A Litany of Prayer for Refugees, Migrants, and Displaced Persons

Refugees, Displaced Persons, Migrants, Immigration, Litany, Prayer, Episcopal Migration Ministry, Holy Family

For the refugees, migrants, and displaced persons of this world,
Lord, hear our prayer, and let our cry come to you.

O God, do not be silent;
Do not keep still nor hold your peace, O God. 

God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth,
Have mercy upon them. 

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy upon them. Refugees, Displaced Persons, Migrants, Immigration, Litany, Prayer, Episcopal Migration Ministry, Holy Family

God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the faithful,
Have mercy upon them. 

Holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, one God,
Have mercy upon them. 

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for them.

St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, St. Uriel,
Defend and protect them in the day of battle.

All you holy Archangels, Angels, and bodiless powers of heaven,
Be at their side to guide and guard them on their way. 

All you holy Saints of God,
Intercede for them.

All you faithful Martyrs,
Stand beside them.

For all who travel the road of uncertainty and enter foreign lands,
Loving God, guide and accompany them as you guided and accompanied the Holy Family on their flight to Egypt.

For all who have left their homes and do not know where they will go,
Loving God, take them to the green pastures and lead them beside still waters.

For all who are walking though the valley of the shadow of death,
Loving God, be their Good Shepherd, let them fear no evil, and comfort them with your rod and your staff.

For all whose journey takes them down the road of hunger and thirst,
Loving God, prepare a table before them and let their cup run over.

For all who look to the past and what has been lost or left behind,
Loving God, let your goodness and mercy follow them all the days of their lives.

For all who long to come home,
Loving God, give them hope, restore their souls, and let them dwell in your house forever.

For things we have done and left undone that contributed to their suffering,
Lord have mercy and forgive us. 

For our policies and laws that have broken hearts and separated children and parents;
Lord have mercy and forgive us. 

For our times of silence that became complicity,
Lord have mercy and forgive us.

For political or economic interests and agendas that make us blind or indifferent to human suffering and need,
Lord have mercy and forgive us.

For the harsh and unfair judgments we have made about one another’s motives or the circumstances of others’ lives.
Lord have mercy and forgive us.

May all who live in safety, comfort, and privilege,
Show forth your praise not only with their lips but in their lives.

Give us your grace and the will to overcome fear, violence, and prejudice,
That we may love one another as ourselves. 

Teach us to love the stranger as ourselves,
For we were once aliens and strangers in the land of Egypt.

Open the borders of our hearts and minds,
That we may welcome each person as the Christ.

For the law enforcement officers and agents of this country,
Protect and defend them on every side.

To all who work with refugees, migrants, and displaced persons,
Give wise minds, gentle hands, and compassionate hearts.

To those who care or advocate for refugees, migrants, and displaced persons,
Give strength and encouragement, wise minds, and a will for the common good.

To the leaders of this nation, especially the President and Congress,
Give humility and guide them in the ways of human dignity, peace, and justice. 

To all who work for unity, justice, freedom, and peace,
Give wisdom, creativity, and perseverance.

For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women everywhere, revealing your image and likeness,
We thank you, Good Lord.

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy upon us.

Lord, hear our prayer,
And let our cry come to you.

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


  1. Thank you Michael this is perfect and such a testimony to what we need to address at this most difficult time!
    Blessings, Sue

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Truly, prayerfully, I do not wish to start a holy war, but…… I do feel compassion for those seeking to flee from violence in their homelands. However, as a country, how is the United States to know who is a victim and who is a felon if we do not have some sort of border control? The unaccompanied children who cross the border are the prime targets of the violent MS-13 gangs. These gangs murder in all sorts of vicious ways. Without vetting how do we know if the children and adults are actually related, and even if so, are not being offered/sold to sex traffickers? How do we prevent crimes of all sorts being committed by drug and sex traffickers?

    As to the Holy Family. As I recall, they did ask the innkeeper for a room. They did not break into his hotel. When they fled to Egypt, it was to return to their homes by a different route, not to be permanent residents there.

    I am tired of politicians of all stripes using the Bible, but much of what they write/say is either inaccurate or incomplete. There is a case to be made that the injunction to welcome the ‘stranger’ to be interpreted as welcoming the ‘convert.’ Meaning one who has forsaken his old beliefs and accepted those of the land in which he now lives.

    And, if we feel compassion for the immigrant who has not entered this country legally, can we not also feel compassion for the workers whose wages are depressed because of illegal immigration? Compassion for middle income taxpayers footing the bill for schools, hospitals, sanitation, water service for those who are not here legally? I could go oon, but you get my drift.

    Please pray for me to have compassion for all, immigrant and citizen. And, please pray for all those who seem to so hate our president (for whom, by the way, I did not vote) that they wish him death. That they wish evil to befall his son and wife. They must be living in a very dark place that their minds are so overflowing with rage.


    1. Mary, While I have a different perspective than you, I really appreciate the civility with which you express your point of view. It is important for me to listen to people with whom I may disagree to better understand their concerns. You have helped me do that and I thank you. Lord, have mercy on us all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I thank you for your kind response. This is an issue with which I struggle. My concern is that citizens can’t get on a plane without verified ID. One parent can’t take a minor child on a plane without written evidence that other parent concurs. Legal immigrants and visa applicants have to supply all sorts of documentation. How can we admit thousands of people without any proof of who they are?


    2. Thank you Mary for your honest comment. I agree with some of what you say. Mostly, though I hear you describing how complex and difficult the issues of the today are. And I fully agree with that. There are no simple solutions on either side and we ought not settle for simple answers. They too often become simplistic, ineffective, and hurtful. I believe faithful people can disagree about how best to handle these difficult issues, but there should be no disagreement that we are always dealing with the life of another, a human being, and not just an issue or a problem to be fixed.

      I agree with what you say about compassion. I do not think that to pray for or have compassion for one person or group of people necessarily means the exclusion of another person or group from our prayers or compassion.

      Thank you for reading my blog and inviting me into good conversation and reflection.

      God’s peace be with you,


      1. Thank you for you kind response. Since I posted, it seems some in our country are descending into a very dark place. I pray for those who say hateful things, behave in hateful ways.


        1. We are in a very divided and divisive time in our country. It’s the environment. It’s so easy to become divided within ourselves and to become fearful or suspicious of others. I think part of our work is to reclaim our heart, to become wholehearted instead of internally divided and fragmented. Prayer has to be part of that; prayer for ourselves and for each other, regardless of whether we have the same viewpoint. Again, thank you for this conversation and your presence.


  3. I was sent this on a day when I was heartsick over the plight of the families and children. It helped me a lot. I also needed the parts that address our hateful government leaders. I will have this prayer with me when I march on our nation’s capitol this coming week.

    Liked by 1 person

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