In light of the on-going refugee crisis, people will need to pray for refugees, asylum seekers and those who have been forcibly displaced from their homes for many years to come. If you need a few ideas of specific issues, then this list may be helpful.
Many of these items have been taken directly from a document put together by the International Association for Refugees. We have added a few of our own requests that have come from individuals we have been in contact with who have unexpectedly found themselves to be refugees.
More than anything, our world today needs people who will pray. The refugee crisis is far too large and complex for people to solve. It is only by the merciful intervention of our kind, compassionate and holy God that any long-term solution will be found.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Thank-you for praying!
1. Essential Needs
Pray that God would graciously provide for the essential needs of security, shelter, water, food and medical care for refugees and internally displaced people. Pray that God would hear their cries and lead them to a place of safety.
2. Peacemakers and Peace
Pray that God would raise up peacemakers and bring peace to countries where wars, violence and persecution are forcing people from their homes. Pray for peace and safety in major refugee producing countries like Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, D.R. Congo, South Sudan, Mali, Central Africa Republic, Nigeria, Myanmar, Iraq, Columbia, Viet Nam, and Eritrea.
3. Healing and Security
Pray for our forcibly displaced brothers and sisters who live in difficult circumstances and with uncertain futures. Pray that God would give them their daily bread. Pray that he will heal their hearts, minds and bodies from traumas suffered. Pray that they would know God’s presence with them and that God would renew their faith, joy and strength with each sunrise. Pray that God would give them a hope and a future.
4. Refugee Churches
Philip was forced to flee Jerusalem due to persecution. He found his way to Samaria, and “proclaimed the Messiah there”. Although a refugee, Philip became a source of great joy in his city of refuge (Acts 8:4‐8).
Many refugee churches are following Philip’s example. They are boldly proclaiming Christ in their countries of refuge. They are planting churches. They are caring for orphans and widows in their host country. They are setting up Bible Schools within refugee camps in order to train church leaders. They do all of this with next to no resources.
Let’s pray for them – that they would be a source of great joy to the people in their countries of refuge and that they will display God's splendour as they wait for Him.
5. Women and Children
Pray for refugee women and children. They are among the world’s most vulnerable people and make up more than half of the world’s refugee population. Pray that God would protect them from people who would like to prey upon them and exploit their vulnerability.
6. Refugee Youth
Pray for refugee youth. They are far from home. They are told that they can only stay temporarily in their country of refuge. They cannot return home and they have little reason to believe that they will one day be resettled to another country (less than 1% of the world’s refugee population is ever resettled).
Refugee youth face many challenges in a world in which they have no reason to hope for a better future. Some consider joining the army, education is a challenge or non-existent, many are parents themselves, and hope often runs thin.
7. Countries Hosting Refugees
Pray for countries hosting refugees. 85% of the world’s refugee population is found in developing countries. They carry a heavy load – sometimes at great risk.
Large waves of refugees can be difficult for countries to absorb and care for – even with assistance from the UN. Pray for major refugee hosting countries like Pakistan, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Kenya, Chad, Ethiopia, China and the USA.
Ironically, many of the hosting countries also produce refugees. Pray for the governments of these countries, for the decision makers, for justice and stability for the native born and the asylum seeker.
8. UN and Humanitarian Agencies Serving Refugees
Pray for the UN Refugee Agency and Humanitarian Agencies serving refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDP), along with the many SAHs here in Canada who are working on behalf of the forcibly displaced.
Humanitarian organizations work many long hours to assist with the essential needs for security, shelter, water, food, medical care, educational opportunities, resettlement, etc. They all work with less funding than is needed to provide their services.
One example is the situation in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya, where over 3,000 new refugees arrive on a weekly basis. In 2010, the camp population was 80,000; today it is over 186,000. Dadaab refugee camp, also in Kenya, was established in 1992 and now hosts over 200,000 refugees.
SAHs walk the difficult path of knowing the needs of refugees and seeing the potential for Canadians to make a difference, and yet live the reality of relatively few people being willing to step in to the adventure of getting involved personally.
9. The Refugee Highway Partnership
Pray for the Refugee Highway Partnership, a dynamic and growing international network of individuals, churches and Christian agencies that are finding ways to help local churches seek the welfare and protection of forcibly displaced people.
Pray that God will continue to grow this network of Christians burdened to seek the welfare of forcibly displaced people in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South Asia.
Pray that as they share learning and resources, that local churches would become more effective in welcoming and loving the forcibly displaced people in their communities. Learn more at www.refugeehighway.net.
Pray for Asylum-seekers who arrive in Canada vulnerable and alone. Once here, with no formal support services in place, initial days are difficult. They need a place to stay, and to submit refugee claimant forms before facing long days of uncertainty while waiting for their refugee hearing.
Pray for Asylum‐Seekers in Europe. Many have made long and dangerous journeys across the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea to reach a country in Europe in which they hoped to find refuge – only to find that they are unwelcome. Some survive on the streets. Others are kept in refugee detention centers.