“The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. ’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me"
Matthew 25: 40-43
A refugee is a person who is outside their country of origin or habitual residence because they have suffered (or fear) persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because they are a member of a persecuted 'social group' or because they are fleeing natural disaster. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until recognized by the state where they make a claim.
Throughout human history, there have been regular times where large numbers of people have had to seek refuge away from their traditional homes. The situation is very difficult for the refugee. They are among strangers who often use and abuse them. God told His children through Isaiah that they should provide shelter to Moabites. And this was one of the people groups the Israelites often fought!
Pray that we will obey the words of Isaiah 16:4 and give shelter to those who have even been our enemies.
Sometimes it's difficult to know where to begin praying for refugees.
We offer the prayer below as a helpful starting point.
Father in heaven, please be near those who are forcibly displaced today. Some know you. Others do not. You love them all. May they all know your presence, protection and provision.
You have not forgotten them. You know their names. You know their stories. You know their journey. Please lead them.
You are not far from them. You know their loss and suffering. You suffered too. Please heal and comfort them.
You are not against them. You deeply care for each man, woman and child. Please renew their faith, their hope and their strength.
They've lost their place in the world. Be their refuge. Graciously lead them to a safe place where they can settle and rebuild their lives.
We pray for peace, justice and reconciliation in their countries of origin.
We pray in the name of Jesus who was once himself a refugee in Egypt.