World Day of Prayer 1st March 2024

I beg you, bear with one another in love 

Welcome and Greetings

Leader 1:   Welcome to the 2024 World Day of Prayer worship service.

Salaam. Peace be with you.

All:   And also with you.

Leader 1:    We gather in the Name of the Trinity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

All:   Amen.

Leader 1:    God be with you.

All:   And also with you.

 Hymn:    Come on and celebrate

(sing through twice) 

Come on and celebrate!

His gift of love we will celebrate.

The Son of God, who loved us and gave us life. 

We’ll shout your praise, O King:

You give us joy nothing else can bring;

We’ll give to you our offering

In celebration praise. 

Come on and celebrate, celebrate,

celebrate and sing,

Celebrate and sing to the King.

Come on and celebrate, celebrate,

celebrate and sing,

Celebrate and sing to the King.(by Patricia Morgan, David Bankhead)

Opening Prayer 

Leader 2:   Let us pray.

Loving God, walk with us as we journey through the land where you lived and taught. Open our eyes to see the present suffering of the inhabitants of this land. Grant us the strength and courage to act and pray with all who suffer around the world.

All:  Amen.

Call to Worship

Leader 1:    Let us praise God who brings us together to worship in love and unity. 

All:   Unifying God, reigning far above our earthly differences in views

and theology.

Leader 1:    Help us remember these essential qualities of faith: humility, gentleness, patience and love.

All:  We confess our weakness and failure to accept others without judging them. 

Leader 1:    We endeavour to be humble and patient as we face challenges in our families, society, community and church. 

All:  With gentleness and love we can overcome difficulties. We remain strong in our faith, knowing that we belong to God.


Prayer for Peace

 Leader 2:   We sing together Yarabba Ssalami – God of Peace.

God of peace, come among us, rain down your peace on the world.

Make a path for your goodness, fill e’vry heart with your peace. 

God of peace, come among us, rain down your peace on the world.

Make a path for your goodness, fill e’vry heart with your peace.(Traditional Palestinian Song)

Reader: Let us continue in prayer with the words of Psalm 85.

Lord, you looked with favour on your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.

All: You forgave the iniquity of your people; you pardoned all their sin.

Reader: You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your hot anger.

All: Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us.

Reader: Will you be angry with us forever?

Will you prolong your anger to all generations?

All: Will you not revive us again,

so that your people may rejoice in you?

Reader: Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.

All:   Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,

for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.

Reader:      Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. 

All:   Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;

righteousness and peace will kiss each other.

Reader:   Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,

and righteousness will look down from the sky.

All:    The Lord will give what is good,and our land will yield its increase.

Reader:  Righteousness will go before him,

All:     And will make a path for his steps. 

Short pause for silent reflection. 

Leader 2:   We sing again Yarabba Ssalami – God of Peace.

God of peace, come among us, rain down your peace on the world.

Make a path for your goodness, fill e’vry heart with your peace.

God of peace, come among us, rain down your peace on the world. Make a path for your goodness, fill e’vry heart with your peace.(Traditional Palestinian Song) 

A Story of Resilience 

  • Leader 1:    In today’s service we will hear three stories from Palestinian Christian women who witness to the power of bearing together in love.

Their stories illuminate the experiences of Palestinian Christian women from three different generations.  The symbol of an olive tree represents the three generations through its trunk, branches and leaves.

Narrator:   Let me introduce you to Eleonor. She is one of the older generation who, like the trunk of the olive tree, has witnessed many years of wars and violence.

She is a Palestinfan Christian, a member of the Greek Orthodox Church

in the Holy Land. She comes from an old, deeply rooted Jerusalem

family. In the early nineteenth century, her great-grandfather

established St. George’s Orthodox Church which enabled Christians

living outside the city walls to have a place to worship.

That church remained in existence until ‘the Catastrophe’, or Nakba,

of 1948, when 750,000 Palestinians were forced to flee, disperse and

become refugees, her family included. Due to heavy shelling and

bombardment, her parents ran for their lives. They took shelter at

her mother’s cousin’s home, hoping to return soon to their original home

and St. George’s Church. That never happened.

Today, her parents’ home and St. George’s Church have become the

Confederation House, an Israeli cultural centre.

Prior to fleeing, her parents’ Jewish neighbours offered to store the treasures of the church, including icons and precious communion cups. They promised to safeguard these items until the family’s return.

