God of refuge, Holy One of blessing:
With tender care for the smallest and least of your children, you bid disciples: let the children come, and do not forbid them

You reminded your followers that the kingdom of God is formed and filled with “such as these,” and so we ask you to help us see them as You do:

these little ones who flee gang violence in cities throughout Central America.
these vulnerable ones and their families, who cannot find food to sustain or a safe place to take shelter.
these mothers and fathers, who have impoverished their own hope in order to save their children’s future.
these, your little ones, who cry out to be covered by Your sheltering wings, and who seek to see Your face in the faces of those who meet them in the strange lands of

We pray for grace and courage as we seek to live up to our nation’s heritage as a haven for the tired and poor, and huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

We pray for generosity and creativity as we work with church and state to find places of grace, safety, and hope for children and families who are refugees.

We pray for all who would help: for communities of welcome, for volunteers and visitors, for chaplains, social workers, judges and health care workers who tend to the needs of frightened children and seek to balance urgent necessity with strained resources.

We pray for a peaceful spirit as we work and serve among neighbors whose fearfulness prevents generosity from flowering in human hearts.

O Child of Galilee, you who once, long ago fled the violence of Herod,
received the generosity of strangers,
found refuge with your family in a strange land,
and returned home to show us the way:

once again, even now, in this hour of need:
show us the way of hospitality,
fill us with your love,
and bless all your children, whose home is in you,
with gratitude, true community, and grace. Amen.

Prayer by the Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, PC(USA)


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