When in Doubt, Pray for Both Sides

When in Doubt, Pray for Both Sides October 16, 2023

After the recent violence, some people support the Palestinians only or Israelis only. Those who are from the region understand the tension between these two groups, so know better than me. Rarely is there a long-standing conflict in which one side is blameless and the other side is completely at fault. This area of the world has a long history, going back to early civilizations, and Palestine as a region has a complex history even in the 20th and 21st centuries.

If you, like me, do not know enough to pray for one side or the other, I suggest that we just pray for both sides. Let’s pray for both the decision-makers and the large group of innocent victims.

A photo of a Palestine landscape
People have lived in Palestine since early civilizations. Courtesy of David McLenachan on Unsplash

A Prayer for the People of Israel and Gaza

God of all Religions,

We do not know the details of the conflict between Hamas and Israel: their shared and individual histories are complex and painful.

We pray

. . .  for the people who initiated this conflict with violence and responded in kind. Please give their leaders the openness to address their concerns in non-violent ways.

. . .  for the people of Gaza and Israel who may or may not support their leaders’ choices, but whose losses and suffering may last for years.

. . .  for the Israelis and Palestinians who have died, been injured, or lost loved ones, especially the civilians who are helpless.

. . .  for the soldiers on both sides of this struggle, young men and women who follow orders and hope to return home in one piece.

. . .  for the older people who have lived this conflict for years. Please protect them from further harm.

. . . for the children and young people who will be injured physically and/or mentally. Please protect them, give them your peace, and help them choose love rather than adopt hatred.

. . .  for the leaders of surrounding countries and all nations. Give them the wisdom to bring peace rather than inflict additional violence.

. . .  for the whole region, for leaders to identify the best way forward, for justice on both sides, and for all who live in that area. Please call men and women to lead the way ahead as you would want.


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