Call for a day of prayer and fasting for Israel/Gaza and Ukraine

February 1, 2024

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


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


Click to sign up and watch 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.

[signed] +Susan C Johnson
Bishop Susan Johnson
National Bishop,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

[signed] +Linda Nicholls
The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop & Primate,
Anglican Church of Canada


Matthew 10:40-42


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous, 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

John 15:12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

John 21:15-19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 11:33-36

The Light of the Body

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 But if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Cleanses a Man

8 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”