Intercessory Prayer for World Refugee Day 2021

Republished from the original with the permission of the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance  

Ethiopia Tigray Kitchen set distribution. Photo by LWF Ethiopia/ACT Alliance.

One:  On this World Refugee Day, we pray for those who have been displaced by war,
persecution, human rights abuses, natural disasters, corrupt governments acting
with impunity and other forms of violence and oppression.

All:  You, O LORD, are a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have
not forsaken those who seek you.*

One: Today we lift up in particular these places where our connectional church is
witness to the suffering and grief of whole communities uprooted:
• From a 10-year war in Syria,
• Combined crises in Cameroon caused by conflict in the Anglophone
regions and incursions by Boko Haram
• the impacts of human rights violations, corruption and natural disasters in
Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala
• the renewed conflict in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia,
• the decades long conflict in the Gedo region of Somalia

All: We pray for those who live day to day with personal insecurity due to violence.
We grieve the loss of life and livelihoods; the many places where the combined
impacts of human and natural caused disasters have caused the depletion of
natural resources leading to abject poverty and a dependency on international

One: We give you thanks, O Lord, for human rights defenders and international
organizations working together to hold these governments responsible. We pray
for negotiations to end these conflicts, that the international community can
support meaningful dialogues that begin with ceasefires and lead to lasting
peace. We pray for government, civic and faith leaders to work together for the
restoration of civil and human rights.

All: We give thanks to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Uganda, Kenya and Mexico who are
among the countries holding some of the largest and newest refugee
populations. We remember that the vast majority of the world’s refugees are
hosted in neighboring countries that refugees are able to reach on foot or by
road. We give thanks for humanitarian organizations and pray that
governments grant them access so they may provide life-saving assistance.

One: We pray for refugees seeking protection from the United States:
• For the thousands still at the border;
• For those who are living here in limbo waiting for a judge or asylum officer
to make a decision about their future;
• For refugees waiting overseas for their resettlement to be approved.

All: We remember the refugees who have been living here for years, working to
rebuild their lives, trusting in this country to be a place where their families can
thrive economically, socially and spiritually.

One: We pray that the U.S. Government will live up its promise to restore the US
resettlement program. We pray for our President and Members of Congress that
their hearts may be open to new solutions that invest in welcome with dignity
and due process and turn away from reliance on militarization, obstruction and
abusive systems.

We give thanks for people of faith who join in solidarity to expand welcome for
refugees and asylum seekers. We pray for all the groups and congregations that
together are creating a web of welcome. And we give you thanks, O God, for the
presence and perseverance of refugees living her who make us a better nation.

All: You, O Lord, are a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have
not forsaken those who seek you.* Amen
(*Adapted from Psalm 9:9-10)
By Susan Krehbiel, Associate for Refugees & Asylum, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Please note: The specific locations mentioned in this prayer reflect places where the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its partners are engaged in providing humanitarian relief and/or working to end the violence. For more background on these situations of forced displacement:

Syrian Refugees speak about the future

Valery Nodem shares a prayer for Cameroonians in the U.S. facing detention and deportation.

Current Conflict and Human Rights in Somalia

UNICEF Report: No End to Conflict in Tigray Region

How Corruption Fuels Human Rights Abuses & Forced Migration in Honduras

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