By Linda Mortensen, the Executive director at Safe Harbor House.
Most Merciful God, we thank you for the blessings you shower on us daily,
And we confess that we take these for granted way too often.
We confess that in our comfort we are often indifferent to the sufferings of those who are oppressed.
We think especially of those people who have been trafficked – many of whom suffered tremendous trauma even before they were first lured into situations where they found themselves captive – and we ask your forgiveness for not being concerned enough to learn about the causes and signs of their bondage. We ask that you deal mercifully with us and give us your grace to fan the flame of love for these victims who were made in Your image.
And now we pray for the victims of trafficking.
God of Comfort, we ask that You surround these victims with Your everlasting arms and help them to sense Your deep and abiding love for them. Please help them to know how much You weep with them and that they are not alone.
God our Shield and our Defender, we ask that You provide them with protection,
That You would keep them from bodily injury and the harm that slowly kills the inner person that You created them to be.
God our Rock and Refuge, we ask that You make a way of escape for these oppressed people,
Free them from the traps and nets that traffickers used to ensnare them. Set them free once and for all, and keep those who may be vulnerable to trafficking from becoming the next victims.
God our Provider, we ask that You supply everything these victims need once they are out of bondage – from a place to live and reliable transportation to trustworthy, supportive people to walk with them through their healing and recovery journey.
Great Physician, we ask that You touch these survivors in the very deepest places of their injury and pain and heal them completely. While they need physical healing and healing from addiction, they also need the inner healing that can truly change their lives. Be gentle with them as a mother is with her small children. They have suffered enough for many lifetimes.
Trustworthy and Compassionate God, we ask that You restore these wounded souls’ ability to trust that people can be good, loving, and kind with no ulterior motives. We pray that You would restore any relationship that needs repair and help them to reconnect with children that have been taken out of their lives as well as to those who have meaning in their lives. Bring new and healthy relationships into their lives to bless them, and help them to be a blessing to others.
Now we turn our attention to justice, Righteous Judge, and ask that you would take the nets that the traffickers would use to ensnare their victims and turn them to the traffickers’ destruction. We ask that You take their ill-gotten gain and use it to fund the healing and recovery of their victims and to help prevent further enslavement. Most of all we pray that you would prevent them from ever ensnaring another victim.
God of Light, we ask that You bring into the light the crimes of those who purchase sex or force labor from victims of trafficking. May you pierce their hearts with your righteous illumination and help them to humbly repent. We pray that they will turn themselves to the task of helping to prevent others from participating in the victimization of those in forced-labor or sexually-exploitative relationships.
God of Justice, we pray that You would help bring more healing into the hearts of trafficking survivors with an increase in arrests and prosecutions of human traffickers. We know that it may not be possible to see full justice done in this lifetime, but we pray that you would enact more justice on earth to encourage the hearts of the victims and their allies and to bring a bit more of Your Kingdom on earth.
God of Everlasting Love, we ask for Your gentle mercy on all trafficking survivors around the globe, and we trust in Your compassionate heart for the downtrodden and oppressed as demonstrated by Your Son. Give us grace that we may desire this same heart of compassion and mercy in our own lives and congregations, and help us to act on it. These things we ask of You, our Good and Gracious Father – for it is in Your name, the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the name of Your Holy Spirit we pray. Amen.