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O God of Sarah and Abraham,  our tears are mixed with yours, weeping for the cities in the world. We weep for the holy cities and especially for Jerusalem...

Prayer

 

O God of Sarah and Abraham,

our tears are mixed with yours, weeping for the cities in the world.

We weep for the holy cities and especially for Jerusalem:

where brothers and sisters kill each other,

where hatred feeds and nourishes anger,

where animosity blinds mercy,

where religions divide, as children learn to hate and the elderly nurse old grudges.

With Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, we pray:

Teach us to walk the way that leads to life.

Transform our grief into determination,

our tears into action, and our acts into a just peace. Amen.

(Pilgrim Prayer, adapted, 4)

 

          The Arab World Blessing - بركة العالم العربي

 

Responsive Psalm 122   

 

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.

 

Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.

 

For there the thrones for judgment were set up, the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.
 

Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers.”
For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, “Peace be within you.”

 

For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
    
I will seek your good.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.

 

Scripture Reading: Luke 5: 1 – 11

 

1Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” 11 When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

 

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

 

Reflection question: How have you dealt with the sense of failure when like Simon you realize that, after having “worked all night” exerting so much effort, there is little or nothing to show as an outcome?  

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession

 

Gracious God, as we pray for the churches and people of Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon, we give thanks for the lands and monuments sacred in the origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Lord, we give you thanks and praise.

 

For all those who unceasingly work for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land,   

Lord, we give you thanks and praise.

 

For the ongoing work of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel and its impact in people’s lives,

Lord, we give you thanks and praise.

 

For all those who continue to welcome the multitudes of refugees in their lands,

Lord, we give you thanks and praise.

 

God of peace, we pray for an end to the violence racking this region, that the people might live together in peace, security, and respect for each other.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

We remember those who have grown weary and disillusioned in searching for solutions. Rekindle the flame of hope.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

God of all, we pray for an end to religious differences being exploited to perpetuate conflict and further displacement of people.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.  

 

God of justice, we pray that political leaders will courageously bring about justice and reconciliation for the sake of all.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.  

(Pilgrim Prayer, 2 – 3)

 

With the words that Jesus taught us, let us now pray together in the language of our hearts –  

 

Our Father…

 

Benediction

 

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and all peace in faith, so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.