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.