‘Slavery Still Exists’ prayers for justice
(Note: The following is the opening prayer from “Slavery Still Exists,” an awareness program sponsored by the Illinois Women Religious Against Human Trafficking. The program took place on Jan. 10-11. Used with permission.)
All: God of compassionate love, you listen to the cries of our brothers and sisters whose lives are held bound through the evil of human trafficking in our day. In our prayer and sharing this day, we ask that our ears and hearts be open to the voice of your Spirit calling us to hear the cries for freedom throughout the world and within our own neighborhoods. Grant us the courage to reach out in your name through the ways and means available to us to be instruments of hope and new life to others. Be near to us as we unite in prayer and strive to meet the challenges presented to us to be your compassion and love to these our suffering brothers and sisters. We pray with confidence in your assistance in our need. Amen.
Leader: Creator God, we come to you, needing your light to shine in the darkness of human trafficking, sexual exploitation and slave labor conditions.
Response: Thank you for your light.
Leader: We confess that many times the daily items we buy and consume are produced by persons working as slaves.
Response: Forgive us for not letting your light shine bright enough to eliminate labor exploitation and slavery.
Leader: Your wonderful gifts, Creator God, have been used to abuse the most vulnerable among us: women, children, the homeless and immigrants.
Response: Your gifts of time, talents and treasures of the human body are being destroyed for the sake of selfish profit.
Leader: Creator God, we commit to consider this evil, take counsel and speak out, bringing your light into the darkness of slavery in our world today.
Response: We commit to educate ourselves, even when it is uncomfortable.
Leader: We acknowledge our need to learn about items that we buy that have been made by enslaved workers.
Response: We commit to spending more of our money on products produced by adult workers receiving fair wages.
Leader: O God, you have given us voices, words and resources that enable us to speak, write and act against economic and political systems that support human trafficking.
Response: We commit to consider the evil of human trafficking, take counsel and speak out.
All: I commit myself to fulfilling the action I have just chosen in order to show solidarity with members of the human family who are trafficked.
Creating and compassionate Source of Life, we thank you for your love of each of us. May we model your love by our concern for our trafficked sisters and brothers. May they experience in their lives the power of being treasured by us and our efforts to free this world, locally and globally, of human trafficking. This we ask in great confidence now and in the future. Amen.
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