Prayer for Asylum Seekers

In Australia, Asylum Seekers has been a major, divisive issue for a long time. Just recently, following a High Court appeal, Churches around Australia are offering sancturary to Asylum Seekers living in the community, offering them protection from being deported to the regional processing centres in Nauru and Manus Island (Papua New Guinea). In response, I wrote this prayer, which is able to be used in congregations and in personal prayers, as need be. (For my own congregational use, I add a prayer from The Worship Sourcebook, but can’t reproduce it here. Second edition, pg 146. 4.3.27 if you have the book and wish to use it.)

You might also like to use this song alongside the modern hymn, Beauty for Brokenness (God of the Poor) (998 in the new Salvation Army Songbook).

God of the weak, God of the poor, God of safe refuge: hear our prayer.

We remember how you looked after your people,
guiding them through the desert for forty years,
forty years with no home.
You provided for them, kept them safe.
God of the weak, God of the poor, God of safe refuge: hear our prayer.

We remember how you sent your son down to earth,
and with his parents, they fled to Egypt to escape persecution.
You know what it is like to be a refugee, unsafe in your homeland.
God of the weak, God of the poor, God of safe refuge: hear our prayer.

Hope-giving God, we pray for the 267 people who are seeking Asylum
who are currently facing deportation back to Nauru and Manus Island.
Give them strength and hope in this uncertain time, as they await their fate.
God of the weak, God of the poor, God of safe refuge: hear our prayer.

Protector God, be with the 267 people, and especially the 38 babies,
as they face a future that might include mental illness, assault, sexual assault, self harm and more.
Protect them from harm, and help them to know that they are precious in your sight.
God of the weak, God of the poor, God of safe refuge: hear our prayer.

Compassionate God, we pray for the staff who work in the processing centres,
both here in Australia, and in Nauru and Manus Island.
May they act towards all with the same compassion and love that you show them.
God of the weak, God of the poor, God of safe refuge: hear our prayer.

God of Justice, we pray for the leaders of our nation,
Particularly for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
We pray that they may see a better way to treat those in need.
May your compassion and heart for justice allow them to have mercy towards all involved.
God of the weak, God of the poor, God of safe refuge: hear our prayer.

God of all nations, God of Peace, we pray for your peace to reign over the whole world.
May the reasons that people are forced to leave their homeland
be removed, so that all people, all over the world, may be free.
God of the weak, God of the poor, God of safe refuge: hear our prayer.

Faithful God, we thank you for churches around Australia,
who are willing to step out in faith and protect those in need.
Bless them and protect them as they make a stand against inhumane policies.
God of the weak, God of the poor, God of safe refuge: hear our prayer.

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Author: Ben Clapton

I'm an Officer in The Salvation Army, currently appointed with my wife as Corps Officers at the Rochester Corps in country Victoria (20 minutes out of Echuca). I play violin and guitar, amongst many others, and love golf and running.

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