Over the past two years, we have watched with dismay and grief as the violence in Ukraine and in Israel and Gaza has devastated those regions. The war in Ukraine is approaching its second anniversary on February 24. The Israel/Gaza conflict began with the horrific violence by Hamas on October 7, 2023, and continues with the decimation of Gaza by Israeli bombing and the displacement of 1.9 million Gazans—a humanitarian crisis. We are especially heartbroken for the Christian community in Palestine, who find themselves caught in the middle, struggling to hold on to their presence in the Holy Land.
These conflicts show no signs of ending soon. Our hearts are filled with pain as we watch this human tragedy unfold yet feel powerless to help. We do know that God continues to be present with us and with all who are suffering. We can lift our voices and hearts in united prayer, trusting that God is listening and acting.
We therefore invite you to
a personal DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2024
The practice of fasting is a concrete way to focus our hearts and minds by letting go of something we enjoy or expect. We then use that time and mental space to pray throughout the day.
You may choose to fast from food or from social media, computer time, music, television or whatever is appropriate for you. During the day, whenever your heart remembers or at times you designate, you stop and pray. You may use the prayers below or simply cry from your heart to God about the situations in Israel/Palestine/Gaza and Ukraine. You may gather with friends, family or church members.
To conclude the day, join Bishop Susan Johnson and Primate Linda Nicholls
on Friday, February 16, at 7 p.m. EST
for a 30-minute prayer service on FACEBOOK Live
At 7 p.m. the video will be streamed below and on Facebook
Let us join our hearts with people around the world, praying for an end to the violence and a peace that will allow all to live in security and harmony.
Bishop Susan Johnson
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop & Primate,
Anglican Church of Canada