Prayers of Lament and Intercession for Palestine and Israel

Since the October 7 Hamas attack near the Gaza Strip and Israel’s crushing military reaction, violence and destruction have escalated in the land we often call “Holy.” As we lament the carnage among Israelis and Palestinians, let us also pray for those working for a future that ends the deep and longstanding injustices that lie at the root of the crisis. 

Prayers of lament and intercession for Palestine and Israel

From Palestine-Israel Network

God of love and justice, our hearts are perplexed, paralyzed and broken at the recent carnage in Palestine and Israel. We lament the loss of life and the suffering of so many innocent people on both sides. We are shocked at the inhumanity of soldiers and militants.

Our prayers for peace seem to go unanswered. We wish you would intervene. We cling to your promise of a different world, but we see so few signs of its fulfillment. We do not understand.

Still, we continue to believe that you desire life and peace for all people. 

Holy Spirit, strengthen our resolve to advocate for peace, justice, equality, and compassion for all.   Don’t let us turn away.

Comfort all who are overwhelmed with loss—loss of life, loss of homes, loss of safety and security. 

God of the vulnerable and the oppressed, neutralize the power of those who thirst for domination and control. Renew the energy and creativity of those committed to nonviolent resistance and change. 

We pray for the Christian communities in the land where Jesus walked and where the church was born. May their witness to your love remain bright among their Muslim and Jewish neighbours. May they recognize your hand in their lives, even amidst the suffering. 

God of all nations, guide our own government to respond in ways that support the legitimate rights of all, especially those who are most vulnerable, those who continue to suffer after decades of occupation, dispossession, and denial of basic human rights and those who fear for their safety.

May your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Yours is the kingdom, the power, the glory, now and forever. 


From Bethlehem Bible College

A prayer of lament and hope on video: Watch

From Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre

Nov 9th, 2023

It has now been over a month since the beginning of this period of suffering and misery. The situation in Gaza is indescribable. The death toll continues to rise. Stories that manage to be written or scenes captured on camera seem as though they are from a horror film. One tragic story is the tragic bombing of Jabalia refugee camp which killed many people. Along with the 22,000 injured, and the collapse of nearly all services in Gaza, there are thousands of missing people, including more than 1,200 missing children buried under the rubble. Journalists operating in Gaza describe the situation as “Hell on Earth”. 

Holy God, for more than 75 years we have been hurting and experiencing perpetual trauma. The current events in Gaza lead us to the same question of the prophet Jeremiah: “Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable?”. As missiles and white phosphorus rain down from the skies on Gaza, killing all indiscriminately, we ask you O Lord, to show your compassion and mercy for the oppressed. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Since the 7th of October, Israeli forces have intensified their nightly raids of Palestinian homes, villages and cities in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. There have been more than 1,800 arrests. Palestinian detainees endure harsh treatment and are held in poor conditions in Israeli prisons. Moreover, more than 200 Israeli hostages remain in captivity in Gaza, some of whom are elderly and children. 

God of the captives, you were imprisoned and know what it is like to be held captive. We pray for all those wrongfully imprisoned and captured as a method of warfare. In moments of despair, may they know your compassion, in times of distress, may they know your peace. Lord, we pray for the safety of all wrongly incarcerated Palestinian prisoners and the Israeli hostages in Gaza. By your power we pray for their immediate release and safe return home

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

On the 1st of November, many in the Western Church celebrated “All Saints Day” commemorating all the saints and martyrs of the church, known and unknown. The following day commemorates all the faithful who have departed from this earth known as “All Souls Day”. These days provide an opportunity to remember the spiritual connection between the living and those who have passed on.

God of life, we come from a land which has been, and is being, drenched in the blood of the martyrs and saints, known and unknown. We are currently witnessing your saints in Gaza who are doctors, journalists, and rescue teams attempting to save lives and give a voice to the voiceless. We also behold the thousands of martyrs who bear witness through their deaths to the injustices of this world. O Lord, we ask ourselves: what are we doing to stop their crucifixion? We hold on to our faith that the day of resurrection redeems all suffering and liberates the oppressed.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

 Since the 7th of October, Israeli military and settler violence is soaring in the West Bank, particularly in vulnerable communities in Area C. More than 132 Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed, some communities in Area C have been displaced due to increased settler violence. Leaflets have been distributed by settlers warning Palestinians in the West Bank of a forthcoming Nakba. Videos are emerging on social media of Palestinian detainees from the West Bank being tortured and mocked by Israeli soldiers.

God of refuge, as we are overwhelmed by the horrific situation in Gaza, let us not be blind to the evil actions occurring in the West Bank. We are one people who are suffering from the same matrix of coloniality. We lament the lives lost in the West Bank and ask your provision for those displaced from their homes, those under constant threat, and those tortured and abused. we know that the “Lord maintains the cause of the needy, and executes justice for the poor…”

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Since the 7th of October, hundreds of thousands of protestors around the world are calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. These voices come from a mosaic of identities, expressing global concern for all human life in Palestine-Israel. The call for a ceasefire is intended to allow lifesaving humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, ensure the safety of the Israeli hostages in Gaza, and to end the loss of civilian life. 

God of peace, we thank you for all the voices, petitions, and protests calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. These voices witness to your love for all people who are suffering. Each day that passes without a ceasefire, more innocent lives are lost, and the likelihood that prisoners and hostages will be safely released becomes more uncertain.  We come before you, God, asking for you to intervene for an immediate ceasefire.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

On the 31st of October, Sabeel organised a women’s Bible study at Terra Sanctae Parish centre in Beit Hanina. This time offered a space to gather collectively, provided an outlet for the suffering and the pain of the current situation in Palestine-Israel and a chance to wrestle with faith-based questions. The mere act of coming together for prayer and reflection helps in communally supporting one another in times of distress.

Resurrected Christ, we remember that you said where two or three gather in your name, you will be with them. We hold to our faith that you were amongst the women in the Bible Study organised by Sabeel. We thank you for this opportunity to gather and reflect on your loving heart for creation. We hope that these meetings will help foster a faith that is steadfast like the olive tree.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the islands of Oceania: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia (Maohi Nui), Kanaky, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer