BACK IN AUGUST, I was involved in organising an interactive prayer service at our church (I am now the ‘prayer co-ordinator’ – I can only assume this is God’s sense of humour as I am often feeble and sporadic with my prayers).
This involved various prayer stations or ‘zones’. I wanted one to inspire people to pray for refugees, so I borrowed a friend’s tent (well, they brought it and kindly put it up for me) and put various resources – images, info, statistics – inside and around it for people to pray.
There was one small reflection I used that I thought I would share here:
It’s a journey I didn’t want to take.
But here I am, running from fear and mess and war.
Wanting to find protection and shelter. Wanting to save my family.
If we had been born in different places, this could have been you.
It could have been you.
It could be you. It could be me.
These are the ‘instructions’ that came with the station. I appreciate these are my feeble words, and there is much out there that would be more helpful, and much that has happened since I wrote them… but I will share them anyway:
In 2014 the number of refugees exceeded 50 million for the first time since the post-World War II era.
Use this space to reflect on those who are escaping from war, those seeking shelter and protection, those without home. For many, a tent like this would be a luxury.
If you want to, you can sit inside the tent and pray for those who are refugees, asylum seekers, those taking terrible risks to get to a place of safety…
Remember, as you read and watch the news, that ‘50 million’ is comprised of individuals, people who are terrified, hungry and exhausted. Each person is different, and yet they are often judged ‘en masse’, and seen as a ‘problem to be dealt with’. Pray for them.
Pray for countries and governments to work together to help those in such need in the best, most compassionate and most effective way.
It could have been any of us. So what will we do?