Imagine with me for a moment waking up one morning to the sounds of multiple sirens blaring. As you insert a finger behind the blinds and peek out your window, you see police cars parked haphazardly in front of multiple houses in your neighborhood, with still more scurrying up the street. One…two…three…
And still they come.
You finally discover that numerous girls in your community were kidnapped under the cover of darkness.
And then comes evidence that a human trafficking ring had been surveying your neighborhood for weeks…plotting their attack…waiting patiently for just the right time to strike.
Many of these girls have faces in your mind’s eye.
You’ve seen them walking to the bus stop, chatting happily.
Playing in their yards with siblings and friends.
You even know some of their names. They’re your son’s classmates.
Your neighbors’ daughters.
They’re someone’s nieces.
How much time would you invest in staying up-to-date on the plight of these girls?
How ardently would you care?
How fervently would you pray?
You probably can’t call to mind the faces of the girls kidnapped in Nigeria over the past six weeks.
But they do have faces.
Faces that were designed by the hand of God Himself. Faces that have delighted the hearts of their parents. Charmed their teachers and friends. Faces that have exuded joy…hope…dreams…love.
You likely don’t know their names.
Names carefully chosen by doting mamas and daddies. Names spoken tenderly with goodnight kisses. Names haltingly uttered by baby brothers and sisters.
Maybe you’ve never considered their souls.
But they do have souls.
Souls dearly loved by God, to the point that He sacrificed His one and only Son…for them.
Will you let yourself care? It takes effort, doesn’t it? Because not thinking about problems we can’t fix is much more comfortable. Will you let yourself ache for them, because just maybe caring will propel you toward lifting them up to the One who does see them and who can help them?
Will you pray? Will you choose a name or two or twelve or a hundred and lift them up to God, begging Him to protect them? To free them? To work in their hearts? To draw them to Himself?
Will you pray for their families? Will you ask Him to encounter them in their grief in a way that makes Him irresistible to them?
And what about their captors?
Will you pray for them, too?
Because really…they’re not the enemy.
No, they’re prisoners, too.
Will you pray that their eyes will be opened, and that they will be redeemed from the kingdom of darkness, and ushered into the kingdom of Light?
And will you do all this keeping in mind the reality that these kidnapped girls represent hundreds of thousands of other girls…millions and millions of people…who are slaves in the world today?
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
This is the fourth installment of Learn, Love, Lift in Prayer, my monthly series on human trafficking. A new post is published on the 27th of each month, in remembrance of the 27 million slaves in the world today. Find the other posts in this series by clicking a link below:
Written by Jennifer Clarke