By now, the sight on news media of caravans of migrants crossing our borders has begun to seem almost normal. Fear is prevalent among those citizens who live near border towns, with many schools having to implement lockdowns as a safety precaution. Fear is in their hearts because many of those entering this country illegally are driven not so much by any need for asylum as by the desire for economic advantage.
Other citizens are angry that our nation’s security is no longer a top concern among many politicians, and still others are angry that all of this is increasing our tax burdens. Things certainly seem hopeless. But does this mean that we should just give up and quit praying? Of course not! If the Bible teaches us anything, it’s that when the situation looks grimmest and beyond hope, we must all the more persistently lift our eyes to the Lord as our source of hope and raise our voices to Him in prayer.
On Jan. 4, Rep. Tony Gonzales held a town hall telephone conference with Medina County Sheriff Randy Brown to discuss our border crisis. Ever since the Remain in Mexico (Migrant Protection Protocols) policy of the Trump administration was set aside, illegal immigration rates began skyrocketing, and there appears to be no end in sight. Gonzales said that in December 2023 there were some 11,000 illegal immigrants in custody in the Del Rio, Texas, sector alone. A southern facility meant to hold only about 1,000 saw many more than that. This is but one of nine border patrol sectors. December actually saw a record high in these so-called migrant encounters.
Brown warned about a threat of which many may not even be aware. There is a new criminal cartel making its way across our borders, and its members are more vicious than those of MS-13. They are El Tren de Aragua, a Venezuelan criminal gang. Said Brown: “More and more have been coming through El Paso. They are violent and aggressive. They have been apprehended at our borders and are terrorizing other immigrants in custody. If this is what they do in the facilities, can you imagine if they are walking the streets in the U.S.? There will be no end in sight until there is change.”
As a short-term solution, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection temporarily suspended cross-border freight rail operations in the Texas cities of El Paso and Eagle Pass following reports of smugglers using trains to transport immigrants into the U.S. Although closing the ports is seen as a way to provide relief temporarily, the effect is essentially negative, because it disrupts trade and commerce. Eagle Pass is a major port for trade.
A Glimmer of Hope?
In December, Rep. Gonzales contacted House Speaker Mike Johnson, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for help with the border crisis. “The only one to respond was Speaker Johnson, but he did more than that: He showed up, and that’s what matters,” Gonzales said.
On Jan. 3, 2024, Speaker Johnson and 65 members of Congress visited the southern border along the Eagle Pass port of entry. They met and heard firsthand from ranchers, sheriffs, mayors, and judges who are being personally affected by the border crisis. The GOP held a conference demanding tougher restrictions at our borders. While this may not seem to be newsworthy to many of those who want open borders, it did offer a small glimmer of hope: Ahead of the visit from the speaker and with the ports temporarily closing, there was a huge decrease in numbers.
Said Gonzales: “We went from apprehending 4,000 illegally daily to 200. We went from having 11,000 in custody to a few hundred. When our numbers are that bad, Border Patrol has to release people in the streets. Catch-and-release is very dangerous.” He said of the progress that happened before the visit: “In my eyes, this is a short-term win. We know it’s short-term. The long-term goal is to get the administration actually to administer laws at our borders.”
Gonzales went on to say: “The Border Patrol doesn’t want to be processing claims, they want to be on the fields doing their jobs. This week, we had thousands on the fields, and what a difference it made.”
Based on what was shared during that meeting, here’s how we can pray:
One House GOP member will not vote on any border bills, out of spite — he says he refuses to vote on any bill that would give President Biden a higher approval rating or help Democrats. But none of this is really about who’s winning and who’s losing — as a nation with unsecured borders, we all stand to lose if this trouble is not taken care of.
- Pray that our legislators will put the safety of the people ahead of any politics.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3 NLT).
Rep. Gonzales says there are Democrats who want safer borders and are willing to work with him, such as Rep. Don Davis, of North Carolina. Davis visited the border and met with people being affected. “We will work with anyone who wants the same thing,” Gonzales said.
