Praying Through the Psalms: Contextual Prayers for the Middle East
Born in the 1967 war, Yohanna Katanacho knows a thing or two about the struggles of Palestinian identity, upbringing and life under oppression. Having grown up in Jerusalem in the midst of this tension, several life experiences proved to be monumental in shifting his direction toward a life of service to Christ.
In the late 1980s, Katanacho began studying the Bible, and ultimately decided to follow Christ. His pursuit of Jesus took him on a spiritual journey which has largely been rooted in prayer. “I learned to love as I learned to pray,” says Katanacho. During the difficulties faced by personal or political situations, he discovered the importance of prayer. He finished his Ph.D. in the book of Psalms and felt led to pray through the Psalms within the context of the Middle East. This ignited a transformation that solidified his theology of praying as “an agent of justice committed to the logic of love.”
He then turned his prayers of the Psalms into book format, which were published and released earlier this year. Praying Through the Psalms is a must-read for any Christ follower, as it is not only contextual to the ongoing situation in the Middle East, but also the lives of all people who desire to follow Jesus in His Kingdom way. Katanacho says that these prayers strengthened him to face the harsh realities of the Middle East from a biblical perspective. Just as the Psalms include the writer’s frustration, anger, sorrow along with joy, hope and anticipation, so too can the reader identity with how to implement these prayers into their daily realities and the circumstances they face.
“For the readers, it is going to be a journey that they have never experienced, as it will contextualize God’s Word written through the Psalms into their very own context in whatever circumstance they might be in – hard, rough, in war or persecution, or even betrayal! Through 150 prayers, Dr. Katanacho brings the Psalms home to each and every one of us.”
-Rev. Dr. Jack Sara, President of Bethlehem Bible College
Katanacho hopes that this book is helpful in encouraging people to meet with God. He hopes that the book serves the Palestinian communities by provoking the international community to pray for them, to pray for justice, for peace, and to reflect theologically and prayerfully on the harsh and oppressive Middle Eastern realities.
Yohanna Katanacho is the current Academic Dean at Nazareth Evangelical College and also serves as a professor of Biblical Studies at BethBC. We are so excited to announce this new book and look forward to the transformation of those that pray through the Psalms in their own lives! If you are interested in purchasing Praying Through the Psalms, check it out at our online gift shop, the Star Bazaar!
Kamila is volunteering full-time with Bethlehem Bible College in the Communications Department. In addition to her love for writing and sharing stories, her endeavors in Bethlehem and greater Palestine involve facilitating cultural immersion programs for young adults from North America to see first-hand the realities that those living here encounter. At times deemed the “eternal optimist,” Kamila holds fast to the future hope of restoration and reconciliation of all things back to God. When she’s not writing, or organizing trips, you’ll catch her training and competing with the Ultimate Palestine frisbee team.