A message from Lynn Green, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain:
I am certain, like me, many of you have been watching the news this week and have been overwhelmed with emotion at what is unfolding in Israel and the Palestinian territories. At times like this, as the world analyses the developing situation, comments on the complex history of the region and makes statements of sympathy or blame, my hope is that those of us who put our faith in God will see past the politics and the history, and have the courage to stare into the eyes of all those who suffer and see both their humanity and the reflection of Christ, who knows both the land and the suffering intimately. As you do that, please join me in prayer, to the God of all comfort, peace and hope.
It is with shock and horror we witness the devastating violence and loss of life in Israel-Palestine over recent days.
We come to you as the source of all comfort asking that you send your Spirit to surround and uphold all those who are grieving, all those who are suffering, all those in fear, 3 of 4 and all those in captivity. May the arms of comfort and compassion, overwhelm the arms of war.
We come to you as the source of all peace asking that you send your Spirit to strengthen and uphold those pursuing an end to violence, embolden those with a heart for truth and justice, and amplify voices of wisdom and restraint. May the light of peace and reconciliation, overwhelm the darkness of destruction.
We come to you as the source of all hope, asking that you send your Spirit to bring about a future, where neighbours embrace despite their differences, where love conquers hate, humility surpasses pride, and where forgiveness is treasured as a fundamental strength.
May the hope of a day when weapons of conflict will be transformed into tools of reconciliation be realised soon, so there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away.