that both sides meet the Prince of Peace. It is through Him alone that any meaningful reconciliation will come.
Palestinian Christians find themselves attacked or betrayed from all sides. They are regarded as Arab Palestinians by Israel and as Western collaborators by extremist Muslims, and they are generally ignored or abandoned by the global Church. Yet they trace their roots back to pre-Islamic times. Their numbers in Palestine itself have declined at an accelerating rate, largely due to emigration. The pull to leave is strong, with a vastly greater quality of life available elsewhere, and with increasing pressures from Israel on one side and Islamists on the other. Pray that those who remain might continue to stay strong in both their Christian faith and in their commitment to live out the gospel in very difficult conditions. Pray that they might also know God's protection.
Arab evangelicals number several thousand in 30 churches, most on the West Bank. They feel isolated and rejected by Jews, Arabs, traditional Christians and even Western evangelicals. The formation and operations of the Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land are very positive developments. The loss of leadership through emigration is very damaging. Bethlehem Bible College plays a key role in training new leaders but faces many challenges. Pray for this ministry, and pray for courage, endurance and a spirit of love for evangelicals in Palestine. Pray especially for believers from a Muslim background to stay strong and to grow in their new faith.
Palestinian exiles make up 61% of all Palestinians. While Israel's harshness toward them was not admirable, neighbouring Arab lands were grudging and unhappy hosts. Palestinians in exile have mostly lived for generations in refugee camps (breeding grounds for extremism) and still face the spectre of poverty and uncertainty. Their possible return to the Holy Land remains a hugely divisive issue, since sheer numbers would threaten to swamp Israel's population. Pray for a solution that offers justice and righteousness to these unwanted people. Pray also for Christians to demonstrate love and concern for them in effective ways.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.