November Prayer Partner: Praying for Families to be Together
Like many of you, I spent Thanksgiving with a smaller number of family members than in a typical year: no siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews or cousins. After months of interacting with many of my family only virtually, being encouraged to limit the size of holiday gatherings was hard. I’m tired of virtual interactions: I want to be with people whom I love.
I’ve also been thinking about how this moment could help many Americans to understand the pain that many of our immigrant neighbors have faced for much longer periods of separation from family.
When I used to work as a legal counselor, the first thing that many clients whom I was able to help become Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States did was actually to leave the U.S. — not permanently, of course, but to visit family in their countries of origin whom they had not seen (except, perhaps, on a screen) for years or even decades. Many had prayed for the chance to see an aging parent at least one more time before they died, but they knew that if they left before being approved for legal status, they would likely never be able to return to their jobs and to other family members in the U.S.
As we begin the Advent season — a season of waiting and anticipation — I’d ask you to pray for the many immigrants within our country who have been waiting a very long time to celebrate Christmas with particular family members once again. Pray, also, for all those who feel particularly isolated at this time of year, and perhaps in new ways this year. And pray for those who feel far from God — that they would experience, as the Scriptures promise us, “he is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:27).