Hey friends! I know it’s been a while… I’m currently freaking out about some things I feel God is telling me to do, and I’m a disaster, and I couldn’t string any words together to create a cohesive, sane blog. So, I figured it might be best to just stay quiet until I could write something that made sense. Because nobody likes to read crazy, right?! Right.
So, a few weeks ago, I wrote about #Pray703, and I’ve been praying every morning at 7:03 for the past month or so. Let me tell you something: that prayer time, despite the before school chaos, has become one of the most precious times I spend with God. My kids even know that you don’t bug Momma during her 7:03 prayer.
I’m going to be honest, I don’t read Ann Voskamp’s “Be Courageous” prayer every morning. I don’t want it to get too repetitive, so that I become numb to the words. Instead, I choose a group of marginalized people to pray over each day, along with an idol that I am going to lay down out of honor for those people. I promise this will make sense in just a minute.
I wanted to outline what I’m doing, in case it might be helpful to you, and also to bring awareness to people you may not think about regularly. They’re people I didn’t pray for or think about much, until I realized that God is calling me to love ALL THE PEOPLE. Not just the ones I can see, not just the people in my life, but everyone. Especially the ones that may not have anyone else to pray for them.
So here it goes:
Monday-Sex Trafficking Victims: (Cast off the idol of helplessness—the feeling I can’t make an impact)
Each Monday morning I pray for the women, children, and men (yes, men are trafficked) who are victims of human trafficking. These people are modern day slaves, whose bodies are bought and paid for in order to perform sexual acts. They’ve been lied to, coerced, and kidnapped. Ripped from their lives and dragged into a world where they are purposely hooked on drugs, raped, and mistreated in ways that most of us can’t even imagine. They never see financial gain from the acts performed against them, even though huge money is made in the sex trafficking industry.
A couple of weeks ago, something new was on my heart. I started to also pray for the traffickers, and for the people who pay for sex. I prayed that their hearts would be changed. That they would see how their actions are hurtful to these young, scared people. That when they looked at their prey, they would see the faces of their sister or their daughter instead. That God helps them realize what they’re doing is profoundly wrong.
Tuesday- Starving People: (Cast off the idol of wastefulness—the idea that I can just throw away whatever we don’t eat, because we can always buy more, or get more from our pantry.)
Every 3.6 seconds a person dies from lack of food. Most of those people are under five years old. Tuesdays, I pray for those people. I pray for the mommas and daddies who work hard for a few pennies, and who still don’t have enough to feed their families. I pray for the mom who looks at empty cupboards while her babies cry from empty bellies. I pray for the big brother who goes without food, so his baby sister can eat today. I pray that we, as a collective people, bring enough attention to them that we’re able to help everyone eat. I pray for the souls of the dead.
Wednesday- Unborn Babies and Their Moms: (Cast of the idol of superiority—that I have made better choices, or that I am better than someone else.)
Somewhere out there, a girl is discovering she’s pregnant. She won’t have any support from family or friends, and she’ll be making decisions about what to do with her baby. I am praying with fervor, that she’ll choose adoption or to keep her baby. I’m praying for a Godly person to come alongside her to be a friend to lean on, and I’m praying for God to give her heart strength and peace.
I also pray for us as a church. That we show compassion instead of passing judgment. That we love instead of criticize. I feel passionately that if we show love and support instead of disdain, that we can help lower the abortion rates in our country.
Last, I pray that our love and support doesn’t stop when these babies are born. That we continue to show kindness to women and their babies as long as they need it. Again, without judgment and with lots of compassion.
Thursday- Modern Day Slaves: (Cast off the idol of ignorance—to understand that my lifestyle contributes to the enslavement of others)
Thursdays I pray for the men, women, and children who are enslaved in order to make cheaper clothing, chocolate, coffee, and cell phones for people like me. When I think of a young kid taking a machete out and chopping up cocoa (and hopefully not his fingers) so that I can have a Hershey bar, it breaks my heart.
Along the Ivory Coast, thousands of young children are enslaved by people who have told their parents they’re taking them to go to school, and have a good job. Some parents sell their children to these people.
I pray for these slaves, their captors, and my own selfishness. I pray that I don’t let the excuse “there’s nothing I can do” creep in. That I control my purchases, and consider the impact they could have on the lives of people I’ve never met.
Friday- Victims of Domestic Violence: (Cast off the idol of apathy—that they should help themselves, and that there’s nothing I can do.)
I pray for the victims of domestic violence. That God will give them strength, and help, and peace. I pray that I, along with others, will understand why someone can’t just leave. I pray to not victim blame, and to have compassion for a situation that I don’t understand.
I pray for any children who are abused or neglected. Who see things no little one should ever have to see. Who have witnessed the unthinkable. I pray for former students who have shared their stories with me. I pray their new homes are better, or that being back with their parents really is what’s best for them.
I pray for the abusers. I pray that their hearts are changed, and that they realize the impact they’re having on the people around them. That they’re not only bruising bodies, but that they’re bruising hearts. I pray for change.
So, there’s my Monday-Friday #Pray703 Plan. Saturday and Sunday are a little bit different. I do read the Be Courageous prayer on those days, then I pray about what that means for me, and what God wants me to do.
One of the most difficult parts of praying for big things is that you never get to know whether your prayer is working. I may never find out if my one little voice changed the heart of a sex trafficker, but I believe it does. I believe that when we pray, God answers. Even if we never get to see it. What if we all prayed for the same stuff? That’s more prayers God would answer. More hearts and lives changed. More people impacted for Jesus.
Will you pray with me? If you’re willing, I would love for you to share your big prayers in the comments box!