God is teaching me about prayer this fall. Here, prayer is not just something on my to-do list to make myself a better Christian. Prayer is the knowledge that I am utterly powerless and my only hope is crying out to an almighty God. It is a desperate surrender in which I am clinging to God. And I think the same can be said for the migrants who pray here. Before every meal we say the Lord’s Prayer so I thought in this entry I would expand on that prayer through the thoughts of my migrant friends as they pray each line. The expansions come from thoughts that the migrants have shared with me as we discuss prayer.
Padre nuestro que estás en el cielo, santificado sea tu Nombre;
God, you are our Father no matter where we come from or where we are going. You are holy and powerful and I know that I am not. And God, you are always primary – you are my first focus and my only hope even as I am concerned by more worldly issues of food and money.
Venga a nosotros tu reino; hágase tu voluntad en la tierra como en el cielo.
God, you are a God of justice. So please, bring your kingdom to us. Remove poverty and inequity and despair. But God, your will be done. I am going to try to cross again tomorrow and I don’t know what will happen. I have already been caught so many times that I know I will be put in jail for months if they catch me this time. God, my wife is dying of cancer and I just want to be with her in her last months. I want to be with her for Christmas – not in jail. But your will be done. And I will accept what you will.
Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día.
God I didn’t eat yesterday. Or the day before. Or drink any water. But God, thank you that you have given me tortillas today. That is all that I can ask for. I pray too that you give my family their daily bread because at this particular moment I have no way to support them.
Perdona nuestras ofensas como también nosotros perdonamos a los que nos ofenden.
God, we are all sinners. And we have all in some way broken the law – even though it was out of desperation. So please forgive us. And God, most of us were caught and deported because of a missing headlight in our car or we were biking at night without lights. But God, I was deported for drug possession. And I feel like an absolute idiot because I had my papers. I was a legal permanent resident. And here I am, in the midst of a bunch of people who never had papers. I messed up big time God. But that is behind me. I repent. I repented years ago when I stopped using drugs, but by then it was too late to get my papers back. Please God forgive me. And please help me to not harbor any bitterness against the US government, Border Patrol, or ICE. Please help me to forgive.
No nos dejes caer en la tentación y líbranos del mal.
God, there are so many temptations here in my desperation. It seems that the drug trade is the only way to make money in Northern Mexico now that I have been deported. And drugs offer an escape. But don’t let me fall into that temptation. And protect me from evil. From robbers stealing my money or coyotes kidnapping me. Or the darkness of despair and depression in my own heart.