Eleonnor: As my brothers and I were growing up, my parents remembered their

neighbours graciously as they waited for (he big day of return. Sadly, my

parents passed away without realising this dream. My parents a/ways spoke

with gratitude about their Jewish neighbours and they taught me how to bear with others in love.

As I have gone through life as a Palestinian Christian living in Jerusalem, I have chosen to be fully engaged with all members of the community at local and global levels. I learned from my parents’example how important it is to co-exist with others even when life is harsh and difficult.

My commitment to my community started when I was n and my Arabic teacher encouraged me to run errands for her humanitarian work. She was gentle and loving which helped me understand the value of making life better for others.

Later, / implemented humanitarian and development programmes, as well as social and community projects. These programmes and projects served all people, regardless of religion, ethnicity, gender, status or need. 

I was also privileged to help hundreds of women in Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to sustain their families as breadwinners. Many of these projects have grown and spread to other areas positively impacting many lives.

Since my childhood, I have known that life is fragile and peace is not guaranteed. However, I firmly believe that we can be strong together if we bear with one another in love.  

The Word of God

Scripture Reading: Ephesians Chap: 4 Vers: 1 to 7 

Reader:      Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Ix>rd, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 

Leader 1:    Let us reflect now on the ways that God is moving us to bear together with others in love. 

Short pause for silent reflection.

Leader 1:    I Urge You is a song that was composed especially for this

World Day of Prayer service. Let us sing together this call to bear with each other in love.

I urge you to be patient with the calling you receive,

bearing one another with love and unity.

I urge you to be patient with the calling you receive,

bearing one another with love and unity, (Najwa Hashweh Azazian)

A Story of Truth Telling 

Narrator.   Let me introduce you to Lina.

On 11 May 2022, Lina lost her Aunt Shireen, a famous journalist who was killed in Jenin. Aunt Shireen was like the branch of an olive tree, resisting the strong winds that threatened to erase the truth of Palestinian experience.

When she died, Palestine lost a legend and a famous Al Jazeera journalist. As Lina’s aunt, her godmother at baptism and her best friend, Shireen was Lina’s role model. She was also a role model to many young Palestinian women. Lina cherishes all the moments spent with her talking about art, politics and life. 

Lina:  For 25 years my Aunt Shireen dedicated her life to telling the stories of

Palestinian experience and to being a voice of truth. She entered every house in Palestine and the Arab world through the TV screen. The presence of 500 people on the day of her funeral was proof that she had also entered their hearts.

Many people did not know that my aunt was a Palestinian Christian. Shireen’s faith led her to bear with all in love despite differences in faith traditions. She stood with all who were being harmed. She campaigned for both Muslims and Christians to have access to the holy sites in Jerusalem. Her truth-telling was even a way of bearing with the occupiers in love.

Although Shireen was cut down too soon, like a branch of the olive tree, her legacy lives on. Her memory now nourishes the earth from which we will gain strength to continue telling the truth and working towards reconciliation.

Leader 2: Hearing this story of a woman who dared to speak the truth in love,

let us commit ourselves to journey with each other as she did as we sing our next hymn. 

Hymn:   Won’t you let me be your servant

Won’t you let me be your servant

Let me be as Christ to you;

Pray that 1 may have the grace

To let you be my servant, too. 

We are pilgrims on a journey,

And companions on the road;

We are here to help each other

Walk the mile and bear the load, 

I will hold the Christ-light for you

In the night-time of your fear;

I will hold my hand out to you,

Speak the peace you long to hear.

 I will weep when you are weeping,

When you laugh I’ll laugh with you;

I will share your joy and sorrow

Till we’ve seen this journey through. 

When we sing to God in heaven

We shall find such harmony,

Born of all we’ve known together

Of Christ’s love and agony. 

Won’t you let me be your servant

Let me be as Christ to you;

Pray that I may have the grace

To let you be my servant, too. (Richard AM Gillard)

Intercessory Prayer 

Leader 1:    Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, we now pray for women everywhere, for the world and for those in need.

Let us pray:

God of Righteousness, bless us and make us witnesses of peace,

justice. Open our eyes so that we can see things as you do. Protect us

from all forms of violence, hurt and revenge. We pray especially

women who are denied education and other basic rights; for women

who arc abused and suffer violence. We pray that our churches,

as well as our governments, will create safe places for women.

Help us to raise our voices and use our gifts and talents to help others

Lead us into a life worthy of our calling.

All:            Hear our prayer.

