(Phrases in quotes in the prayers have been sent to Aid to the Church in Need from people in Syria. Some of the authors are named, others must remain anonymous.)
Prayer and Intercession for Peace in Syria
God of Compassion,
Hear the cries of the people of Syria
Comfort those who suffer violence
Console those who mourn the dead
Give strength to Syria’s neighbouring countries to welcome the refugees
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms
And protect those who are committed to peace.
God of hope,
Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence and to seek reconciliation with their enemies
Inflame the Universal Church with compassion for the people of Syria
And give us hope for a future built on justice for all
We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace and Light of the world.
Fourth day: Help the nations that border Syria, as they welcome the refugees
According to the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, there are 1,971,003 Syrian refugees, above all in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan. In addition, there are many refugees who are not registered because they are afraid, or who are displaced within Syria itself.
“Every second of the day, I have only one desire: to return to my homeland. My heart is wounded. The only thing that keeps me here is my children. Even if it meant going back to die, if it were just me, I would go back,” laments a mother of two children who has taken refuge in Turkey.
It is impossible to imagine the future for this country, this peaceful land that once was the home of many refugees from the Middle East: “We fled Iraq during the war and went to Syria. We had managed to rebuild our lives, but almost two years ago, we had to flee again to Iraq. There my son was hit with a bullet in the head as he was playing soccer. He survived, but with paralysis, and the bullet is embedded. Surgery is dangerous. We arrived in Turkey two months ago. A family took us in. Maybe here they can help us.”
In Lebanon, there are more than 700,000 refugees. Archbishop John Darwish writes: “We’ve been helping for 10 months. We began with 19 families. But their number has increased drastically. Now we are helping 580 families. If the conflict gets more complicated and the violence extends to the whole country, this number will grow even more.”
We pray for all those who have had to abandon their families, their homes, their land and their property. For all those who are hungry and do not have a roof over their heads. We pray for those who live in refugee camps. We pray for all the countries receiving the displaced, for all of those all over the world who are offering aid, assistance and care to the emigrants and refugees. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for Syria, pray for us.