Lift your voice in prayer
Honoring the journey of immigrants and refugees
Together, we seek to understand the global realities that our immigrant siblings face and respond to the Biblical call to welcome the stranger.
Sample Prayers for Immigrants and Refugees
O Lord God, you led your people through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide us now so that, following your son, we may walk alongside refugee families as they build a new life in the bounty of your love and mercy.
God of rebirth, we pray for immigrant adults and children who have been forced to leave behind all they have ever known. Heal them from the trauma of fear, deprivation, loss and abuse. Comfort them and give them peace and wholeness. Prepare us to be welcoming friends who relieve their uncertainty.
Heavenly Parent, you made all nations to inhabit the whole earth. Help us to recognize your presence in the refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers who flee from their places of birth, seeking safety and welcome in our nation and our communities. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Accompany your people, O God. Lead us into active ways of love for our neighbors who have no place to call home or to lay their heads this night. Clothe us in the armor of light to serve and tend the needs of refugees and all who flee violence.
God of truth, your family on earth knew the life of refugees when they fled to Egypt. Bless all who seek refuge on this earth. Meet their needs for safety and for home. Move the hearts of your people to show them welcome. Cause wars to cease and bring justice to the nations that no one will need to flee again. In your great mercy, Lord, hear our prayer.
Compose Your Own Prayer
If there is a particular person, group of people, crisis or circumstance you wish to pray for, consider this template as an aid in articulating your own prayer.
Throughout the Old Testament, a clear structure for appeals to God makes itself evident. For millennia, God’s people have been addressing God in a way that invokes a Divine characteristic that relates to the nature of their appeal. If, for example, we are praying for rain, we might begin with a mention of God’s bringing rain in the past: “God of abundance, who brought water on the earth in its early days…” Or, if praying for food, we might say, “Loving God, who delivered the bread of heaven to your people in the desert…” This ancient order for prayer goes like this:
- Name God in a manner that is relevant to your petition “God of abundance; God of mercy; God of all peoples…etc.”
- Reference a characteristic or past act of God that relates to your petition “Who brought your people out of exile; who walked with Eve in the garden; who spoke to Your people through wind, cloud and fire…etc.”
- Praise or thank God for the good of the current state. “We thank you for bringing us here today; Thank you for the hope of a new day…etc.”
- Make your appeal. “We ask that you be with those who are waiting at the border, protect them from harms way, and stir wisdom in our leaders that we may remove the barriers for safe passage to our country.”
- Tie it back to who we know God to be. “We lift this prayer up to you, who dwells with your people in wilderness; We pray this in the name of You who loves all people of the earth…”
- Close it in God’s name. “In Jesus’ name we pray; In the name of our loving God; in the name of the One who created us all we pray…”
Of course, we need no template or structure for prayer, but an order like this can help us articulate our hopes and prayers to God especially in times when the circumstances rob us of our words. If you look closely at the prayers at the top of the page, you can see this very order play out in short, subtle ways.