Put on the desk in front of you some medicine or pain relief tablets, a lighted candle, a cross, your house keys and a newspaper.
Look at: The medicine or pills in front of you.
Consider: The people of Gaza who are desperately short of all medical aid.
Pray: Jesus, my Lord, your ministry always features healing, forgiveness, new life. Be the healer now at work throughout the ruins of Gaza. Move among her wounded people, bringing healing to broken bodies and shattered spirits, rescuing from despair and restoring hope. Bring wholeness to every person… for only You can.
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Look at: Your house keys.
Consider: The people of Gaza and Israel long for security: to be safe within their own home.
Pray: Jesus, my Lord, you tell us that ‘in the world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.’ Be the overcomer now. Take away the chronic fear, hatred, mistrust and insecurity… for only You can.
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Look at: Your lit candle.
Consider: The whole of the Middle East boils with claim, counter-claim and accusations of bias.
Pray: Jesus, my Lord, you are truth indeed. You say ‘The truth will make you free.’ Chase away the lies and distortions swirling around us. Hold us to the truth, even with all its awful pain. Then breathe into everyone its freedom… for only You can.
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Look at: Your cross.
Consider: There is a small Christian community in Gaza, mainly Orthodox and Baptist; a hospital with 80 beds run by the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem; plus many other Christian projects.
Pray: Jesus, my Lord, your witnesses are often few but you say ‘Be of good cheer, little flock.’ May your people stay utterly faithful in their witness, their words, their deeds and their prayers… for only You can sustain them.
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Look at: Your newspaper.
Consider: Gaza and her children are always in the news because there is so much devastation there, crying out for reconstruction and reconciliation.
Pray: Jesus, my Lord, you ‘make all things new.’ Give wholly new visions and politics to the Middle East, built on your call to justice, truth and mercy. Yes, Lord, make that region new… for only You can.
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Look at: Your own hands.
Consider: All that lies within your grasp.
Pray: Jesus, my Lord, help me so to serve you, that I may be part of the answer to my prayers. Use my skills, however small or scared I feel. Help me make a difference… for only You can.
Lord of all, hear my prayers. Amen.
Written by Rev Nichola Jones (Methodist Church) for the 2009 Christian Aid Lent Pilgrimage: "Journey to Jerusalem"