Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Prayer celebrating victory against human trafficking in Northern Ireland

Lord, today we celebrate the first successfully prosecuted human trafficking (for sexual exploitation) offence in Northern Ireland. We are thankful that brothers Decebal and Spartacus Mihai have been apprehended, their work has been stopped, and they are headed to prison as a result of trafficking women through escort services. We pray that this successful conviction will send a clear message to others engaged in this illicit activity in this part of the world—that Northern Ireland does not accept nor overlook this terrible treatment of human beings. We pray that the Mihais will repent of their crimes and be successfully rehabilitated, that they may choose other, productive occupations when they are eventually released from prison. We pray for all those victimized in the Mihais’ network, that they would be able to choose freedom and find healing. We pray particularly for the four women who cooperated with police and clearly conveyed to the police through their interactions the gravity of their plight. May they find all the help they need to begin new lives in healthy environments. Again, we are thankful for this victory against human trafficking today. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Prayer about kidnapped Dapchi girls

Lord, today we are absolutely sick to our stomachs to learn of the confirmed kidnapping of 110 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in Dapchi, Yobe. The bile rises up in our throats and the tears come to our eyes. “How long?!” we cry out. “LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?” (Psalm 94:3). With 100 Chibok girls still missing after their 2014 abduction, we are infuriated that Boko Haram would take 110 more girls. We are completely disgusted by their disregard for human life, their mistreatment of young girls’ bodies and minds, and the destruction they wreak on thousands of people. We would like to see them smote like Sodom and Gomorrah! Thank you, Lord, that we can pour out our hearts before you, sharing our raw emotions. We do plead with you to act! Bring complete confusion and disarray within Boko Haram. Strike the terrorists with sickness, hunger and fear. Cut off their leadership. And, Lord, open their eyes. We pray especially for young and new members to see the horror of what is happening and to leave, taking captives with them to freedom. Stir up the government of Nigeria to act promptly, efficiently and powerfully. Rally anyone else who can assist to action. Lord, we call out to you for help: bring back the Chibok and Dapchi girls. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Prayer about dismantled drug trafficking ring operating out of Buenos Aires

Lord, today we rejoice that an international drug trafficking ring operating out of the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires was dismantled. We know that illegal drugs absolutely destroy lives and families, and we are against those who distribute them. Lord, we also know that every person connected to this situation had a choice to do the right or wrong thing. As evidenced by one of those arrested being a police officer, we know some chose well and some did not. Please bless those who did the right thing. Please bring those who made the wrong decisions to true repentance as they face the legal system in consequence of their bad life choices. Heavenly Father, we also pray about the elusive “Mr. K,” a suspected key person in this drug ring who remains at large. We pray the international warrant will be effective and that authorities will be able to track him down and stop his injurious work. Lord, we also pray for ourselves as we consider this news today. As we move forward with our days, we ask for your help in making our own right choices. May we be sensitive to what brings help and what brings harm to this world. May we walk in your Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Prayer for She's Somebody's Daughter and its work with vulnerable women
Heavenly Father, today we pray for She’s Somebody’s Daughter as this organization ministers to women trapped in sexual exploitation. Of course, Lord, we ask your blessing on all groups that reach out to women and men vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. However, today we take time to pray for this particular ministry. First, Lord, we pray for the volunteers who regularly visit businesses within the commercial sex industry with home-cooked meals and gifts of honor. May these volunteers exude your love and help women recognize their God-given dignity. May volunteers build trusting relationships with their new friends, so entrapped women can begin to recognize the hope found in you. May the outreach recipients accept offers for support, friendship and resources. May they begin to identify other options for livelihood and life-purpose. Lord, we also pray for this organization’s efforts at raising awareness. We particularly pray for their prevention education for middle and high school students in regard to online safety, awareness of potential grooming, and red flags to watch for among peers. May our children indeed develop awareness, so they may never fall prey to those who would victimize them. Finally, Lord, we pray for hope and protection for She’s Somebody’s Daughter staff members and volunteers. We know those who seek to free captives often come under spiritual attack, as well as potentially dangerous situations. Guard volunteer and staff members’ bodies, minds and hearts as they do your work among the hopeless. Keep their hope alive, fresh and contagious. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Prayer about Oxfam scandal
Heavenly Father, today we pray about the Oxfam scandal. How ironic that an organization that claims to work “alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty” would hire prostitutes to meet their own needs while serving a country whose people are absolutely devastated by a massive earthquake. We are also dismayed to hear about alleged threats to witnesses as the truth is being sought. Lord, we pray that the truth does come out, not only about inappropriate practices in Haiti, but also if truth needs to be uncovered about Oxfam’s work in Chad or other nations. We pray that those who need accountability will receive it, that those who need healing will find it, and that this organization will once again return to doing good. We pray for your followers working in this secular charity to particularly shine and influence for your glory during this dark hour. Father, we do thank you for the good work Oxfam has historically done. Please purge this organization of corruption and misbehavior so it may return to its work in a refined state. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Prayer for South Africa under new president
Heavenly Father, today we pray for the nation of South Africa as it begins its season under new President Cyril Ramaphosa. With Friday’s address to the nation, we know many feel cynical and like the new president made just another political speech. Yet there are others who are hopeful that new leadership will diminish corruption and kick-start the stagnant economy. We do pray that Ramaphosa will be effective, strategic, and that he will lead with integrity. We also pray against corruption, and that the nation will achieve stability after the turbulent rule of Ramaphosa’s predecessor Jacob Zuma. We are thankful that the rand did immediately rally after Ramaphosa’s speech. Lord, we particularly pray for Ramaphosa as he seeks to correct racial disparities in land ownership. Give him and his team divine wisdom, fairness, and effectiveness as they move forward with this initiative. And, finally, Lord, we continue to pray for rain in the Cape Town area. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Prayer for 13 captives released from Boko Haram
Lord, today we are thankful for the three men and 10 women released by Boko Haram this weekend. We do not tire of praying about this topic, because we remain concerned about the women and girls (and others) these terrorists continue to abduct and mistreat. Lord, you know what these people have endured since being kidnapped last summer. May they sense your presence near them as they walk the road toward healing. May their loved ones be patient, gracious and loving as they support and encourage them. Bring healing to their spouses as well, who have missed their partners and felt helpless for many months, and now have this long journey to walk with their spouses and within their own hearts. May these people be able to return to life not only as “usual,” but even better. We know you can use our scars to make us even more beautiful and useful in this world. May these individuals become mighty warriors for your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Prayer celebrating the apprehension of an alleged key drug cartel leader in Mexico
Lord, today we rejoice that Mexican marines arrested an alleged leader of Los Zetas drug cartel, Jose Maria Guizar Valencia. With this man being broadly sought by both Mexican and American authorities, we are delighted that brave Mexican marines have apprehended him. We pray now for swift justice. We pray for the truth to come out about his activities. We pray for law enforcement authorities to glean helpful information from him while he is in custody. Heavenly Father, we pray for the broader problem of drug trafficking, which greatly contributed to 25,000 deaths in Mexico last year. Free people from their addictions in order to decrease the demand. Convict people who believe this is their only source of income that the destruction they are bringing into lives is not worthwhile. Help them find other work. And we pray for further success in apprehending the leaders of criminal organizations in Mexico. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Prayer of rejoicing in national apology to survivors of institutional sex abuse in Australia

