But Who Will Pray for Palestine?

Image Source: CreationSwap

Image Source: CreationSwap

Note: I am taking a slightly different direction today, looking at an international affair. I know it’s not what I normally write in this space, but I invite you to stick with me and linger here today. These words have been burning in me.

The news has been full of the escalating violence between Israel and Hamas. It’s an intensely volatile situation, as most situations in the Middle East usually are.

Calls for prayer, email alerts, memes, profile picture changes, social media activity from high profile spiritual leaders all seem to have a common thread; the dominant Christian response I have seen is “Pray for Israel.” I’m sure there have been other responses, but they are not as visible, at least not in my corner of the world.

I will be clear: with all my heart, I believe in praying for Israel. I believe Scripture instructs us to pray for Israel. There is no question that the existence of this nation is continually threatened, that her enemies make no secret of wishing they could wipe her off the face of the earth. You cannot ignore the significance of such a tiny nation being the constant center of global conflict and concern. Obviously, Israel matters.

But so does Palestine.

Palestine matters because there are people there. People with hearts and souls and dreams and thoughts. People with hopes for their future and aspirations for their children. Some of them are innocent; some of them are not. Some of them have been deceived by Hamas; some of them wish they could be free of Hamas. Some of them have no idea of the global significance of the horror they are facing; they are only concerned with surviving another day.

But they are people. And they matter to God.

I attended Christian school growing up, and I can always remember shaking my head at the irony of student athletes praying for God to help them win their game. As if the other teams at the other Christian schools we were playing against weren’t praying for the same thing. How does God decided whose side to take? And I realize the attacks and violence happening are on a totally different scale, and I realize Israel is God’s chosen nation – but I don’t think that always means what we think it means. I don’t think the sides we begin to draw up and take always represent the way He is seeing the situation.

I am not here to debate theology or politics or global issues. Ultimately I’m less concerned with what I think or anyone else thinks, but I am very concerned with what I know.

And I know with unshakeable certainty that God loves people. All people. His heart breaks over lives taken and lives broken. All lives.

So please – please do pray for Israel. But don’t pray one-sided prayers. Don’t add on, “And help Palestine too” as an afterthought. Pray for Palestine too. Lives are hanging in the balance on all sides – lives that are precious to God. Lives that are worthy of our prayers and our awareness and our voices speaking on their behalf.

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2 Comments

Filed under Church, Prayer

2 responses to “But Who Will Pray for Palestine?

  1. I so agree. Praying and hoping to remember these words of Jesus.
    Thanks, Adela.

    Matthew 5:43“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47“If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  2. He’s not willing that any should perish. God have mercy on us all.

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