Leader 2:   Refugee God, because your Son, Jesus, as a child had to flee a

massacre in Bethlehem, you know the plight of refugees and the displaced. Remain with them and help them in these dark and difficult times. Guide and protect them and bring them to places of safety. Open the hearts of those receiving refugees, and guide the actions of political leaders so that all needs will be met.

Lead us into a life worthy of our calling. Hear our prayer.  

All: Here our Prayer. 

Leader 1: God our Rock, you have taught us to build our lives on you. We pray

for those who are homeless and especially for families whose homes

have been destroyed through war or natural disasters. We pray for all

who work tirelessly to resolve these situations.

Lead us into a life worthy of our calling.

All: Hear our prayer.

Leader 2: God of Peace, we pray for a peaceful end to the ongoing situation

in Palestine. We also pray for the city of Jerusalem, sacred to the three religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Let there be equality, freedom of religion, freedom of movement and freedom of expression. Teach us as Christians to follow the way of Jesus, sharing love with those we meet.

Lead us into a life worthy of our calling.

All: Hear our prayer.

Leader 1: Healer and Sustaining Spirit, we pray for all those who are sick, who are dying and who are grieving. We give thanks for scientists and doctors who developed vaccines and treatments for the COVID-19 virus and other diseases. When we are lost and weary, strengthen us. Revive our dry branches, so that they yield good fruits again. Give us new life and the hope of the resurrection.

Lead us into a life worthy of our calling.

All: Hear our prayer.

Leader 2:    God of Mercy4 we have carelessly destroyed your beautiful creation.

We have harmed the environment, the flora and the creatures of the

air, land and water. Our destruction of the earth has caused the climate

crisis. Help us to appreciate and love your creation. Help us to repair

what we have destroyed.

Lead us into a life worthy of our calling. 

All:            Hear our prayer.

Leader 1:    God of Unity, your Son, Jesus, prayed that your disciples and

followers would be one, as you are one. Teach us, your servants, to

treat others justly, fairly and with love even though we may speak,

live and pray differently. Bless the global church and bless the faithful

women everywhere who share your Good News with others.

Lead us into a life worthy of our calling.

All:  Hear our prayer.

Leader 2:   How can we thank you, Loving God? We know that all our blessings

come from you. Do not keep us far from you. Give us grace according

to the measure of Christ’s gift and fiil our hearts with joy.

We offer these prayers and the prayers of our hearts known only to you,

In the name of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

Leader 1:    We conclude our intercessions as we join together in the Lord’s Prayer.

All: Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name,

thy kingdom come, thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power,

and the glory, for ever and ever.


A Story of Flourishing 

Narrator:   Let me introduce you to Sara.

Sara says she sometimes feels like the leaf on an olive tree, connected

through the branches to the roots, nourished from within.

She was born and raised in Jerusalem as a Lutheran Christian. Life as

a Palestinian woman has always been challenging. She is glad that

things are changing in society as indicated by her church ordaining its

first female pastor.

Throughout the years she has seen and admired the persistence

of Palestinians, Her own family history is connected with that

of Palestine. She wants to share a story with you that shows what it

means to be a Palestinian Christian.

Sara:  My grandparents used to five in Jaffa. They grew up there before 1948,

Jiving alongside other Christians, Muslims and Jews. When the state of

Israel was created in 1948, Palestinians who had lived on the land for

thousands of years were displaced We call this ‘Catastrophe’ the Nakba.

The Israeli forces came to my grandparents’ home and forced them out.

This caused my grandparents to become refugees in Jordan.

Many years later, my grandparents came for a visit to Jerusalem and my

parents took us on a trip to Jaffa. They were excited to show us the home

they used to live in.

My grandpa told us stones about his childhood and how he used to plant

trees with his father. In fact, that’s how we found the house1. Everything had changed except for the trees which helped us to identify the place but, sadly, those living in the house were hostile to us.

Later, when I visited my grandparents in Jordan, my grandma showed me

the keys that her mother had kept when leaving their house. She, like many

others, kept their keys with the hope of return; a hope that is passed on

through many generations.

I know that the tree from where I came is strong and resilient. I am nourished

by the love of my ancestors. / can bear with others in love because they did.

Their love is what makes me flourish like (he leaf on an olive tree. 

Narrator:   Today we have been blessed by the stories of three Palestinian

Christian women. These stories have shown us the power of bearing together in love. 


Leader 1:    Let us now offer our gifts for the work of World Day of Prayer and for

projects run by Christian charities at home and abroad.

