Prayers for refugees

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1 Prayers for refugees God of all humanity, In a world full of fear, open our hearts to your love. Though we walk in desolate valleys, Open our minds to your hope. We turn from hatred, towards love. We turn from intolerance, Towards understanding. We commit ourselves to compassion. Together, not alone, we pray for peace. Through Christ our Lord, Amen. Linda Jones/ CAFOD We are one body, different parts, One family, spread throughout the world. We feel one hurt as war and injustice force loved ones apart. Living Christ, work through us, as we open our hearts to all those in need So that there may be one hope, one joy, one welcome in you. Amen. Catherine Gorman/CAFOD

2 The Prayer of the Refugee Lord, give me strength to keep moving. Give me enough food for that strength. Evil has cast me out from my homeland. My old home is behind me and destroyed. I have to search for a new home. Lord, take from my mind my dying family, and fill it with hope for a new and caring family, A place where I can work to earn my bread, Friends who will welcome me and help me, a new home where I can build a new life. Kathy McVay/CAFOD

3 A prayer of mercy for refugees Abba Father, our beloved Father, look down with mercy on us and all refugees. Remember your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, had to leave his homeland and flee to Egypt, when he as a baby, with his mother, Mary, and foster father, Joseph. Help us to be aware of the fears, anxiety, pain, sorrow, difficulties and uncertainty all refugees suffer, and to remember that we all belong to the same human family. Holy Spirit, please give us compassion and courage to help them in any way we can. Amen. Mary, Mother of God, pray for us. St. Joseph, pray for us. Diana Sutherland/CAFOD

4 Meditation on the Lord's prayer Our Father who art in Heaven, you want us your children to build a new earth of sisterhood and brotherhood, not a hell of violence and death. Holy be your name, that in your name Lord, let there be no abuse, no oppression and no manipulation of the conscience and liberty of your children. Your Kingdom come, not the kingdom of fear, force or money, of seeking peace through war. Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, in this land of ours and in sister lands which echo with gunfire and cries of fear. Give us this day our daily bread, the bread of peace, Lord, so that we can sow our maize and beans, watch them grow and share them together as a family. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Do not let our relationships be based on self-interest. Let us change laments for songs of life, clenched fists for outstretched hands and the weeping of widows and orphans for smiles. Lead us not into temptation, the temptation to conform, to do nothing: the temptation not to collaborate with you in the search for justice and peace. But deliver us from evil, from behaving like Cain to our brothers and sisters, from believing ourselves rulers over life and death.

5 For yours is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory. You are our hope of salvation, in you we place our trust. El Salvador, group of refugees Love your neighbour Jesus, friend and brother, You know what it is like To be hungry and thirsty. You know the plight of the Stranger who is made unwelcome. You know the suffering of all Who have lost everything. We pray that by welcoming The asylum seeker we may show Love for our neighbour and Draw closer to you. Amen. Tony Singleton/CAFOD

6 Prayer of protection Terror is at our heels. Anxiety, uncertainty, vulnerability Lie ahead. We have fled to freedom. And yet Our hearts are aching. Response: Cover us with your wings O Lord Far from home. Longing for the familiar. A touch, a smile, a hug, a kind word. Yearning to return. And yet We must go forwards. Response: Cover us with your wings O Lord Memories and dreams Grief and hope Death and new life What might have been What could be. And yet Throughout Remains Your constant love. Response: Cover us with your wings O Lord Margaret McNulty/CAFOD

7 Welcoming the stranger For the people and land from which refugees have fled, may there be peace and reconciliation between people and nations. That strangers, refugees, and those who seek asylum may find a welcome among us. We pray for all who make our laws and administer justice: May the God of justice be their guide. We pray for those who minister to the vulnerable and broken people especially the homeless and displaced: that they may show God s welcoming love. We often feel powerless in the face of crushing poverty, injustice and violence in our world; we ask for the courage to reach out to victims of injustice and poverty. Lord, you bestow on us the gift of your spirit in our lives to sustain our wavering hope. Accept the prayers we make from the fullness of our hearts, and grant the requests we make with confidence in you. Through Christ our Lord. Brentwood Diocese Refugee Week

8 Leaving security behind God, our fellow traveller, give us courage to leave security behind that we may take the path of risk and become your pilgrims. Give us courage to tread the road of dispossession that we may reach out to those we meet and share their load. And give us grace to listen to those whose voice is lost That we may hear their cry and shout out for justice. Amen. Annabel Shilson-Thomas/CAFOD On Homelessness Vulnerable God, As we contemplate the wonder of your birth, Stir in us the desire to cradle those who have nowhere to lay their head, That together we may rock the boat of injustice. Give us grace to offer our hands to those who reach out That with faltering steps we may find a way home And kindle our hearts to embrace the rejected and dispossessed And so meet you face to face. We ask this in your name. Amen. Annabel Shilson-Thomas/CAFOD

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