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Heavenly Father, today we rejoice in the breaking news that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will deliver a national apology by the end of the year to survivors of institutional child sex abuse. Thank you that he has already shared the three words survivors long to hear, “I believe you.” Lord, we know this kind of abuse leaves lifelong marks. We know an apology and financial redress will not erase the wounds. But we also know that the apology can be a great part of the healing process. So, Lord, we do pray for healing for these survivors. We pray this apology will be a balm on their souls. We pray for the complicated financial implications of this situation. May any compensation come about in a way that honors you and truly helps survivors. We pray for the survivor-focused reference group that is going to craft the apology for Prime Minister Turnbull. Guide this group as they seek to develop such a significant document, and bless the prime minister for his leadership in this process. Finally, Lord, we pray again for healing for those who received abuse rather than protection from the institutions where they took shelter. May they find full healing and comfort in you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Prayer about intercommunal violence in Northeast Congo
Heavenly Father, today we pray about the intercommunal violence in Northeast Congo. Lord, we are sad about the Lendu and Hema communitieshistory of violence against one another. We grieve about the dozens more who were killed in Djugu over the weekend. We pray the source of the recently renewed tensions will be discovered so it can be addressed. We pray that those who grieve will react with the determination to overcome these patterns, rather than seek personal vengeance. We pray these communities will shift toward productive means of dealing with frustrations rather than resorting to violence. May the root issues be resolved. And may those who grieve find lasting comfort in you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Thanksgiving that all 955 miners freed from South African gold mine Photo credit: STR/EPA
Lord, today we rejoice that all 955 entrapped miners were freed without incident in Welkom, South Africa. We pray the incidences of high blood pressure and dehydration will be quickly remedied and all workers will quickly be restored to full health. Again, we are thankful for the good news that these workers were unharmed and restored to their loved ones after their two-day entrapment. Now, Lord, we pray for necessary maintenance in the Sibanye-Stillwater's Beatrix gold mine. We pray that the publicity from this incident will compel leaders to get everything in order, so that future incidents will not take place. We pray for protection for all miners working for the operating firm Sibanye-Stillwater. We humbly ask in Jesus’ name, amen.