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Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Each monotheist religion holds Friday as a holy and special day for Prayer.

In Islam, Friday is considered the most significant day of the week. It is known as Jumu'ah and is considered a holy day. Muslims attend the Friday congregational prayers, known as Jumu'ah prayers, in the mosque. The Friday prayer is led by a religious leader, known as an Imam, and includes a sermon/khutba by Alim.

In Christianity, Friday is significant as the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified. It is known as Good Friday and is observed as a day of mourning and reflection. Many Christian denominations hold special services on this day. Good Friday is followed by Easter Sunday, which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Catholics commemorate this by various prayers on the first Fridays.

In Judaism, Friday is known as Erev Shabbat or the Eve of the Sabbath. It is considered a holy day and is the day when the Jewish Sabbath begins at sunset. Jewish families gather together on Friday evenings to light candles, recite blessings, and share a festive meal. Observant Jews refrain from work and other activities on the Sabbath, which lasts until Saturday evening.

So this Friday let us pray together for all people of faith for peace, especially within Israel and Palestine:

God of light and salvation, our refuge and our strength,
We pray for the people of Israel and Palestine amid the escalating violence.

We pray for those killed and injured by rockets from Gaza in southern Israel. May your rod and staff comfort them.

We pray for those who are grieving. May they know your ever-present help.

We pray for the protection of those who have been taken hostage by Hamas. As they walk through this dark valley, may they fear no evil.

We pray for the civilians of Gaza. May they know that their help comes from the Maker of heaven and earth.

And we pray for those in leadership in Gaza and Israel. May you guide them along the right paths. We ask all this in union with Christ and trusting in the power of your Holy Spirit.

Amen.