Praying for Refugees

Their plight is in the news--let's pray for them

A temporary ban on refugees being admitted to the U.S. has put the spotlight on their plight. Few of us know what it is to lose our homes, our friends, our land, our belongings, and any sense of security. To lose identity, and dignity. Let us pray for the refugees—men and women, boys and girls—wandering the earth…

A PRAYER FOR THE POOR AND DOWNTRODDEN (from Prayers for Our Lives: 95 Lifelines to God)

[download a PDF of this prayer here]

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Luke 4:18-19

Gracious Lord in heaven,

When we consider the misery and suffering of so many millions of people in the world today, we are overwhelmed

May we not turn away.

Help us to see these realities. Open our ears to the cries of the multitudes. Give us the courage to know the pain of others.

And so we pray, though with a great sense of our limitations.

We pray for the poor. May the battle against extreme poverty go on without pause.

We pray for the oppressed. Help them to survive the corruptions of governments and the evil of criminals who prey on them.

We pray for the enslaved. Bring them rescuers who will break them out of their bondage. Give them the hope for spiritual freedom.

We pray for those who suffer the indignity of discrimination in any form. Help them find justice, and protect their hearts from bitterness.

We pray for the courageous people who are bringing release and relief to the poor and downtrodden in our world. We pray they would have resources to do the job and that they would sense your wisdom to know what may be done.

We are overwhelmed by the needs of a suffering world, dear God. Protect us from paralysis. Help us to proclaim the liberating gospel of the Lord Jesus, and to live out that gospel.

In Christ’s name, Amen.



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14 thoughts on “Praying for Refugees

  1. Yes we pray but also let us pray for the President who is trying to make this a safer nation for our families. Let us not forget to protect our own before we take in others. We have homeless people in the streets of our own state that have no place warm to go. We need to care for our own before we reach out to others!

    • Prayer for president.. for sure. Not neglect homeless here… so true. As far as showing mercy toward one before another… not an either/or, I think. God calls some of us to help people right around the corner, and calls others to go to the ends of the earth with the gospel of Christ in word and deed.

  2. As a Christian we are to extend a helping hand to all less fortunate, but it’s supposed to be a hand up not a continual handout, and the Government isn’t supposed to be the one responsible to do the helping it’s the Christian community. The welfare system is grossly abused and out of control. Plus we need to keep the bad guys at bay and out of Our country. They are creating a unsafe environment and spreading a Evil ideology in our Society. I believe only Christian faiths should be protected by the freedom of Religion in the first Amendment. I think that was the intention from our founders.
    We need to pray for our leaders and pray that the only God gives them wisdom in everything they do. God Bless All people especially those in real need. Amen. Ernie

  3. I come from a Muslim country. I am a committed Christian. I am against Muslims going to Christian countries. The religion is warlike and is very anti-Jesus. Islam has two faces, one for the West and one for their own. These are diametrically opposite. The face that faces the West apsays peaceful things and look snice and talks about religious freedom. The face to their own Muslims is the opposite. The whole idea is to destroy the world and bring it under Islamic dominance. And 99% of Western people do not understand this

    The nature of Islam is such that the Muslim must listen to and obey the imams and the mufti and the fatwahs and so on. And I get very disappointed when these Muslim refugees convert others including Christians into Islam.

    I will not say the same for non-Muslims. These refugees are welcome at any time. The USA does not have unending supply of finances. Let us use what we can afford to help out the refugees who are peaceful and are more prone to become Christians. Like the Tamils from Sri Lanka, and other similar groups.

    Only after then should be looking t helping out Muslim refugees

    • Thank you for your revelation of the Muslim ideology most of Americans either are not knowledgeable or are too caught up in their day to day lives to care.

  4. Pastor Mel, as always you continually let your light shine in a broken world. Thank You for your Blessings! The Lord is withYou.

  5. Thank you for this. I have indeed been overwhelmed by the suffering in this country and in the world. The focus of this prayer is appreciated.

