"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God..." 2 Timothy 3:1-4
Sounds like today, huh?
I like what the Wiersbe Study Bible commentary says about this passage, “There is an emphasis on love: ‘lovers of themselves, lovers of money,’ ‘unloving,’ ‘lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.’ The heart of every problem is a problem in the heart. God commands us to love Him supremely, and our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:34-40), but if we love ourselves supremely, we will not love God or our neighbor.”
To be honest, until last month I had no idea that January is Sex Trafficking Awareness Month. But I’m glad that they have designated this month.
At the beginning of each new year, most of us are evaluating what we’d like to change in ourselves, making resolutions and setting goals. And these are all good things. Necessary things.
However, we can sometimes allow them (without even realizing it) to turn our focus inward and become so caught up in our own transformation that we forget our neighbors, their needs, their sufferings and our calling to serve and love them. I know it’s happened to me.
Personally, I’m grateful to be reminded at the start of this year that I need to remember the millions of people who are victims of sex trafficking all over the world: women, men, teenagers, boys and girls.
But we must not stop there.
God calls us to love our neighbor all year long.
And for Him, love is always shown in actions–not simply flowery sentiments.
What can I do, when the need is so great?
Maybe, like I have, you’re thinking, “This is a worldwide problem and I’m just one person. What could I ever do when the need is so great? Where do I start?”
I heard once, that the Lord never calls us to meet every need that exists, simply to do what is in our power.
So below is a list of 3 simple things you can do today to have an impact.
3 Things you can do Today
Often, we underestimate the power of prayer and place more importance on tangible, more “practical” things we can do.
But we are called to do both.
Truth is–nothing is more powerful or practical than speaking to the Almighty God. And even though we may not see the results of our prayers on this side of heaven, we can be certain that nothing we do in the Lord is in vain and that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (1 Corinthians 15:58; 1 John 5:14)
Towards the end of this post I have listed 3 areas to focus on while praying.
Since sex trafficking plagues the entire world, there are innumerable ways you can support.
I encourage you to pray and ask God to guide you on where to give. He will answer.
For many years, our church has had mission trips to Thailand. This has allowed members to form relationships with Thai Christians and learn about needs that exist in their area.
A few years ago, a need was shared with the church. A Thai brother-in-Christ was helping rescue children from the sex trade. The problem was that he needed to build an orphanage to have more space for the children to live, but was lacking the funds.
Now, my husband and I can’t physically go and take children out of slavery in Thailand. We could, however, give to help meet a very real need. In our minds at that moment was, “the Lord has provided a home for us to live, how can we deny that to children lacking one when it is in our power to help?”
There are so many ways to give. Search the organizations out there and follow the Lord’s leading.
Educate yourself so that you will be better equipped to know how to decrease the risks to both you and those around you.
Dangers are not just in the large cities, but have moved into small towns as well.
Share the valuable information you learn with others you know. It’s something small, but doable, and it could have a bigger impact than we might realize.
Instead of listing a specific prayer request for each day of this month, I’ve compiled a list of 3 areas that is meant to serve as a guide for us to pray throughout the entire year.
I want it to be something that is easy to remember so that we can carry it in our minds and hearts throughout the year as we continue to pray. In light of that, all the words begin with the same letter.
You will find a few suggestions under each area just to get you started and I’m certain that as you begin to pray, support and learn more, God will bring many more ways you can lift up our neighbors in prayer.
- Wisdom for the law enforcement workers who will be involved in these operations so they will know when, where and how to legally free those caught in the sex trade.
- Protection for both those who have been victims and those who will physically rescue them.
- Physical healing. Possibly some will not only have injuries to their body but also be addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. Pray for complete physical restoration.
- Spiritual Healing. The greatest need that each of us have is for our souls to be healed, to be rescued from our sins, forgiven and brought into a right relationship with God. Pray that what was lost in the Garden of Eden will be restored in their lives.
- Emotional healing. Pray they allow God to heal their minds of all of the emotional trauma and scars that come from abuse of all forms.
- It is possible that some who are freed from abuse in the sex trade come from an abusive family, or don’t have a family to return home to. Pray that God would raise up people who will open their homes and their hearts to these neighbors in need.
- Pray for provision of every sort: shelter, food, clothing, a job (if grown), and most importantly godly people and a Bible-teaching church to lovingly surround them and guide them as they begin to rebuild their lives.
- Pray for them to learn what the Bible says about healthy relationships and for them to form friendships based on these truths.
- Pray for protection from temptations and from their previous captors.
There is 1 more need that doesn’t seem to fall into any of the above categories but is very important not to overlook–
Pray for the salvation of their captors.
These prayers are the more difficult ones, especially if we know someone who has been abused. However, God desires that all come to repentance, including those who participate in sex trafficking. Jesus died for them also. And they need Him.
Just imagine if all those who “benefit” from the sex trade repented of (turned away from) their sins and decided to follow the Lord? It would put an end to all of the atrocities that are currently being committed, that’s for sure.
So, ladies, let’s unite in prayer. Not just today or the month of January, but continually and do what the Lord has put in our power to do. Let’s faithfully show love to our neighbors, even those we have never met.
Will you Join me?
Do you have ideas of more ways we could get involved or pray? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments below!