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Prayer for Peace in Israel and Palestine

Eastern Mennonite University

October 2023

O God of life and love and peace, 
We witness the violence and injustice in your Holy Land, and our hearts break. 
Our hearts break for the people of Israel— 
For the victims of violent attacks by Hamas 
For those who live with fear and insecurity 
For those who suffer from the inter-generational trauma of violence. 
Our hearts break for Palestinians— 
For the victims of violent attacks by the Israeli military 
For those being denied water, electricity and medical care 
For those who are refugees, long displaced from their homes. 
We especially pray— 
That weapons of war be laid down 
That walls of separation be dismantled 
That prisoners be released 
That demonizing of “the other” cease 
That political leaders seek the good of all people in Palestine and Israel. 
O God, whose heart breaks for the world, 
May your justice dwell in the land 
May your righteousness abide in fruitful fields 
May the effect of righteousness be quietness and trust forever 
May the effect of justice be peace—enduring peace. 

Rick Cober Bauman is executive director of Mennonite Central Committee, Canada. 

This prayer, by pastor and educator Bauman was shared with the Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) community shortly after the violence erupted in the Holy Land on Oct. 7, 2023. It is a way to signal what an Anabaptist response to violence looks like. It is a way to signal that our faith community is more comfortable with prayers than statements. EMU is planning a “teach-in” in the coming weeks where our students and faculty who were just in Israel and Palestine this summer will share their learnings and ideas for remaining in prayer and in support for the suffering.

Mennonite educators, peacebuilders, and missionaries who are part of the larger Mennonite World Conference (MWC) have for many decades been committed to working with partners in both Israel and Palestine to bring forth a just peace. At EMU, we regularly send students and faculty to the Middle East for extended intercultural learning. Faculty with connections to our Seminary, the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and the Center for Interfaith Engagement have spent years in both countries and resource our campus here at home through the curriculum, special lectures and workshops, and leading trips to the Holy Land for our students, alumni and friends. EMU is the alma mater of many actively working for peace in our world today, including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee of Liberia.

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