Headlines from the New York Times for Tuesday, April 11, 2017
After the Missiles, Remember the Syrian Refugees – In his address to the nation after ordering strikes on Syria last week, President Donald Trump pointed to the failure of the international community to resolve the Syria conflict and, uncharacteristically for him, to the humanitarian catastrophe it has spawned.
“As a result,” he said, “the refugee crisis continues to deepen, and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies.”
After years of working on refugee issues inside and outside the government, we were surprised to find ourselves agreeing with Mr. Trump on the link between years of relentless violence in Syria and the destabilizing refugee surge.
Unfortunately, even as the president increased United States involvement in this conflict — motivated, his aides say, by his personal revulsion at images of “beautiful babies” choked to death by some of the planet’s most heinous weapons — his administration continues to deny sanctuary in the United States to victims of the same war. Mr. Trump twice signed executive orders, currently blocked by federal courts, that would bar Syrian refugees from the country.
Readings from Isaiah 40.27-31 for Tuesday, April 11, 2017
When people are oppressed, the temptation is to believe they have been abandoned by God. In the midst of intense suffering, one author said, “Don’t write cheerful graffiti on the tomb of my sorrow. Isaiah 40.27 echoes the pain of suffering humanity.
Isaiah 40.27 – Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”?
Isaiah answers the complain of oppressed people and encourages trust in God. As we pray this section of Isaiah, we can ask God to undergird people whose suffering is immense with his presence and sustaining power. People who pray this passage can ask God to intervene on behalf of refugees worldwide.
Isaiah 40.28-31 – Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Prayers for Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Dear God, we ask that you intervene on behalf of the multitudes of people who have been displaced from their countries because of conflict. We pray that you give strength to the powerless and reveal your care for them.