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Praying for Gaza

Date Thursday, 9th May 2024

Preached by Sarina Saddiq

Over the last 7 months our world has been witness to a heartbreaking situation in the Middle East, and from here in London, however separate we may feel, we have watched the immense suffering of those made in God’s image in Gaza. With onslaughts of information and political debate, it can be hard to know what we can do for the people experiencing this war. Even when we feel the most helpless or confused, we can be assured that God is reigning, and that he cares deeply for his creation. It is right for us to call out to God, to lament over the suffering that we are seeing, and to ask for his strength and provision for those whose lives are caught up in this conflict. Here are some ways we can be praying at this time, along with information and resources.

An overview of situation:

Hamas’ attack on the 7th October 2023 in Israel killed 1,139 people and left at least 8,730 people injured with an unknown number of hostages still being held in Gaza.

The following escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory has led to months of unrelenting fighting and deprivation in Gaza. Over 43,000 Palestinians have been killed, including 14,500 children and 8,400 women. More children have been reported killed in Gaza in the last 6 months than in all conflicts worldwide in the last four years. 77,368 people have been injured in Gaza, with more than 8,000 missing. 85% of the population of Gaza has been displaced. In the West Bank, at least 489 people, including more than 124 children have been killed and more than 4,800 people have been injured.

In Gaza:

  • More than half of Gaza’s homes have been destroyed or damaged
  • 80% of commercial facilities are damaged
  • 90% of school buildings have been damaged
  • 11 out of 35 hospitals are partially functioning
  • 83% of groundwater wells not operational
  • 267 places of worship have been damaged

The situation in Gaza is devastating, and the suffering is heartbreaking. We know that we can pray to our God who hears our prayers, who can heal,  who can bring unity and whose love can shine even through the saddest situations. Below are some points to help guide your prayers as this conflict continues:

Pray for peace

  • Pray for an immediate, long term ceasefire, an end to the violence and the return of remaining hostages.
  • Pray that God works in the hearts of leaders in the region so that they are compelled to make wise decisions that lead to lasting peace.
  • Pray for world leaders with influence globally to make wise decisions that lead to lasting peace.
  • Pray that God’s peace would fill the hearts of everyone who is suffering as a result of this war.

Pray for safety

  • Pray for all civilians – that God would protect them from harm, particularly the most vulnerable, including children, older people, and people with disabilities.
  • Pray for humanitarian workers – for protection for those who are working to provide humanitarian assistance and medical supplies in Gaza.
  • Pray for press workers – for protection for those who are working to document the terrible situation in Gaza so that the world may know what is taking place in this region.
  • Pray for the safe distribution of critical aid and food into Gaza (famine is imminent as 1.1 million people, half of Gaza, are experiencing catastrophic food insecurity). Pray that aid is not blocked and that people are not killed when trying to reach aid trucks.
  • Pray for Palestinians who have been forced to flee their homes – pray for safe places to stay, that they will be able to return home, and be supported in rebuilding damaged homes and infrastructure.
  • Pray for over 1 million refugees, 600,000 of which are children, who are crammed into the small southern Gaza border city of Rafah.

Pray for hope

  • Pray for those who are terrified, mourning and suffering in Gaza. Ask God to save them from despair – for the trauma and violence they’ve experienced not to overshadow hope.
  • Pray for strength for Palestinians who have been facing years of oppression since the Nakba in 1948.
  • Pray that people in Gaza and Israel and those in the wider region wouldn’t lose hope that peace is possible. ‘With God, all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26).

Pray for strength

  • Pray for church leaders in the region – for wisdom and strength to lead people through fear and uncertainty. Pray for bravery as they guide their communities and offer loving support.
  • Pray for Christian communities and faith leaders across the region – for unity, connection and mutual understanding so that they can help bring people together and show kindness.

Pray for healing

  • Pray for people who have been traumatised or injured; ask God to heal their physical and emotional wounds and bring them deep comfort.
  • Pray for hospitals and medical workers who are struggling with limited resources and overwhelming needs as hospitals continue to be targeted in Gaza and medical workers continue to be killed. Ask God to provide all the resources and equipment they need to treat the sick and injured.

Pray that our hearts don’t grow cold

  • Pray that we do not become lukewarm with our prayers and that we continue to hold the plight of the people suffering in this war in our hearts and prayers.
  • Pray that we don’t disconnect from injustices happening in other countries just because they are far away/have been ongoing.
  • Pray that we are bold with our prayers, actions and words when it comes to injustice.
  • Ask God for a desire to educate ourselves on injustices happening around the world.
  • Pray that we remember that all people are made in God’s image and that our hearts should break when we see people suffering.


Rev. Dr. Munster Isaac (Pastor at the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem and the Lutheran Church in Beit Sahour. Academic dean of Bethlehem Bible College, Director of Christ at the Checkpoint conferences)

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