March Prayer Partner: Gathering to Pray and Advocate for Immigrants
Last week, on a virtual meeting I had the privilege to facilitate between one of my U.S. Senator’s offices and evangelical leaders from our state, I ended by asking the staffer to let her boss – the Senator – know that I and the others on the call were praying for her, asking God to give her wisdom and courage in her role.
I found myself thinking back to that off-hand comment later. When was the last time I’d actually prayed for my U.S. Senators by name? Sometimes, if I’m honest, I’m more quick to say that I’ll pray for someone than to actually do so—which is exactly the opposite of the way that Jesus told us to approach prayer: not with the intention of being seen by others as prayerful and pious, but in privacy, speaking to our Father in heaven, for an audience of One, trusting that He actually hears us and will answer (Matthew 5:5-6).
Senators, along with other Members of Congress, the president and his cabinet, Supreme Court justices, governors and various other elected officials certainly need our prayers: they have incredibly important jobs that impact the common good, including the wellbeing of vulnerable immigrants within our communities. The Apostle Paul urges prayers and intercession “for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:2). Those instructions apply whether we voted for and generally agree with the positions of our political leaders or not.
We’re entering a season in which we anticipate important deliberations in Washington over changes to immigration policy, such as consideration of the recently re-introduced Dream Act. We can and should engage these important issues by advocating, such as by signing on to this letter and inviting others to join you. But one of the most important ways we can stand with those who are vulnerable is by being faithful in prayer.
I hope that you’ll set aside some time to bring those who lead our nation before the Lord in prayer in the next few days, praying that, in each decision they face, they would have the wisdom to know what is right and then the courage to do it. Pray in particular that God would burden them with the plight of Dreamers, refugees, unaccompanied children and other vulnerable immigrants, so that they would use the influence entrusted to them to forge consensus and find solutions
We’re invited to pray in privacy, but we also have biblical examples of gathering together to pray (Acts 12:5-17). If you’d like a place to gather, at least virtually, to pray for our elected officials, for immigrants and for the response of our churches to immigration issues, you’re welcome to join us for a monthly prayer time over Zoom. Just fill out this form and we’ll follow up in the coming days with a calendar invitation.
In Jesus’ name,
National Coordinator, Evangelical Immigration Table
P.S. Our friends at the Humanitarian Disaster Institute are hosting a free, virtual Spiritual First Aid Summit on March 11. Join a number of brilliant speakers as we consider together how the church can serve the needs of our communities through the COVID pandemic and beyond. Register at spiritualfirstaidsummit.com.
P.P.S. I’ve heard lots of questions lately about what’s happening at the border, especially as it relates to children, and to what’s happening in Congress in terms of legislation. The other day I went on Instagram Live with my friend Sarah Quezada of Women of Welcome to talk through what we know.