We’ve reached the end of this awareness month, Lord, but I hope that my awareness and involvement in this scourge of our day would only grow more and more from here. Paul’s final words in 1 Corinthians come to mind- may this be true in my life, and in the lives of anyone who loves You, Lord.
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love…If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha.The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Jesus, this is all about You. I was reminded last night how wicked our culture in the United States has become, making idols out of sex, money, music, and fame, to the extent that Your singular beauty and glory are completely lost on the unbeliever. There will come a day when every eye will see You in Your glory, every knee will bow before You and acknowledge that You are Lord. No one will be blind anymore- all will see what opportunities they had and wasted on their own pleasures. Sadly, children suffer so cruelly because of these pleasures and drives for more, more, more. I ask You to motivate and guide me to tell others about You, Jesus, as it is really my job to know You and make You known to these. Allow me and others You have called to make a real difference in this dark world, this dark country, forgetting ourselves and striving for Your glory.
Today is my dad’s birthday, Lord, and I think of all the fathers, known and unknown, who have children in, or are considering putting children in, the trade. Maybe they felt they had no choice, or maybe they came up with the idea on their own. If there is a way to make things right, Lord, convict and motivate these men to do what is honorable and just regarding their children. Maybe there is a home nearby who can care for them, or maybe there is an opportunity for the family to make money some other way. Shine light on the other options to these fathers, Lord, so that they can be good and faithful to their families. May You be glorified in the rescue of slaves and the prevention of slavery in our time.
Hear the cry of millions who are in bondage today, Lord, and send those who would be Your voice telling their captives to “Let My people go!” And may the world know that it is You, and You alone, who can rescue, can save, and can restore the broken and lost.
And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
We near the end of the month, Lord, and I am not sure I am any more knowledgeable or fervent in my prayers for those affected by human trafficking. I have been reading Amazing Grace, the biography of William Wilberforce, a timely book for the month. One thing that stands out to me about his life is Your timing. While he would admit to wasting many years and opportunities (like we all do) there still seems to be a point in time when it all came together and from then on You were calling the shots. Although there were plenty of sorrows and disappointments in his fight against slavery, he still could know he was in Your will. I want to be there, too, at the center of Your will, waiting for the time when I may be in a prominent place to really make a difference. Of course, I realize that, by raising these children You have given me to Your glory, I will make a huge difference in this world. Who knows? One of my children may play an important role in destroying some system of Satan. Help me to have eyes to see what might be unseen now, and maintain the hope that me, my husband, and children will be used mightily for You.
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
…you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. ~from Matthew 7 & 16
I’ve been thinking about gates today, Lord. It is almost as if the gate to death and destruction isn’t really a gate at all, in the sense of limiting the entrance or turning away any particular person. It seems like there is really only one Gate, and everywhere else you could look on the horizon could have you heading in the wrong direction. Anyway, I ask You today to renew Your Spirit in each one of us who have entered the Gate, who are on the path to Heaven, and give us a fresh desire to help others find the Gate, too. If I go along my merry way and am not concerned for those who do not know You, what a shameful use of my life I make. I think this contributes to the abolition of human trafficking in a big way- if each of Your servants were going out and reaching others, sooner or later we would hit upon some real dens of evil and be able to do away with their systems by Your power. You have promised Your church will prevail; give us the confidence to move forward in faith.
In my reading this morning, You were greatly distressed in Your spirit over the disbelief of the Pharisees, but Your disciples missed it, having their minds on earthly things like bread for their bellies. How often that is where I am, too, when it comes to spiritual perception. I have really bad eyesight, but I also have really bad spiritual eyesight. Lord, I am asking You today to come within and help my eyes to see what is really here- past the temporal to the eternal. I pray that those who are believers in pivotal places when it comes to the sex trade be given eyes to see what really matters for eternity, and do all in the strength You have given them to act on what they believe today, so that this darkness may be pushed back a little further and that Your glory may shine all the more brightly. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Lord, I think of those on the front lines of this battle today- the house parents, the tireless organization heads, the missionaries, the diplomats, the liasons, the believers with brothels or truck stops right in their neighborhoods. I ask you to strengthen them, and give them even more of a voice and an influence in their spheres. Don’t let them tire of doing good, and remind them that they will reap a harvest if they do not lose heart. (Gal. 6:9)
Being up all night with Kenan was dark, and not just outside. It was all I could do not to fall into that mom-of-a-newborn panic that thinks, I will never sleep again! I prayed You would help me not to get angry or impatient when the night began, knowing that he would likely be up, be miserable, be needy. Thank You for answering, and allowing my soul to remain in relative peace. Darkness of night is such an absorbent thing, making me think things are true that really are not. It is for those in a much worse darkness that I pray today- the darkness of evil that literally has them mastered right now. And, like any night, they may wonder when, or if, the morning will ever come. Kenan was still miserable when morning came, but just this afternoon has appeared to turn a corner for the better with his illness. I pray that You will give these in the darkness the strength to keep on watching for the dawn, but even after that to keep on searching for You. Their circumstances may not change right away, but You can make the darkness into light.
Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. Psalm 139:12
I just woke from a bad dream- two of my children were killed in a horrible accident. It was only a dream, but countless parents and loved ones are living through a nightmare as I type this. Some may have lost a child to the sex trade never to see them again, others still have their child but are getting dangerously close to a point where they may. Lord, bring Your peace into these families today. Those that still have some control over their situations, please allow them to continue to find means to support themselves, or bring someone alongside who can help. Please let this nightmare be one we can wake up from soon and live in the light of Your day.