3 Prayers for refugees


Refuge … refugee …

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) website:


We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record.

An unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.

There are also 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.

In a world where nearly 20 people are forcibly displaced every minute as a result of conflict or persecution, our work at UNHCR is more important than ever before.

189,300 refugees were resettled in 2016.


Last month I published a post entitled “3 Prayers for Wayfarers”. In some sense refugees are wayfarers too, but not by choice.

Here are 3 prayers to help us keep on praying and not lose heart (Luke 18:1-8); despite the size of the problem; despite the seemingly impossible hurdles to providing those forced to leave their homes with genuine “hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Also pray for the work of the UNHCR and other agencies, big and small, seeking to make a difference: for creative solutions, real breakthroughs, and grace.

A prayer from Sudan, 21st century

Lord Jesus,
many of us are waiting for you:
the war-torn are waiting for peace,
the hungry are waiting for bread,
the refugees are waiting for a homeland,
the sick are waiting for healers.
Have you forgotten us?
O Lord, come quickly, we pray.

Posted on Bruce Prewer’s Homepage.

African Prayer for Refugees

O Brother Jesus
who as a child was carried into exile,
remember all those who are deprived
of their home or country,
who groan under burden of anguish and sorrow,
enduring the burning heat of the sun,
the freezing cold of the sea,
or the humid heat of the forest,
searching for a place of refuge.
Cause these storms to cease, O Christ.
Move the hearts of those in power
that they may respect the men and women
whom you have created in your own image;
that the grief of refugees may be turned into joy.

from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #452

For the Courage to Do Justice

O Lord,
open our eyes that we may see the needs of refugees;
open our ears that we may hear people’s cries for justice;
open our hearts that we may assist sojourners near and far.

Show us where love, hope and faith are needed.
Use us as ministers of your healing.
Let us not be afraid
to protect the weak because of the anger of the strong,
or to defend the poor because of the power of the rich.

Sustain us so that in these coming days
we may be able to do some work of peace for you.
We ask these things in your blessed name.

from The Uprooted Ones: Remembering Refugees (Uniting Church in Australia), in Welcoming the Stranger, posted on the Minnesota Council of Churches website.

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