BISHOP DR. MUNIB A. YOUNAN -- Evangelical Lutheran Church

April 8, 2003

Salaam and grace to you from Jerusalem, the city of Christ's death and resurrection.

At this time of difficulty and hopelessness throughout the world, we in the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCJ) invite you to join us  in Palestine, Jordan and Israel as we bring the following petitions to our Lord in our prayers during Holy Week 2003.
Gracious God,

We pray for those who have lost hope and live in hopelessness, that their faith and hope may be restored.

We pray for those who believe in the culture of coercion, that God may change their hearts so they may believe in a culture of negotiation and dialogue.

We pray that the war in Iraq will be halted so that the blood shed may end.

We pray for the Palestinian people - the children, young people, women and men - people who live under military occupation, that they may see the promise of God in the liberation of Christ's death on the cross.

We pray for the liberation of Israeli people from their fear and insecurity so they may understand that by ending the military occupation they liberate themselves as well as the Palestinians.

We pray for the Christian Church that has been witnessing to Christ's salvific act on the cross and his resurrection from the dead, that the Church may continue to witness for the Risen Lord and advance God's Kingdom of love, forgiveness, just peace and reconciliation.

We pray for all those who have lost their dear ones, or are injured, or are handicapped, or are imprisoned, or are bitter, or are living in hatred, that God may grant to them healing and the peace of the cross.

We pray for Palestinian Christians and the unity of the Church, that they may be  living witnesses in their suffering.

We pray for world leaders, that they will not burn the bridges of peace and dialogue, and that they may not trust power and force but rather trust in the good will of human beings and in the self-determination of every nation.

We pray for the partner churches of the ELCJ whose voices in the world and the Middle East have composed a symphony of justice and reconciliation, even though their voices have been and continue to be disturbing to others, that they may continue to be voices in the wilderness of ignorance, misunderstanding and war.

We pray that Palestinians may have their own state within the 1967 borders, living side by side with Israel in justice, peace, equality and reconciliation.

We pray for the people of living conscience from various religions that are working together to change our world with mutuality, tolerance, respect for the aspirations of others and a culture of peace.

We pray for the ELCJ bishop, pastors, congregations, schools, diaconal work, reconciliation work, dialogue work and ecumenism, that they may continue with the other Palestinian Christian churches to be salt in their societies and continue to be witnesses of Christ's Resurrection.

Together we bring all our prayers to the foot of the cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCJ)
P.O. Box 14076, Old City Jerusalem 91140, via Israel