- Pray for agreement between the two parties to work together concerning this crisis.
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand (Matthew 12:25).
As of now, no resolutions have been made. Gonzales says he voted no on previous resolutions because they contained no border security measures; in fact, some Democrats remain adamant about including amnesty and citizenship for all immigrants. “Amnesty does not belong in a national security package,” Gonzales said. “It will only encourage more illegal immigration. When you reward bad behavior, you get more of it.”
- Pray that any resolutions will be focused on our nation’s security, and that any hidden agendas would not only be exposed, but would fail to pass.
The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect (Psalm 33:10).
Because criminal cartels are taking advantage of our open borders, human trafficking and sex trafficking are thriving, and so is the illicit trade in fentanyl, which is fueling our opioid crisis.
- Pray that the cartels would be labeled and treated as what they truly are: terrorist groups. Pray that they would be arrested at the borders and kept out.
… my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies (2 Samuel 22:3–4 ESV).
Gonzales points to how Israel was ambushed on October 7, 2023, and says: “If this has shown us anything, don’t think it couldn’t happen here, especially with unsecured borders. There can’t be anymore talks about this — there has to be action.” Indeed, Speaker Johnson took action when he visited the border, as did many other Republicans, demanding stricter laws.
- Pray that our government will take action — real action, not merely shipping immigrants out to majority Democrat states and neighborhoods to “teach them a lesson,” but measures that have value for the future and safety of our nation.
Make sure that no one repays evil for evil. Always pursue what is good for one another and for all people (1 Thessalonians 5:15 BSB).
“There are Venezuelan people who fled the oppression and terror of Venezuela years ago — to Peru, Chile, Colombia, et cetera, who crossed our borders. Even though I still believe it should be done correctly, we can’t blame them for wanting to come to our great nation. We should remain warm and compassionate to those who are truly seeking refuge,” Gonzales said.
- Pray that those who come into our country with pure motives will have a chance to encounter the Lord Jesus Christ personally — through His people, the Church.
He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt (Deuteronomy 10:18–19 NIV).
Sheriff Brown began the meeting by saying: “Pay attention to what is happening in this nation, because it could be coming to you soon. Pray for our country. Pray for our congressman and senators.”
I could think of no more fitting a request with which to end this article: An authority figure asked many constituents in attendance at a telephone conference to pray for our nation and leaders, and I couldn’t agree more. Even though things do look bleak, will you continue to pray for our nation and our leaders?
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:1–4).
If you’ve been feeling disheartened about our borders, let’s pray together now:
Father, we come before You and confess our fears. We’ve been wearied of watching the news and seeing no end to the caravans. Forgive us for being fearful and for not trusting that You can do anything. This border crisis isn’t too great for You. Forgive us whenever we become callous about this situation. Yes, there are many criminal traffickers and other evildoers coming into this country, but many of the migrants are true refugees who simply long for a better life for their families. And many others are themselves crime victims. Forgive us whenever we view them as being anything less than people our Lord Jesus died for.
This situation is beyond our powers, Lord, but not beyond Yours. So, we look to You. Your Word says that You are a father to the fatherless. You love the fatherless, the widows, and the foreigners. You ask us to love one another as Christ loves us. We confess that it’s difficult sometimes, but we want to do it Your way.
We pray for our nation — that You would protect and deliver us from all evil. We lift up our legislators and everyone who will be involved in any border security resolution; we pray for only the best resolution, one conducive to the safety of our nation. May all parties work together and set aside any personal agendas. We pray that hidden motives and schemes would not only be exposed, but actually rendered fruitless — in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Keep praying fervently about the border. Share a prayer below to encourage others to pray also.
IFA contributing writer Gloria Robles is a passionate intercessor with a prophetic voice for today. For more from Gloria, go to Spotify or Anchor and listen to her podcast. Photo Credit: Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States – United States / Mexico Ocean Border Fence, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons.