It’s already the 27th of the month again…
Twenty-seven is becoming a number with special significance for me.
Even though it’s an odd number. (I generally prefer even numbers. And yes, I’m aware this makes me quirky…among other things.)
Ever since the widespread focus last month on the 27-million slaves in the world today, I’m beginning to associate that number with them.
I’m glad for this. I need to be reminded of them.
Earlier this month, long after the red X on my hand faded, I sensed the Lord leading me to “learn, love, and lift in prayer” the 27 million slaves more often than just February 27. And in an effort to make myself accountable, and also to share with you what I’m learning, I’ll be posting on human trafficking on the 27th of every month indefinitely, Lord willing.
In my first post, I discussed the overwhelmingly huge problem that is human trafficking, and how the helpless feeling that accompanies a huge problem makes it easier to ignore the problem altogether.
Today, I’d like to focus on one of the things we can do:
We can pray.
It’s time for you and me and all Christ-followers everywhere to truly prioritize one of the things Jesus prioritized: talking with His Father. With our Father.
“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)
You see, I think prayer is important. I say it makes a difference.
But my actions all too often reveal my true belief that prayer isn’t very important, and that it doesn’t make much difference. Because if I really believed it was important and that it made a difference…
wouldn’t that be the first place I turn when I have a struggling child?
wouldn’t that be the first place I turn when I have a strained relationship?
wouldn’t that be the first place I turn when I’m sick?
wouldn’t that be the first place I turn when a friend is overwhelmed?
Wouldn’t I spend more time praying?
And when I spend time in prayer, wouldn’t I leave that place of intercession with confidence that God hears and works and that answers are forthcoming?
I don’t know about you, but all too often, I leave the place of prayer still wishing there was more I could do on behalf of those for whom I’m interceding.
Friends, I’m learning that prayer isn’t “all I can do.” It’s really the only thing I can do that truly matters, whether there’s more I can do or not.
Will you spend time praying for the 27 million slaves in the world? Will you allow God to bring them to your mind and impress them on your heart? Will you let yourself care enough to take the time to bring them before the throne of God Himself in prayer?
When I first became aware of the vast issue of human trafficking a very few months ago, part of my struggle was that I didn’t really know how to pray. Here are some things I’ve learned that may help you:
Human trafficking is gaining awareness in Christian and secular realms. Please pray for the CNN Freedom Project; this team investigates and reports stories of slavery and rescue. Pray for others doing similar work. Pray for their work, but also pray that they themselves would come to Christ through the believers they encounter in their research.
- As awareness grows, government leaders are being pressed to take action. Please pray for President Obama, and for government officials around the world to create and enforce policies against those profiting from human trafficking and benefitting from slavery
- Families around the world have lost daughters and sons to human trafficking. Young people are taken — sometimes kidnapped, sometimes lured away under false pretenses — and trafficked. This happens in the United States. It happens in Canada. It happens everywhere. Please pray for these families. Pray that they will be reunited with their children.
- Please pray for the people who are rescued from slavery. Our God calls Himself Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord who heals (Exodus 15). Implore our Father to bring physical, emotional, and most of all, spiritual healing to those who have endured such horrific experiences.
- It’s obvious that the slaves are physically enslaved. But it requires spiritual eyes to realize that those without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ are also spiritually enslaved, as are those enslaving them. Please pray that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be made known. That His fame would spread. That people would come to faith in Christ.
In addition, I highly encourage you to study and pray over these 72 Daily Prayer Points. They have provided much fuel for my prayers on behalf of the 27 million.
And the truth is, unlike Jesus, my prayers will always be flawed. Thankfully, the Father realizes this and grants us His Spirit, who intercedes for us…
and for them.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For we do not know what to pray for as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us
with groanings too deep for words.”
Did you miss the first post on human trafficking? You can find it here.
Written by Jennifer Clarke