As I’m sure you’re aware, one of the main news stories of recent months has been of the millions of people who have been displaced as a result of wars and crises in nations such as Syria, Eritrea, South Sudan and others.
The Syrian conflict alone has displaced more than 7 million people within the country and more than 4 million people are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries and other nations. So far, this year, more than 2000 people from different nations have died trying to cross the Mediterranean sea on their way to Europe.
More than 160,000 people have arrived in Greece this year – often travelling on dinghies or other unworthy sea boats from Turkey. Hundreds are arriving each day at the Eastern islands – the vast majority of people will then make their way to the Macedonian border.
39,000 people have registered as migrants passing through Macedonia this past month – double the previous month.
These large numbers can often be overwhelming and can leave us feeling incapable of doing anything. But one thing we can do is remember these people in our prayers and ask for God’s peace, hope and light to be present with them.
Psalm 46 says ‘God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in times of trouble‘.
Here is a prayer we prayed last Sunday. You may it helpful in fuelling your own prayers this week:
God of refuge and strength,
We pray for those who are terrified, living in fear, fleeing danger and seeking safety. Would you be a very present help in their trouble. May those who are left with nothing know that they are not forgotten.
We ask for the provision of resources so that people’s needs are met. We ask for food, water, hygiene and sanitation kits.
We pray that the most vulnerable would be protected. We ask for peace at borders and other potential flash points.
We pray for your strength for those who are caring and providing aid; may they know your help as they help others.
Would you give grace to your church, as they seek to live the life that Jesus called them to and to love their neighbour.
Would you give wisdom to governments and leaders of the international community as they respond to this crisis. Give them clarity of mind and generosity of heart.
We look with hope to the day when wars will cease and there will be eternal peace.
In the name of Jesus our Saviour,