    Continued blessings,


  6. Dear Pastor Mel
    Thank you so much for bringing this prayer request for all those refuges who is lost like a sheep without a shepherd. For many long years the world keep looking at America and learning how to “Love your neighbor as they self.” There is a big difference between ‘Sacrificial Love’ and ‘Love with Concern.’ I do understand there are many homeless, hungry, jobless, poor and suffering in your country too. We as fellowmen we all are responsible for our own fellowmen. It is not easy, but it is possible. It does not take a president of a country to pass a law on how to care / care not for the refugees. No doubt the Christian Church in America has gone beyond the boundary in helping the needy community, nations and the wold understood it is all because of ‘Compassionate Christian Love’ For all this many long long years world understood loud and clear about the Christian Love. Of course there are many opportunists who will look for windfall. These opportunists need not only be from outside they can be inside too. Me being in India, I see that so much in my own country too.

    The most beautiful story of “Good Samaritan” is a great example. Example of all category of people, there was a wounded man, priest, Levi, and a man who is considered to be untouchable. Jesus reminded that “because of my name you will suffer.” Never the less we being call, commissioned, and commanded, we as Christian believers do not have an escape from doing good. Having said that yes we want to be live dove as well as serpent. That is called discernment and God’s wisdom. As the saying goes “Because it is golden needle you can’t poke your eye.” My title for the Good Samaritan story is “Get Off The Donkey.” Sitting on the donkey we cannot serve the poor and needy. To care for that needy person, the Samaritan used every thing want he had in his position – his first aide kit, his donkey, walking to the second milestone to the hospital, paying his bill, and willing to return after his work to pay if there is anything more to be paid. After he finishing all this act he got the title “Good Samaritan.” Where as the Priest and Levi did not even bother to consider doing any good to the hurting man. So they only had a title which was no good.

    Having said this, we all are responsible to take care of our fellowmen, In my own state (Karnataka) in India, it is engraved on the main building “Government Work Is God’s Work.” But sadly I don’t see any such meaningful activity taking place from my Government. That does not mean that I should sit back and expect only the Government to care for the needy people. We don’t either do anything special to only Christians. Since I worked very close with Mother Teresa, one time she said “At time Jesus demands me to love Him so much, but it is very painful and it hurts.” How true it is. It hurts, it is painful, yet His love compels us to do what HE is expecting from you.

    The Bad people will continue to be bad till they understand what is good in me. Just because I have a name ‘Paul, Joseph, Jacob, Mary’ it does not mean that I am a great Christian. It is all a name tag means nothing. Before we question the Government, let us question ourselves am I a real “Good Samaritan.” I would like to remind once again, we closing the boarder will never ever stop the bad elements, even enemy, out of our boundary. Even an insider can turnout to be a enemy.

    Let us pray and ask God for His wisdom, continue to Love our neighbor. God is looking for every single person He created to be in His Kingdom some day. We are His instruments to win each one of them for His Kingdom. Still there are millions who is lost, the world considers them to be least. But we as God’s children do our best to reach them. America has been a great model to the rest of the world, many nations have watched. Now it is time we pray and ask for God’s wisdom
    Paul Dass

    • I too was thinking that those who thought we should care first for our own might like to read the parable of the Good Samaritan, which Our Lord gave in answer to the question, ‘who is my neighbour’. Also of relevance here is Matthew 25:31-46.

      Thank you for a timely prayer.

    • Thank you so much for your reminders to us, Paul, that our actions towards real people we meet are so important.

      Perhaps whenever we pray about people who are suffering, particularly if they are suffering injustice, oppression or exploitation, we should pray for wisdom and insight into what we can do to assist them and how we can do something about the human greed, ignorance and self-interest which contribute to their pain.

  7. Father we bless Your Name. May the downtrodden find a REFUGE in You. We pray that You bless all those who have found peace in You and are being or trying to be JESUS to the downtrodden with all the divine provisions they will need to reach out.
    In Jesus’s Name. Amen