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Father God, Loving and Compassionate and True.  Because we know your heart, we know that you are grieving for your children.  You are grieved at the violence in our world, At the poverty and oppression, At the acts of hatred and anger that are perpetrated against your people.

Hear our cries, O God. Our hearts are one with You and we, too, grieve and lament. We ache for the refugees forced to flee their homes, their families, and all that they know and love. Our hearts hurt for their loss and their pain, and for the difficulties yet to come. 

Father, sometimes it feels as though nothing has changed. Our ancestors also suffered and fled their homelands. Your word tells us of those who walked through the struggles of being displaced due to war or famine, oppression, or imposition of the unjust or unfair.

Our scripture is full of stories of war, of people running, of searching for a new home. Moses, Jeremiah, Daniel, Esther, Ruth.  Even our Messiah was forced to flee to Egypt in search of safety.

Today, we come to You to pray a special prayer for those in transition. For the displaced, the refugees, the asylum seekers. We pray for those who are mourning their losses. Lost homes, loss of work and identity, lost connection and community, lost language and culture. Many have lost loved ones and been separated from family.

Father, please comfort those who weep, those who grieve, those who are suffering today.  We pray for peace where there is war. We pray for joy in the midst of sorrow.  We pray for love where the seeds of hatred have been sown. We also pray for those who aid and receive.

Thank you, Father, for soft hearts and open arms.  Thank you for calling Your people to come to the aid of those who suffer.  Please grant them courage and strength and wisdom as they receive and show hospitality.  Please give them healing hands and hearts to comfort those who are displaced.

Please provide resources where there is need.

Father, help us to foster communities of connection and care and belonging for our newest neighbors.  Help us restore a sense of family and home for those who have lost what they knew to be safe.  Open our eyes so that we may see those who are hungry, those who are hurting, those who feel unwelcome. Help us to lean in, to listen well, and to love with compassion. Give us understanding and help us to restore dignity to those who have had it stripped away.

We give special thanks for those working on the frontlines of aid, for those working to show the arms of Christ to those who are actively running from danger, for those who are daily being the hands of Jesus to clothe and feed and quench the thirst of those who escape persecution and violence, oppression and war.  Give a special measure of strength and rest to those who are weary. For those who are emotionally exhausted from listening and carrying the stories and burdens of others, please give them a double portion of Your heart today.

For our community, we pray for fear to be dispelled and for hearts to be opened to new neighbors.  We pray for refugees to find hospitality and generosity and warm welcome. We pray for systems that help and guide and seek justice.

Gracious and Heavenly Father, We praise you and give you thanks for the love of the community, for the open arms of the caregivers, for the hospitality of new friends, and for the unity of your people.

Thank you for the opportunities we have to be your hands and feet, to be the love of Christ in the world, and to live out your goodness in the Kingdom.

May all feel the welcome and love and grace of Jesus in all that we say and do.

In Jesus’ name we pray.