“If you are a stranger to prayer, you are a stranger to the greatest source of power known to human beings,” Billy Sunday.
As 2021 arrives, it’s great to see so many people so motivated. With the turn of a calendar page, many are ready to crush their bad habits, and many Christians are preparing to renew their relationship with the Lord. But the month of January is more than just a time to restart motivation.
No, it’s even more significant. It’s Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and there is much to be done on its behalf.
Living during a pandemic isn’t something I thought I would do during my life, but here we are. Craziness abounds as some states are still under lockdown, while others are waiting on election results. But for many, this pandemic has either worsened or brought them into a dangerous situation. Even during COVID, human trafficking flourished and continued to steal the life of the innocent.
Traffickers prey on the vulnerable.
Thanks to shutdowns, stay-at-home orders, and business closures…a lot of people have become increasingly vulnerable in the last 300 days. Many have fallen captive to the sex industry.
“In-person street crimes have decreased because of COVID – because fewer people are congregating on the streets, and fewer events are taking place,” said Palm Beach County state attorney Dave Aronberg. “But at the same time, as more young people retreat to their computers at home, they are being targeted by human traffickers.”
Children have been learning virtually and spending even more time online, and traffickers have noticed. Leading anti-trafficking resource Polaris reported that in the first few months of “stay-at-home” orders, crisis trafficking cases went up 40%. This is no surprise as many children are first abused or trafficked out of their own homes.
“It used to be that if you locked your doors when you went to bed, you knew your kids would be safe for the night,” said Shared Hope’s Kelly McCaughey. “But now, technology has made it possible for sex traffickers and online predators to be communicating with children from behind safely locked doors.”
I read a lot about human trafficking. So much so that when a trafficking article prints on the shared office printer, my co-workers know it’s mine. But, like many, after the Lord burdened me with this topic, I had no clue how to fight such a monstrous issue.
When it comes to human trafficking, the task can seem daunting and a lot to handle. Trafficking is dangerous. The industry is dark. How does one actively combat such horrors?
Some individuals have dedicated their lives to rescuing and working with those affected. Others are called to raise awareness, write blogs, offer support, teach classes, or be a voice for those without one. Frankly, we’re all called to do different things.
But we can all do something.
In Mark 14, there is a story of a woman with an expensive alabaster jar of nard perfume. Scripture says that the jar could have sold for “more than a year’s wages,” yet, she poured the perfume on Jesus’s head. People quickly began to chastise her for wasting such precious perfume. Jesus answered them in Mark 14:8 with a simple reply, “She did what she could.”
When it comes to human trafficking, anyone can pray. We can pray for the enslaved, the ministries that are fighting, and those making legal decisions. The opportunities are endless!
What is better than having the power to go straight to the throne and have the Lord of all the earth hear our hearts? Nothing.
At Shared Hope International, a team of God-fearing men and women want to see the world changed for victims of human trafficking. They are in the business of preventing, restoring, and bringing justice to those within the sex industry’s walls. This month, they are hosting 30 days of prayer and would love to have you join them.
Based on the 30-day prayer guide in their “Faith in Action” kit, Shared Hope leads believers to pray for those suffering. The guide includes a Scripture passage, followed by a short commentary and a list of things to pray, ranging from victims, the legal system, and so much more. After signing up, the ministry will send a PDF version of the guide and daily emails as reminders.
This is one of the most powerful things an individual can do. By being like the woman with the alabaster jar, we can do what we can and start to help those affected by human trafficking.
Register for Shared Hope’s event here, and start making a difference through prayer.
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise, James 5:13.