Giving Thanks for Immigrants: March 2019 Prayer Partner Email
Often, our monthly emails are focused on prayer requests, offerings suggestions for ways that you could ask God to intervene as immigrants within our country face challenging circumstances, to guide elected officials facing difficult immigration policy decisions or to rescue those facing the desperate conditions around the world that have compelled many to flee their countries.
God invites us to bring our requests before him. But we also should remember to express our gratitude to God in prayer.
This month, I’m thankful for the many ways that immigrants are enriching the U.S. church. Asbury Theological Seminary president Tim Tennent has described immigration as “the greatest hope for Christian renewal in North America,” noting that many immigrants are already believers when they arrive in the U.S. – bringing a vibrant Christian faith with them to congregations and communities in need of spiritual revitalization – while others put their faith in Christ for the first time here.
I’m also thankful for the commitment to prayer that is common among so many immigrant congregations. Last week, I spent several hours at a late-night prayer vigil hosted by a Spanish-speaking church near my home. Praying alongside immigrant sisters and brothers from Venezuela, Mexico, Honduras and elsewhere in Latin America, I was struck by – and grateful for – their fervency in prayer, knowing that God hears and responds to the cries of his people.
I’m also thankful for the stories of immigrants, which consistently inspire me. We’ve been trying to capture some of these stories on our Evangelical Immigration Table blog, Telling a Better Story, like the story of Andrea Castaneda-Lauver, a youth pastor in Texas who originally came to the U.S. from El Salvador, or Lori Kim, originally from Korea, who now serves refugee children from various countries outside of Atlanta. I hope you’ll read these testimonies and the other stories on our blog – and perhaps you have a story you’d like to contribute yourself.
Lastly, as we seek to engage a complex topic like immigration in ways that honor God, I’m grateful he has given us the Bible to guide us. The Scriptures speak clearly and repeatedly to God’s heart for immigrants. To help you explore the different ways that the Bible addresses the issue of immigration, we’ve prepared a free guide called “I Was a Stranger: What the Bible Says about Immigrants.” Particularly as some Christians prepare to observe Lent as a 40-day preparation for our celebration of Christ’s resurrection, I encourage you to download this guide, which can either be printed out or accessed as a digital Bible-reading guide on your phone or tablet.
National Coordinator, Evangelical Immigration Table