Monthly Archives: October 2023

A Prayer for a Gaza Hospital

A Prayer for A Gaza Hospital

Perhaps you heard it too.  In some of the early accounts of the bombing of the Gaza hospital, it was referred to as the Al-Ahli Arab Baptist Hospital.  The hospital was in fact founded by the Church Mission Society of the Church of England, (Anglican) in 1882.  The Baptist name which seemed to appear in some of the earlier reports, dates from the years 1954-1982 when the hospital was administered and supported by Southern Baptists.  However, since 1982 it has been run by the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem.  It is estimated that there are half a million Christian Palestinians living outside of Palestine, while only a few thousand remain in Gaza and the West Bank.

The hospital has remained in Gaza despite the relatively small Christian population, because it was, as the name Al-Ahli translates, a hospital for all the people.  The Church Mission Society, which founded the hospital, traces its roots back to William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect who are best remembered for their work to abolish slavery in the British Empire.  The presence of this Christian hospital in Gaza has been a sign of the call of Christ on the church to care for the sick in a broken world.  The bombing of the hospital and the suffering it has brought is heartbreaking.

I don’t know what the future holds for this hospital at a time when it is needed more than ever, but even in this time of devastation, its Christian presence in Gaza has served as a reminder that Christ is present in the midst of great terror, suffering and strife.   As we pray for peace in Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, and the surrounding countries, let us also pray that like Christ this hospital will rise from the ashes to serve a broken world in his name and spirit as they have been doing for 141 years.

Let us Pray

Gracious God we pray for the staff and patients of the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist Hospital in Gaza City.   We pray for those seeking recovery amidst so much horror and grief.

We thank you that through so many years of strife and conflict the hospital has remained true to its mission to offer healing and hope and we ask that this place which by its very presence has been an instrument of peace would now in its vulnerability and brokenness, provoke the warring factions to lay down their arms and work for an end to these conflicts.

We pray too for all of the hospitals and medical centres, the medics and first responders throughout the region as they deal with the casualties of this war in both Palestine and Israel.

We pray for peace and healing throughout Palestine, Israel and the entire region in the name of the Prince of Peace, Amen.




The events of last weekend in Israel were horrifying.  The Hamas attack on innocent Jewish civilians was evil. Listening to the accounts of barbaric, murderous, hate filled violence has sickened me.  It has been unimaginable. The sight of innocent civilians suffering in Gaza is also hard to watch. There is so much anger, fear and confusion on both sides and it has touched and wounded so many families all around the world and continues to do so.

The issues in Palestine and Israel are so deep and complicated and the images of this week so raw that I find myself speechless.  At times I have even been thinking things that simply can’t be uttered aloud.  It is hard to find the right words when there are no words.

However, I have been reaching out to Jewish rabbis with whom I have had the opportunity to work through the years.  I have told them how deeply upsetting it is to see the horrendous violence Israelis have endured at the hands of Hamas terrorists this week.  I have assured them of my solidarity and prayerful support.  Similarly, I have reached out to Imams with whom I have worked and to a Palestinian leader.  All of these people have given their lives to build bridges for peace and I have written to thank them and assure them of my prayers for them and for a true and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel.

It is natural that fear and anger are coming to the fore, but the best things we can do, and perhaps the only things, are to pray for peace and to reach out to people we know whose community or loved ones are impacted and assure them of our concern and our prayers for justice and peace.

A Prayer for Peace

Gracious and merciful God, on this day when some call for rage, we pray for peace, but we know there can be no peace without justice and so we turn this great crisis in Israel and Palestine to you remembering that vengeance is yours and not ours.  You alone are able to discern and find a way beyond the anger, hatred, and fear.  Show us the way and shine your light into the hearts of those filled with hate that, like Saul of Tarsus, they might come alive to love.  Strengthen all who seek to build bridges for peace and understanding.  Silence the bombs and the weapons of destruction.  Save the children and the aged. Watch over and protect emergency service workers, doctors and nurses and bring healing and comfort through their hands.  Protect the homes and lives of innocent civilians and even in the midst of a blockade open doors to healing and hope.  Bring to the table the best minds and hearts and through the process plant the seeds of a true and lasting peace.  We pray these things in the name of the One who is the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.