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“A Prayer to the People of Gaza” by His Eminence Metropolitan George (Khodr)
"O Jesus Christ, O King of Peace, our people in Gaza doth yearn for Thy abundant
mercy. Take their children in Thine hands and extend Thy care to all their people.
Wipe away every tear from their eyes, replacing sorrow with joy. O Lord, Thou who
consolest every heart, place Thy Spirit in the troubled hearts, so they may find
comfort in Thee and Thy compassion. Be a source of rest for the wounded and a
healing balm. Ease their pains and deliver them from all fear. Take their burdens upon
Thy shoulders and have mercy on those who have gone to Thee.
O God, cleanse their land from all defilement, and greed. Feed the people of the city
with all they need, and let them not know death, oppression, or injustice, for in Thee,
there is only justice and life.
Pour out upon all nations a sense of Gaza's suffering and a spirit of solidarity with
them, striving for peace.
These are Thy children, all of them. Do not allow them to be displaced or struck
again, so that we may live with them as brothers, building ourselves and the world
with the spirit of forgiveness and tolerance.
Protect Thy Church there and shield it from torment. Put an end to this tragic ordeal,
and encourage peace-loving nations to rebuild the city anew. Accept the prayers of the
ancient Gazan saints who enriched the Church with deep spirituality and golden
words. O God, end this war, for Thy people have grown weary. Embrace, O Lord,
this martyred city until it glorifies Thee, and we glorify Thee with it as we stand in
To Thee be honor, worship, and glory, together with Thy Father and Thy Holy Spirit.
Prayer from the Akathist to the Myrrh-streaming Icon of the Mother of God – “Softener of Evil Hearts”
Who shall not call thee blessed, O Virgin full of grace! Who shall not hymn thy
loving-kindness toward the race of men! We pray unto thee, we beseech thee: Leave
us not to perish in misfortunes; melt our hearts with love, send thine arrow to our
enemies, so that love may wound our hearts with peace toward those who persecute
us. Even as the world hateth us, do thou extend thy love toward us, and even as the
world persecuteth us, do thou accept us and grant us the God-given power of
patience to endure without complaint the temptations encountered in this world. O
Mistress! Soften the hearts of wicked men who rise up against us, lest their hearts
should perish in iniquity, but, O Full of Grace, do thou entreat thy Son and our God
to visit their hearts with peace, so that the devil, the father of evil, may be put to
shame. And we, singing thy loving-kindness toward us, lowly and vile as we are, shall
hymn thee, O most wondrous Mistress, O Virgin full of grace: Hearken unto us in
this hour, as our hearts are heavy, guard us with peace and love toward one another
and toward our enemies, eradicate every wickedness and hostility that we have, as we
sing to thee and to thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!