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Prayer for the world’s refugees

Originally published in the Fall 2015 newsletter of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer – Canada 

Za'atari refugee camp, Jordan

Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan

Listening God,

The entire world is speaking more and more of refugees.

We come to you knowing that throughout history, your people have been ‘strangers’ and ‘aliens’ in foreign lands; from the flood to the Exodus to Jesus’ family fleeing into Egypt.

We come to you, Holy One, knowing that you hear all of our prayers.

Loving God, we now hold up in prayer all those who are this day impacted by armed conflict, political persecution, environmental devastation, or any other devastating reality that forces displacement.

We hold before you:

  • the more than 4 million Syrians who have become refugees in the past 4 years, and the 100,000 who have found relocation somewhere in the world.
  • the nearly 60 million people who have been forcibly displaced; refugees, internally displaced persons, asylum-seekers, and stateless people.
  • the children, who make up more than half of all the displaced.
  • all those who are living in constant upheaval, uncertainty, and fear.
  • those for whom ‘home’ no longer exists, for whom chaotic instability is the only option.

We hold before you:

  • the people who are working to assist those in greatest need; providing for physical and psychological needs, and helping break down language and political barriers.
  • the systems that were not designed to cope with the magnitude of our present reality.

We hold before you:

  • ourselves: opening our hearts and minds to remember that no one chooses to be a refugee; that we live comparably safe and stable lives; that we take countless liberties for granted.
  • our own fears, no matter how irrational: fear of change, fear of loss, fear of the unknown.

God of hope and healing, may we not feel guilt for our privilege, but rather be inspired to act.

May our prayers be felt from our hearts, may our prayers be heard from our lips, may our prayers be known by our actions.

About Laura Marie Piotrowicz

I’m a high-energy priest, now serving in the Diocese of Niagara, catching glimpses of the kingdom in daily life. I consider church to be a verb, and I’m passionate about prayer, eco-theology, and social justice. I love travel, reading, canoeing, camping, gardening and cooking, playing with my dogs, and drinking good coffee.

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8 Responses to Prayer for the world’s refugees

  1. Let us also pray for the homeless, who are just as destitute and forgotten, and have nowhere to lay their heads.

  2. Let’s pray for everyone here in our country of Canada who are In need of help as well..

  3. I love this prayer and will use it in my church. I fear that is does not address the situations which are causing the current displacements of peoples: the civil war in Syria brought about by the ruthless Assaud government’s inability to address the civil liberties and democracy sought by the Arab Spring, the Pakistani and Afghani taliban persecution and harassment of the peoples of Afghanistan, the tribal warfare in the Sudans which have pushed the Dinka off their land for oil and mineral exploration, and, of course, the misguided attempt to establish a fundamentalist Islamic warped theocracy Caliphate by ISIS/Dash. Unless we bring the causes before God, praying for the resulting symptom/effects is shallow theology and misguided.

    • Hi David, thanks for the compliment. I often find that I am inspired into deeper awareness of situations when I am presented with them in prayer – kudos for digging even deeper!

  4. May I use some of your prayer in our intercessions this Sunday? Lovely worded.

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