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Pray for Refugees and Displaced People

This prayer guide was created to mark World Refugee Day. You can use it to inform your own private prayer, or as the basis for praying together as a group. 

We are seeing higher numbers of refugees than ever before. 

In 2022, the number of people displaced from their homes reached 100 million for the first time ever. Wars, discrimination, natural disaster and climate crisis are forcing people to flee their homes and seek refuge around the world. 

How do we pray for such an overwhelming crisis? In this guide, we’ll go through a few areas to focus your prayers.  

Along with ways to pray now, we’ve also given you a few ideas for how to continue to pray for this issue in your daily life. Let’s be persistent in prayer to see an end to this global crisis.

Download the PDF for a printable version.


Get Informed 

It can be helpful to focus on specific situations and requests when we are praying for big issues like the refugee crisis. You might want to focus on an individual nation or people group, or the fallout of a specific war or disaster. 

Take a few moments to look up a few of the top headlines. If you’re not sure where to start, consider this: more than 60% of the world’s refugees come from only five countries: Venezuela, South Sudan, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Syria. A quick web search about what’s happening in one of these nations could be a great way to get more informed. 

You don’t need to spend a long time here, but get a few facts: 

  • What’s the situation? 
  • Who is affected? 
  • Who are the key leaders who have the power to affect the situation? 

Sit with the Holy Spirit for a moment and invite Him to share His heart for the situation with you. As you continue through this guide, tailor your prayers to a specific situation you want to see change.

Keep Praying

Send one of the headlines to a trusted prayer partner, friend, or small group, telling them that God’s moving your heart for this issue and asking them to pray with you about it. You could even set up a time to pray about it together.

Pray for People

The Lord watches over the foreigner
    and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
    but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
Psalm 146:9 (NIV UK)

Pray for those who are displaced; those facing the terrifying prospect of leaving their homes, unsure where they will go or how they will live. 

 Here are a few topics to consider in your prayers:

  • Pray for security – that people can exit dangerous situations and get to safety. 
  • Pray for families – that families stay together. 
  • Pray for justice – that corruption is exposed, and that anyone seeking to exploit the victims of a crisis is stopped. 
  • Pray for help navigating bureaucracy – that displaced people can navigate the systems that can help them and find the best possible future. 
  • Pray for comfort – that God’s Presence is felt by the people suffering.
  • Pray for home – that God will provide safe homes where people can thrive, whether that is in the place they have been forced to flee or in somewhere new.

Keep praying

The Inner Room app is a prayer list app that turns your mobile phone into a prayer room. Use it to create a prayer board on this topic, and set regular reminders to pray throughout your week.

Pray for the Circumstances 

…your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:10 (NIV UK) 

What are the problems that are leading people to be displaced?

War, discrimination, terror, and natural disaster are the biggest causes forcing people to flee their homes. Ask God to intervene and end these issues, inviting His Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

This prayer takes a birds’ eye view of the circumstance – as you pray through it, pause at each line and talk to God about the unique details of the nation or people group you are praying about. Don’t be afraid to make very specific requests.

Where there is persecution, bring reconciliation.

Where there is disaster, bring restoration.

Where there is lack, bring plenty.

Where there is war, bring peace.

Keep praying

Print out a map of the world and circle the areas where wars and disasters are displacing people. Write your prayers for God’s intervention on the map, and put it somewhere you’ll see it regularly – on your fridge or in your Bible, perhaps – as a reminder to keep praying for these circumstances to change.

Pray for Those in Power 

The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19:34 (NIV UK)

Who are the decision makers that can impact the story?

Pray for the politicians and leaders who are making the key decisions on a national and international basis. Pray for them by name if you can. 

Ask God to help them to bring peace where there is war and wisdom where there are problems. Pray that they respond to the plight of displaced people with compassion and generosity.

Ask for justice to be done on every level of government. Pray that decisions would be made with integrity, out of love and not out of fear.  

Keep praying

Write a leader’s name on a post-it note and put it somewhere you’ll see it in your daily routine as a reminder to keep praying for them to lead wisely and well.

Pray for the Church 

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household
Ephesians 2:19 (NIV UK) 

God tells His people to be generous to foreigners and kind to those who need help. Pray for the Church – both for the members of God’s family who have been forced to flee their homes, and for the brothers and sisters who are equipped to help them. 

Pray for pastors, churches and non-government organisations; that they would be equipped with all they need in the situation. If you live in a nation that is in a position to welcome refugees, pray that the Church rises up to welcome newcomers and campaign for justice. If your nation is experiencing high levels of displacement, pray for the Church to be protected, and pray that it is equipped to offer relief to the people who need it. 

Keep praying

Host a 24-7 Prayer Room centred around the refugee crisis to rally your community to pray together – you can learn more about how to host a Prayer Rooms here.


Want to use this in your prayer room or small groups? Download the PDF for a printable version.

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You can find more prayer guides into other topics on our resources page.

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