THOSE WHO WAIT IN DANGER: A Prayer for Detainees and People in Migrant Camps at the Border
By Sarah Quezada
May 19, 2020
God, I confess, I do not know how to wait. Sitting in my house, drawing up plans and lists and schedules, I am ready to “get back to it.” I am drawn to productivity, to project management apps. And yet, I am quick to recognize that while my waiting is boring, frustrating, and uncomfortable, it is not dangerous.
For those families, waiting for months at the border, we offer our prayers. Cover them in your grace and protection as they live in close-quartered migrant shelters, sleep in unplanned tent communities, or cook around communal, outdoor fires.
Many have waited their turn, clutching papers with court dates scheduled months away, while existing in difficult conditions. You have accompanied them through the dangers that chased them from their home countries, the ones they encountered on the journey, and the ones near the camps.
You, O Lord, promise to hear the needy and you do not despise your imprisoned people.1 Now please, Lord, surround them with your love and supernatural covering as they fear an outbreak in the crowded communities where they wait still.
Give wisdom and protection to the humanitarian volunteers and the Border Patrol agents, who interact daily with the waiting families.
We pray, too, for those in detention centers across the country. Still hearts that are anxious about the dangers they face quarantined in tight conditions. Comfort them as visitors are no longer allowed and they feel cut off from loved ones.
May you reveal your presence in unexpected ways to those hidden from view as you have done so many times before.
As judges weigh whether or not to release those who have not committed crimes, give them wisdom in exploring justice and mercy in this unprecedented time.
Help us to “Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.”2
God, may we learn from our brothers and sisters what it means to wait in hard circumstances. We lean into your word: “The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”3
1 Psalm 69:33 2 Hebrews 13:3 3 Isaiah 40:28-31
This prayer first appeared in Pandemic Prayerbook: A Pray-at-home Guide for the Coronavirus Crisis, compiled by Darcy Wiley.
This prayer was written by activist and author of Love Undocumented, Sarah Quezada.