July Prayer Partner: Lifting the News Up in Prayer

 In Prayer Partner

Dear friends,

I recently read an article by a journalist who admitted she’s stopped consuming news altogether. And, she noted, she’s not alone: more than 40 percent of Americans say they actively avoid the news – many, presumably, because it’s just so overwhelming and depressing.

As someone who closely follows immigration news in particular, I resonated with that sentiment. The past month has been heavy. More than fifty lives lost in a sweltering tractor trailer in San Antonio. A court hearing underscoring the significant likelihood that hundreds of thousands of individuals who rely upon Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to reside and work lawfully could soon lose those rights – potentially facing unemployment or even deportation. A record-breaking 100 million people displaced globally by persecution and violence.

It’s wise, I think, to intentionally take time away from these headlines. I’m planning to take a vacation next week with my wife and kids and will be trying to be disciplined in not following the news while I’m away (please hold me accountable if you see me tweeting).

But, long-term, living in intentional ignorance of the hardships and injustices confronting fellow human beings – whom the Bible presents as bearing God’s image and neighbors whom we’re commanded to love – is not a solution, because only when we’re aware can we respond.

One way we can respond is through building relationships with individuals who are directly affected. Volunteer with a refugee resettlement agency to welcome a newly arriving family. Visit the border and witness – and consider supporting – the churches and ministries tangibly caring for individuals attempting to seek asylum. Get to know the Dreamers who are integral members of many of our congregations throughout the country.

We can also respond through advocacy, urging our elected officials to pursue public policy reforms consistent with biblical values that could dramatically improve the lives of millions of people. Right now, for example, I’d urge you to add your name to our recent letter to Members of Congress, urging them to pass reforms including allowing DACA recipients and other Dreamers to apply for permanent legal status.

But, as Christians, we also have another way to advocate, presenting our requests, concerns and grief over injustice to God in prayer. The Scriptures promise us that God hears our prayer and will act (Lk 18:1-8; 1 Jn 5:14-15).

Our monthly Evangelical Immigration Table virtual prayer meeting will be next Monday, July 18, at 4 PM ET/3 PM CT/2 PM MT/1 PM PT (click here to add to your calendar). I’d encourage you to join us then, and/or to set aside some time for prayer elsewhere in your schedule, praying specifically for:

  • DACA recipients and other Dreamers – that God would direct the hearts of lawmakers who would open an opportunity for them to finally pursue permanent legal status and citizenship, and that God would be near to Dreamers and their families facing anxiety as the DACA program is debated in the courts
  • Refugees and asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution around the world – that their lives would be protected, that governments around the world would pursue policies that affirm the dignity of their lives and ensure protection, and that the Church throughout the world would welcome them with compassion and hospitality
  • The families of those who lost their lives in San Antonio and in similar situations throughout our world – that God would offer peace that passes understanding, and that we would see more functional, safe, legal channels for migration for those for whom staying in a country of origin is untenable

In Christ,

Matthew Soerens
National Coordinator, Evangelical Immigration Table

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