Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Prayer for Immigrants & Refugees

Defender of the downtrodden, we remember before you the people of other nations who come to this country in search of opportunity and in flight from oppression. May we look on those whose lives have been stunted and limited by the poverty and injustice of the past and seared by the conflict and turmoil that afflict their native lands.

We bless you for all that America has meant to those who have come here by land or sea and for all the courage and strength and energy with which they have enriched this country. We rejoice in all those millions whose lives have been enriched by the wealth and freedom of this country and whose children have taken their own place among us, for many of us are the children of immigrants who came with mingled hopes and fears to this new place.

We ask forgiveness for the hostility with which the newcomers among us have so often been greeted and the exploitation which has too frequently been their lot. In this nation dedicated to liberty, may we learn to restrain the greed and self-seeking that are too common among us and work harder to ensure impartial administration of our laws. May newcomers find this land to be indeed a place of freedom where energy is rewarded and hopes and dreams are fulfilled.

May those in countries where freedom and opportunity are still limited by the powerful and destroyed by conflict, who yet dare to believe in democracy and the reign of God, see in our nation once more a beacon of hope and a witness to the fulfillment human beings can find where laws are designed for the common good and government officials seek the welfare of those they serve. Amen.

- Christopher Webber (adapted from Walter Rauschenbusch's prayer of 1910)

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