Evangelicals Finish Week of Prayer by Celebrating Senate Vote, Praying for House

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Evangelicals Finish Week of Prayer by Celebrating Senate Vote, Praying for House

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 28, 2013 — Following a final 68-32 Senate vote in support of broad, bipartisan immigration reform, evangelical leaders concluded a week of daily prayer gatherings near the U.S. Capitol on Friday with praise for the Senate’s efforts and renewed prayers for broad immigration reform to move forward in the House of Representatives.

As part of the Pray for Reform campaign, groups gathered to pray for strong legislation that reflects the God-given dignity of every human being, protects family unity, respects the rule of law, keeps our borders secure and includes an achievable pathway to earned citizenship. A mobile billboard bearing the message “Praying for Immigrants. Praying for Congress” has been making its way around downtown Washington this week as well. (See photos of the gatherings and the mobile billboard.)

“This week of reflection and prayer was an important part of our ongoing efforts around immigration reform,” said Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief, which hosted Friday’s gathering. “Every morning we gathered to read through Scripture and pray for immigrants, members of Congress and staffers, and the church. We are encouraged that God is continuing to work in this country toward a more workable immigration system.”

“I am proud to be a part of the thousands of evangelicals who are praying for immigration reform,” added Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. “It is not only the moral thing to do, it is in the best interest of the future of our country. We pray that the House acts in the same bipartisan spirit as the Senate.”

Other participating Evangelical Immigration Table organizations included Bread for the World, the Christian Community Development Association, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the National Association of Evangelicals, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) and Sojourners.

The following are quotes from other participants in the Week of Prayer.

Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Prayer is an integral part of evangelical advocacy. We align ourselves with God’s purposes and invite God’s gracious intervention and blessing on our leaders as they conclude work on an historic immigration reform bill. We thank God that our leaders are coming together in a bipartisan way to create new opportunities for immigrants to contribute to our nation.”

Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and Research, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“God cares about the affairs of humanity. How we treat the weakest and most vulnerable among us matters to Him. I cannot imagine trying to accomplish something as complex and profoundly important as immigration reform without God’s guidance and involvement. It is imperative that we call on Him and follow His lead as we work to accomplish His will on Earth. As we call on Him, we must also do our part. That is why I support immigration reform.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“Prayer is more than a spiritual exercise. Prayer serves as the bridge between heaven and earth, our needs and God’s provision, and our will and His. Accordingly, as we pray for immigration reform this week, let us remember that the same God that touched Pharaoh’s heart,  as it pertains to how he dealt with Jewish immigrants, will likewise touch Congress.”

 

Rev. Tony Suarez, Virginia Chapter Director of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Senior Pastor, The Pentecostals of Norfolk:
“In the spirit of unity and in the name of righteousness and justice, we gathered to pray at Capitol Hill for comprehensive immigration reform. For the young person who has lived here since they were a young child yet cannot obtain a driver’s license, for the mother or father who crossed deserts and rivers just to give their child a better life, we interceded before the father today and made prophetic declarations that by the grace of God we will see immigration reform come to pass in 2013.”

Jim Wallis, President and CEO of Sojourners:
“While Congress continues to debate commonsense immigration reform, the biblical call to ‘welcome the stranger’ hasn’t changed. Evangelicals want an immigration system that reflects our biblical values. The legislation in the Senate isn’t perfect, but it represents real progress on an issue that Washington has ignored for too long. Today’s prayer gathering is just an example of the attention evangelical Christians across the country are paying to this issue. We pray that the spirit of bipartisanship that has driven this process in the Senate will also prevail in the House.”

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