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Prayer for Others: Refugees

This prayer includes optional symbols, which could be brought forward during the prayer and placed on a small table. 

We remember before God
all those who have been uprooted
from their homes and communities –
people who are compelled to flee for their lives,
to leave their land and culture,
and live apart from their families.
With them, we mourn their loss of dignity,
community, resources, and employment.

Symbol of uprooted persons –
a globe, map, or small bag with a few items of clothing

We especially pray for the women
who are the majority of those displaced.
We remember the work that women do
to keep families together,
to nurture community
and end violence and injustice.

Symbol of women – a shawl or scarf

We remember the millions of children
whose lives are marked by danger and exploitation.

Symbol of children – a worn child’s shoe or a small toy 

We remember those who are persecuted
because of their gender, race, or creed.
We pray for the women, the men,
the children, and the elderly,
who seek safety and solace,
who yearn to begin new lives.

For all the uprooted,
sheltering God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We remember before God
those countries where people must leave their homes
because of war, injustice, and violence.

Symbol of peace –
a figure of a dove, a paper crane, or a flower

We remember those places
which have been made unsafe by land mines,
and all those who have been killed
or maimed by land mines.

We remember those in our own homeland
who live with violence and its brutal threat.

For all people terrified by violence,
Gentle God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who leave their homes
for economic survival;
we remember that the gap
between rich and poor gets wider,
and the earth’s resources are shared by fewer people.

Symbol of economic survival –
pennies, recycling sign, or a food bank bag

We pray for those who pay the cost
of international debt with their lives.
We remember the homeless and poorly housed
and the unemployed in our own communities.

For all people displaced by economic disparity,
God of justice, in your mercy hear our prayer.

We remember before God
those who leave their homes
because of earthquakes, storms floods,
and other disasters.

We acknowledge the effects of deforestation,
degradation of farm land,
nuclear and weapons testing,
and the exploitation of resources
for the sake of consumers in other countries.

Symbol of the environment –
a pot of earth or an unpotted plant

We remember those in our own communities
who have been hurt by poor stewardship of creation.

For all people displaced by devastation of your world,
Creator God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We give thanks to you, God,
for the world’s diversity of peoples and cultures.

Symbol of diversity –
a multicolored braid of wool, kaleidoscope, or rainbow

We pray that hostility and indifference
may give way to hospitality and justice.
Help us to be vigilant stewards and faithful partners,
and strengthen us to live as people of your creation,
committed and bold in deeds of justice.
God of all, you taught us through your Son
to seek the signs of your reign in the tiny mustard seed.
Plant your word deep in the soil of our hearts,
sow in us the seeds of compassion;
let your hospitality take root within us,
and your compassion grow in us,
so righteousness may spring forth in all the world,
and your holy will be done.

We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Prayer of Intercession comes from “In Solidarity with Uprooted Peoples,” and posted on the World Council of Churches website.

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