Breakthrough April 2017
Breakthrough is a monthly call to pray for the Arab world. In each edition we focus on a different country of the region, praying for ‘breakthrough’ over a particular stronghold.
In this month’s Breakthrough we pray for the people of Palestine. We recognise that this region can be a difficult subject to broach in Christian circles. Many of us have strong views on the issues that surround this part of the world.
Our job at Arab World Media is not to comment on political situations. As a group of people who come from all kinds of backgrounds, we represent many flavours of Christianity. We do, of course, speak out against evil, which takes many forms, but we take great care not to take sides. More than anything else, our desire is to urge people to pray.
If you are a regular reader of Breakthrough, you have come here today to pray. We thank God for you – and want to take this opportunity to draw your attention to a particular need of the Palestinian people. You are welcome to comment below and to share this post with your friends on social media.
Country focus: Palestine
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12)
Palestine sits at the heart of the Middle East and is comprised of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The Gaza Strip is on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, bordering Israel and Egypt. It is a small territory of 138 square miles (360 square km), densely populated with approximately 1.7 million people. Over 45 percent of its residents are 14 and under. They are 98 percent Muslim and predominantly Sunni.
The West Bank is a landlocked territory that sits between Jordan and Israel. It is 2,178 square miles (5,640 square km) in size with a population of approximately 2.7 million. Of these, 80 to 85 percent are Muslim, 12 to14 percent are Jewish, and 1 to 2.5 percent are Christian. Almost 37 percent are 14 and under.
The history of Palestine is complex and highly charged. It has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967. Many countries, including Israel, the US and UK, still do not recognise it as a state. Peace talks with Israel began in the 1990s and have stopped and started over the years. Violent disagreements have spilled into conflicts at times. Many have lost their lives on both sides and the road to peace seems endless.
For many years, the unemployment rate in Palestine has been high – one of the highest worldwide. Approximately one in four people are unemployed across the two territories. In Gaza alone, this figure is two in five. Unemployment keeps people in poverty and stifles economic growth. It contributes to political instability and leads to an increase in crime. It also affects people’s physical and mental health, their relationships and their family life. It is a huge stronghold for the people of Palestine. It is holding many, many people back from reaching their full potential and having a sense of value.
- Pray for those who are currently unemployed in Palestine. May they be able break free of any feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and depression.
- Pray for more jobs and work permits to be made available. Pray for people to find creative ways to make a living by learning new skills or using existing ones in new ways.
- Pray that, while unemployed, many Palestinian Muslims would get to hear about Jesus and the hope and joy his salvation brings. Pray for these men and women to have access to the truth and courage to step out in faith.
- Pray for peace talks between Israel and Palestine to resume. Pray for mistrust and hatred to diminish and for genuine negotiations to begin.
- Finally, lift up Palestinian believers, praying for their faith to be resilient and for their love for the Lord to spill into the lives of those they meet.
Thank you for your prayers!
The Arab World Media Team
Next month: Kuwait