I Urge You’ is played as the offering is collected The congregation remains seated. 

Prayer of Dedication for Offering 

Leader 1: May this offering be a sign of our commitment to lead a life worthy of our calling. May it be a powerful instrument towards abundant life for all God’s people. 

All:    Amen. 

Sharing the Peace of Christ

Leader 2:   In the midst of injustices, war and suffering God calls us to bear

together in love. When we stay together through difficulties we live in the peace that God promises us.

As we share the peace of Christ with each other, we exchange the olive tokens that were distributed at the beginning of the service.

The peace of Christ be with you. 

All:             The peace of Christ be also with you.

As the peace is being shared and olive tokens exchanged, instrumental music such as ‘I Urge You’ or Put peace into each other’s hands’ could be played. 

Hymn:   Put peace into each other’s hands

Put peace into each other’s hands

and like a treasure hold it,

protect it like a candle-flame,

with tenderness enfold it. 


Put peace into each other’s hands

with loving expectation;

be gentle in your words and ways,

in touch with God’s creation.


Put peace into each other’s hands

like bread we break for sharing;

look people warmly in the eye:

our life is meant for caring.


Put Christ into each other’s hands,

he is love’s deepest measure;

in love make peace, give peace a chance,

and share it like a treasure.(Fred Koan) 

Prayerful Reflection

A prayerful reflection on the opening lines of Fred Kaan’s hymn.

Reader:      Put peace into each other’s hands

And like a treasure hold it

Put peace into each other’s hands.

Put peace – it requires action, Lord.

Prayerful action.

Not just hoping for something,

yearning for something,

even praying for something,

but actively doing something.

And, put peace into each other’s hand, Lord?

But what about my viewpoint and opinion?

Because to put something into someone

else’s hand means

giving it away,

not holding on to what is mine,

letting go.

It might be a bit easier

if I knew I would be giving it to those I know and love,

those I trust.

But what about the ‘other’?

those who are different to me?

those I don’t agree with?

those I’m not sure I can trust?

My thoughts, viewpoint, hopes, prayers – given away.

And as I stand, momentarily empty-handed, how do I feel?

There is a vulnerability in giving, offering, peace.

Will it be rebuffed? mocked?

Or accepted? welcomed?

Put peace into each other’s hands

And like a treasure hold it

Like a treasure hold it.

A reminder, Lord, that this is something precious,

this gift of peace we give each other.

Having given, can I now recognise its worth?

Can I treasure it?

Indeed, can I even accept it?

That’s not so strange a question as it may seem.

Because, again, it’d be easier from those I know and love,

those I trust.

But can I receive from the ‘other’?

those who are different to me?

those I don’t agree with?

those I’m not sure I can trust?

Surely one of the most significant parts

of the Parable of the C5ood Samaritan

lies in the wounded traveller accepting help, care and provision,

from one of the Samaritans, who were so despised –

very definitely – the ‘other’,

the ‘different’

the ‘I don’t agree with them’

the ‘I never trusted them’.

Giving and receiving peace

requires generosity of spirit,

openness and trust,

as well as the humility to accept

It’s a precious thing, then!

Lord, grant us grace to

Put peace into each other’s hands

And like a treasure hold it.


Short pause for silent reflection. 

Words of Commitment

Leader 1:   We join together in words of Commitment.

All:  May we commit to working for peace as we stand with all

women, particularly those experiencing oppression, violence or


May we be faithful advocates in all levels of society and church life.

May we bear with one another in love. 

Short pause for silent reflection. 

The Blessing

Leader 1:    The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his fate toward you and give you peace. 

All: In the name of Jesus.


Leader 2:   Before we are sent forth, we stand and sing our closing hymn. 

Hymn:    The day thou Gavest, Lord, is ended

The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended,

The darkness fails at Thy behest;

To Thee our morning hymns ascended,

Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.


We thank Thee that Thy Church unsleeping,

While earth rolls onward into light,

Through all the world her watch is keeping,

And rests not now by day or night.


As o’er each continent and island

The dawn leads on another day,

The voice of prayer is never silent,

Nor dies the strain of praise away.


The sun that bids us rest, is waking

Our brethren ‘neath the western sky,

And hour by hour fresh lips are making

Thy wondrous doings heard on high.


So be it, Lord, Thy throne shall never,

Like earth’s proud empires, pass away;

Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,

Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.(John Ellerton) 

Leader 2:   Let us go now to he agents of peace and justice. 

All: In the name of Christ,