The topic of human trafficking has burned in my heart for most of my life but most strongly in the last 16, when I really began to pay attention to the wider world of trafficking. Like much of the world, I had spent a good deal of time thinking that trafficking was implausible here in the United States, especially in Iowa where I've lived most of my life. Too many times I discounted the stories of women being taken and men being coerced in to unfair and unsafe working conditions as being adult versions of the boogeyman stories of my youth.
Over that last several years, more and more people have begun to listen as well as hear the stories of those who've been trafficked. We have begun to stand up in outrage when entire schools of girls are being assaulted and enslaved by organizations such as the Boka Harem.
We need to know that our battles are closer than Thailand, and that their stories are just as real.
I am so amazed by the sisters as I spend time with the Coalition Against Human Trafficking here in Dubuque, Iowa. Their deep knowledge and sincere hearts are so ready to step on the trafficking battlefields; they are a blessing to experience. The coalition members are mostly engaged in the battle through education and advocacy. There are times when I'm engaged in actual intervention and direct ministry through my work at Set Free and when I am walking in to those situations, I reach out to various members of the coalition to assist in prayer for intercession and protection.
As January is the National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, would you please consider taking a few minutes each day in praying for trafficking victims? Below is a prayer guide I've written for this month for those who are supporting the efforts of Set Free Dubuque, modify it for your local abolitionists too:
Set Free January 2017 Prayer Guide
1. Praise for the people who began last year as slaves who’ve been set free.
2. Pray for the lonely people who seek comfort at the expense of themselves and others.
3. Pray for the desperate who choose to be trafficked rather than go hungry.
4. Pray for the unborn who will enter this world already enslaved.
5. Pray for the law enforcement members who work to help those who are hurting
6. Pray for the innocents who will learn what trafficking is this year.
7. Pray for those who will be physically harmed because of trafficking.
8. Praise for people who’ve been reformed and no longer traffic people.
9. Pray for the medical professionals that they recognize the signs of trafficking victims.
10. Pray for families that their children would resist the temptations of trafficking.
11. Pray for peace in areas where children are conscripted as soldiers.
12. Pray for wisdom for governments to provide adequate health care for victims.
13. Pray for compassion for the trafficked.
14. Pray for humility for the workers to assist those who seek assistance.
15. Praise for the God who calls the abolitionists to seek His justice.
16. Pray for the people who work to stop trafficking despite the potential dangers.
17. Pray for the lawyers and social workers who seek to assist the trafficked.
18. Pray for the mental health workers that seek to restore.
19. Pray for the families of the trafficked that are unaware of the crisis.
20. Pray for the employers who enable rather than rebuke trafficking.
21. Pray for the users of people that they may realize their unjust actions.
22. Praise for the faithful who abhor trafficking and seek to win this spiritual battle.
23. Pray for boldness in people seeking to help someone in need.
24. Pray for gentleness from the traffickers to the trafficked.
25. Pray for proper funding for organizations so that they can meet the needs of the people.
26. Pray for excellence in training so that volunteers and victims are safe and educated.
27. Pray for new technology that can help fight this battle.
28. Pray for supporters to step up in the lives of those who are vulnerable to recruitment.
29. Praise for the addicts who have been freed from their trafficking-related addictions.
30. Prayers for opportunities to educate and be educated about trafficking.
31. Praise for the salvation Christ has already sacrificed himself for to set us all free.