Gaza residents fleeing south; Mahmud Hams. AFP/Getty Images

Almighty God, while we pray for an end to violence in Israel and Palestine and a just and lasting peace throughout the region, today we pray especially for the innocent. Give to all in authority, leaders of Israel and Hamas, leaders from Washington to Cairo and Beirut to Teheran, the wisdom and grace to put the safety of noncombatants first, doing everything possible to get them, and especially children, out of harm’s way and provide for their needs. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.