I walk with my brothers and sisters in desolation, are you here, God?
Please don't be far. I am afraid and my soul is trembling.
You cried in Gethsemane, come cry with me.
M any hunt for us and we are accused of breaking the law;
You have been persecuted, come be our witness, defend our cause.
M ake known the roots of our suffering and the causes of our journey.
Make public that our intentions are in accord with your law.
I ntercede for those who walk with us in this path.
Make their rights be known, and their voices be heard.
G uide the feet of those who get lost. You know the darkness.
Hold our hands. In the dim night shine your light and direct our path.
R estore the lands of our ancestors. Bring justice to our people.
Pour rain on their crops, and give them peace to harvest their fruit.
A nxiety and fear are our companions in our journey;
replace them with peace and hope.
N urture our spirits while we are far from home. Be with our loved ones.
Do not let time erase the way back home, so that we may not live in exile forever.
T he desert is arid and thirst awaits us. You know the desert.
You've been exiled. Come walk with us, and bring a fountain of justice into our lives.
Sow seeds of peace and justice in the hearts and minds of those who resist our journey. Let us be seeds of peace and hope in our new home, this land of our exile.
Written by Saulo Padilla, MCC U.S. Director, Office on Immigration Education. Saulo lived as a political refugee with his dad, mom and four siblings, in Mexico for 3 months in 1980, then as an immigrant in Canada from 1986 to 2001, and now as an immigrant in the United States since 2001. He has been exiled from Guatemala for 23 years.
Saulo says, "As I wrote this prayer I reflected on my own journey as an immigrant in exile for 23 years. I also had in mind the stories of people crossing the desert told in the book Devil's Highway, by Luis Alberto Urrea, and their journey to an unwelcoming land. Desolation is the word used in the book to describe the desert. And I thought of my brothers and sisters at my church, who face these issues every day. For the past few years, in first week of May, we have been celebrating Immigrant Solidarity Day, so this prayer may be used in congregations during those days as well. I also had in mind Psalm 137: By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion."
You can find more prayers for peace at <http://peace.mennolink.org/iraq_a_prayers.html.>