Prayers for the Middle East

20.10.2023 | Moderator, Church in Society, Prayer, Church Life

In a week that has witnessed continued bloodshed in the Middle East, since the attack by Hamas on Israel nearly two weeks ago, Presbyterian Moderator, Right Reverend Dr Sam Mawhinney, has written to all ministers in PCI’s 500-plus congregations across the island, asking them this Sunday to encourage their members ‘to pray earnestly for this unfolding crisis.’

In his letter, Dr Mawhinney said, “Every day we are witnessing deeply harrowing images on the news and social media of the conflict in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, with the number of people being killed or injured growing fast, and a danger of the conflict escalating more widely…

“The Scriptures remind us, when faced with times of great distress and confusion and as we struggle to grasp divine perspective, that we should pour out our hearts to God in lament (Psalm 62:8) whilst still resting in the assurance of his sovereignty and providence. So, as we lift up in prayer the land of our Lord’s birth and the communities he once walked amongst, let us remember that Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, who performed so many miracles long ago, is still able today to do immeasurably more than all we ask for or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20).”

Speaking about his letter, Dr Mawhinney, who is the minister of Adelaide Road Presbyterian Church in Dublin, said, “In writing to my colleagues, my desire has been to underline the importance of keeping the matter before our congregations this Sunday and beyond.  As disciples of Our Lord Jesus, we know from scripture that ‘the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective’ (James 5:16), as it is when we pray together.”

In Dr Mawhinney’s letter, the Moderator asked people to pray specifically for:

  • The Lord Jesus Christ to intervene in his Sovereign grace and mercy
  • An end to the conflict and the safe release and return of hostages
  • Peace-makers to be raised up and leaders of communities and nations to be brought together in negotiation
  • The grieving and heart-broken to know God’s comfort
  • The traumatised and injured to receive timely, medical treatment and support
  • Humanitarian relief to reach the displaced and most vulnerable, many who have lost everything, that they would know God’s protection and provision.

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