This past Sunday New Hope one of many churches throughout the country and across the world who participated in the Church of God’s Freedom Sunday. Freedom Sunday is a part of the Church of God’s TraffickLight initiative meant to raise $1,000,000 this year that will help churches and ministries around the world fight the evil that is human trafficking.
At New Hope, Freedom Sunday was about providing people with practical ways to be involved in this fight. Chief among these ideas…
It can sound cliché at times, like the standard Sunday School answer, but without seeking the Lord in what we do will truly be powerless and lost. Prayer is our opportunity to call on God to engage in the fight against the powers and principalities at work behind the scenes, and to do what we as a church cannot, save people body and spirit.
But the call to pray can itself seem far to open ended and loose at times, so as a part of New Hope’s efforts to join the rest of the Church of God TraffickLight initiative, we are calling people to pray at 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, in a particular manner, from now until Easter. So what are we praying during this time?
Pray the Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.
For many of who have grown up in the church, the Lord’s prayer can seem like a ho-hum sort of prayer. Something we memorize and recite without thinking about it. But in reality, the prayer Jesus taught his disciples is a powerful, radical prayer. It calls for God’s name to be hallowed, to be lifted up and honored and set apart in the minds and hearts of men and women in this world. It asks for God’s kingdom, his rule, his reign to come into this world, and for God’s will to be done here just as it is in heaven.
In it, we as Christians ask our Lord to break into this world and to shine the light of his kingdom and his love into the darkness. It’s a call for God’s justice to upset the powers and systems that bind the broken and crush the oppressed. It is a powerful prayer.
So begin praying with the Lord’s Prayer and then…
Pray for the TraffickLight Initiative
Pray for the efforts of the Church of God to raise $1,000,000 this year. This money will be going to five very specific ministries who are engaged every day with the people affected by the horror of human trafficking. Pray for these ministries,
- The Shelter in Cuttack, India
- The Pink Door in Berlin, Germany
- The Church on the Street in Atlanta, GA
- Stripped Love in Anderson, IN
- and OneHeart in Dayton, OH
Pray that God would multiply their efforts, that churches would join in their fight, and that they would have the strength of the Spirit and the love of Christ in all they do for the glory of the Father and his kingdom.
And finally, to bring this closer to home…
Pray specifically for OneHeart, Donna Cox, and New Hope’s budding relationship with this ministry.
We are beginning to imagine what it would mean for New Hope to work with OneHeart to share the love of Christ in our neighborhood. For us this isn’t just a global issue, it’s a local one. The women, children, and men involved in trafficking and in the sex industry in our area need to know that they are loved and that they have value, and OneHeart extends this good news message through the work they are doing.
Pray that God’s love will be known through them.
Pray that Donna will be given whatever resources, be it physical, spiritual, or emotional that she may need to serve her calling to this ministry. Pray for her own faith that it will continue to be encouraged. Pray however you are led to pray for Donna and for OneHeart.
And pray that as we step out and serve, and as we meet people through OneHeart, that we would be an extension of God’s love in their world. Pray that we would boldly, and faithfully follow the leading of God’s Spirit in the days and weeks to come. Pray that we would be witnesses to the good news of the Kingdom of God and the freedom found in our Lord Jesus.
So that’s it. Pray the Lord’s Prayer, pray for the TraffickLight, and pray for OneHeart. But there is…
One More Challenge
If you would like to take on a more specific prayer challenge, you can can be a prayer sponsor for some of the people OneHeart has met and are caring for in our area. If you were not here Sunday, there are cards for individuals Donna shared with us that you can take if you want to commit to praying for those people. If you do, you are committing to pray for that person or people from now until Easter.
However each of us engages with the TraffickLight initiative, let’s all commit to being a part of this first step, the step of prayer. And let us have faith that our God, who loves his creation and has a heart for justice, will hear our prayers and move in mighty ways to set the captives in our world free from this evil.