As I was praying today, one of the items on my list was for the unaccompanied minors at the U.S. border. I have prayed a lot for them over the past few years as the need came before me. I am usually praying for their safety. That the process and separation will not leave any permanent scars on them from the trauma of being separated from the only people and country that they know. I pray for wisdom for those who are working with these children and for the leaders that are making decisions that could impact these children for the rest of their lives.
This time I felt a different prompting than I typically have. Today as I was praying, my heart swelled with empathy for the parents. It was hard for me to allow my barely adult child to move across the country. I can not image, as a parent, feeling like my only option was to send my small child alone to another country.
My eyes were really opened to the fact these children are fleeing and their parents are sending them because they want a safer, better life. It is easy for me to criticize and question “why would a parent send their child on a 3,000 mile journey alone?” Yet, the answer is they are trying to protect their children the best that they can.
So today my prayer was not one just for the safety of these children but for these parents. I prayed for the parents and other adults to unify against the oppression that is occurring that leaves them feeling so hopeless. That the spirit of oppression that these people are under would be bound, and the Spirit of power and wisdom would be loosed in these countries so many are fleeing. That the Lord would bind on earth the spirit of desperation in these countries that have left parents in desperate situation where the only thing that they can think is to send their child to another country by themselves for protection. I pray that oppressive systems would be torn down and replaced with leaders who would promote safety and economic security in the lives of families.
Only God can change the direction that this world is headed. He won’t do it alone though. His children have to rise up and stand in the gaps in prayer. We have to lift our voices for those who have been silenced. We have to empower them to make changes to their environment, to come along side them and be a helping hand where they are instead of a screaming voice at the border.
Our country was built on immigration. When people are seeking refuge by the thousands we have to ask, what else can be done? For every child at our border, there is a parent or care taker that felt it was the only option. What can we do as God’s people to create more options? I know the first step is seeking God in prayer on their behalf.
What if we spent more time praying than complaining about the problem? God changed my prayers, He migrated them from the children that are flooding the news. He took my prayers to the parents who are sending them in desperation. He led me to the underlying issues in the countries that are causing people to flee. He directed me to pray for solutions, not just the problem everyone is focused on. This is just one little issue (all issues are little to God), imagine if we let God migrate our prayers to where He can move in response!!