Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Prayer for the Immigrant--Prayer Vigil at APU

On April 23, 2009 students from the Latin American Student Association (LASA) at Azusa Pacific University held a prayer vigil to bring attention to the situation of some immigrants to the United States.

Visitors to the vigil were handed cards with pictures of immigrants whose stories they could follow visually and with words that explain how people decide to migrate, how the travel and cross borders and both the successes and failures they find in a new country.

This prayer for the immigrant is written by and offered by the students of LASA. To read this prayer in Spanish, click here.

God of Cultures, we pray for the millions of immigrants who are living around the world in countries that may be hostile "strangers." Teach us to look beyond the borders of the nation and city in which we live.

God of the Poor, we pray that immigrant families and especially children who have restricted access to shelter, food, health care, and education would cease to be marginalized by the systems in which they live and instead be treated with dignity. We pray that they would be provided with covering shelter, nourishing food, sustaining health, and a nurturing education.

We pray for those who were born in the United States whose thoughts and actions may be fueled by racist and ethnocentric attitudes towards those who were born elsewhere. We pray for the abolition of individual and institutional racism.

We pray for those who live in constant fear of deportation and separation from their family. We pray that families would be able to remain together.

We pray that you would help us remember that all people possess inherent human dignity as your children, made in your image, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, socio-economic status, or legal status; in the undocumented sister and brother, let us see your Spirit, O Lord.

Help us not forget that you were an immigrant; that your family fled to Egypt when you were a child to escape Herod’s decree to kill every infant boy.

God, help us see you in the eyes of the migrant and to recognize your presence amongst the oppressed.