Today is our day to remember refugees. The prayer points are scattered throughout, so please pause to pray as you read…
How can we pray for refugees?
Refugees are living in a huge variety of conditions. Some are in makeshift homes in camps, while others rent cramped accommodation in towns and cities. Some have remained in the region, while others have made their way across Europe. Here are some commonalities we can focus on for prayer.
Uncertainty and insecurity
All of their plans and hopes for the future have been dashed. The structure of society, which they took for granted and which supported all of their ambitions, is gone, as are the neighbourliness and friendships they relied upon. This leaves people in a state of heightened anxiety, distrust of others, and with lack of hope for the future.
- Pray for physical and psychological help for those who need it.
- Pray that Arab World Media’s self-help modules – designed to help people address issues like depression and suicide – would reach the right people and bring practical help.
- Most of all, pray that in their desperation, people would reach out to the living God for answers and find him.
Note: We have found that the most receptive group we have worked with has been the refugee community in Turkey. This is because they are desperate.
Trauma and fear
Most refugees have faced significant trauma. Some have seen family members humiliated, tortured or even killed before their eyes. Others have suffered physical, life-changing injuries or endured huge psychological stress. Many women have been raped and abused, sometimes by those whom they trusted.
High rates of trauma and suffering, combined with the daily stress of uncertainty and struggles to survive, have made a large group of society socially dysfunctional.
- Pray for help and comfort from aid organisations, churches and Christians.
- Many refugees testify that Christians have been the ones who have helped them. Pray that this has a significant impact on their spiritual lives and opens their hearts to Jesus.
- Lift up Middle Eastern churches that have been thrust into the forefront of caring for thousands of people.
Boredom and futility
Imagine yourself with all of your social networks suddenly stripped away. No job, no school, no structure to your days. What do you do all day? This is a particular problem in the camps. It is especially hard on children and young people. Many people go online with their phones. Many watch pornography, which can also lead to a sense of unreality around sex (and rape and violence).
- Lift up organisations that are running social and educational programmes in the camps. Pray that they would have continued access and be successful in empowering people to build new lives.
- Give thanks for the example of some refugees who have started new businesses. May they encourage others rather than becoming sources of jealousy.
- Pray that those idly looking online would find Christian websites and learn about the truth.
It is God’s purpose in this situation that many refugees will come to know him. We have prayed for many years that those who were locked in Islam might be set free. There is now a great shaking of those nations. Pray for a huge harvest and for workers to bring it in!
Make a comment below or use social media to let us know what you’ve been praying and how God has been speaking to you. Use the hashtag #RethinkingRamadan.
Tomorrow, as we rediscover, we’ll be looking at Islamic beliefs about Jesus.