This is it. The end of Release Week and today’s final giveaway is a sweet, inspirational reminder to Pray. Which is the topic of today’s post. The pillow will match any decor and would look lovely on your bed, sofa, or anywhere to inspire you. TO ENTER, GO TO MY FACEBOOK READER’S GROUP AND COMMENT ON TODAY’S POST. THE LINK IS BELOW. FOR ALL OTHER GIVEAWAYS, CLICK ON THE RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY AT THE BOTTOM OF EACH DAY’S POST. REMEMBER TO ENTER ANY GIVEAWAYS YOU’VE MISSED THIS WEEK. ALL GIVEAWAYS END JUNE 22. I”LL ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS ON FACEBOOK ON JUNE 24.
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men… 1 Tim 2:1
Don’t you love it when God answers prayers immediately? I’ll be honest. When sitting down to write this last blog on the topic of human trafficking and prayer, I was stumped. We all know the importance of intercessory prayer, of praying for others. We all have burdens on our hearts. My prayer journal is bursting at the seams from years of taping in additional pages for requests, both asked and unasked. That’s why I had to develop a systematic approach, so I didn’t forget anyone. That’s for another post. The vital thing is the importance of prayer, and the exploited children and adults in human trafficking need our vigilant prayers.
DID YOU KNOW?
**99 billion dollars in revenue each year comes from sexual exploitation in the US alone – dosomething.org
**92% of all women trafficked in the sex industry say they want to escape but have no other means of survival – Refuge for women Socal
**56 percent of prostituted women were initially runaway youth – humantraffikinghotline.org
**Approximately 97% of the children we’ve rescued from the sex industry are runaways from broken homes. Abandoned, with no place to go but the street. – Devonna Drey, Activist
These statistics break my heart, and I feel so hopeless sometimes. But when I pray, I’m encouraged and reminded that I have a big God! The Almighty works in ways that I don’t understand, but I believe in His promises that He hears my prayers and answers them. Whether I see the results or not. He is at work.
HOW DO WE PRAY FOR THESE CHILDREN, WOMEN, AND MEN?
God has placed the exploited children and women, men too, from human trafficking on my heart. I pray for the persecuted church and other ministries regularly too, and I have newsletters and printed emails that I keep in my prayer corner to remind me. I didn’t have anything like that for the victims of human trafficking, but I desired to pray more specifically for them throughout this week. Today, I searched until I found a prayer resource. It’s from Refuge for Women So Cal. The Christian ministry I mentioned in another post. Here’s the link if you’d like to sign up.
Refuge for Women So Cal is the organization I’m donating 10% of all sales to this week. Thank you for supporting me and partnering in helping the women who suffer exploitation. This ministry not only rescues women on earth, but seeks to reach those for eternity for God’s glory as well. Halleluiah!
FINDING PEACE IN PRAYER
There are many points in my book when Melanie is facing situations that require prayer and trust. But does she go to Him in every instance? You’ll have to read the book to find out. But here’s one where she did.
Walking into the bathroom, she reached for her cleanser but stopped. God is in control. So why am I afraid? Melanie shook her head. She’d given her life over to God a long time ago, but trust, guilt, and worthiness played a tug-of-war in her spirit.
She closed her eyes and rested her elbows on the sink counter. She clasped her hands, and her head sunk into her palms. After a few minutes of silence, her shoulders relaxed, and a gentle wave of calm washed over her. She stood, turned off the bathroom light, and walked straight toward the bible on her nightstand. The bookmark nestled where she’d left off. Her eyes followed the scripture. Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusts in Thee. Melanie turned off the light, blew out the candle, and slept in her comfortable bed.
Outside, a white van crept by the quiet, little cottage across from the gulf.
It’s a cliffhanger, I know. But just like Melanie, I hope you’ll find peace in trusting God in any situation. Especially for those that seem so far out of our realm of action.
A PRAYER BURDEN
When I was a new Christian, I was in a small group bible study. Interestingly, it was led by the first associate pastor of Saddleback Church. Although the church is now one of the mega-churches in Southern California, there were less than 200 people when we attended. Currently, Saddleback is at the height of controversy, and it saddens me. But forty years ago, next month, July, Pastor Rick Warren baptized my husband and me. My first bible study teacher was Kay Warren. There were only about seven of us in that small women’s group. Two years later, when Kay formed the Women’s Ministry, she asked me to join the leadership. Together, God used their faith and their unashamed love for Jesus to instill in me an insatiable hunger and thirst for Christ that has not subsided to this day, and I am forever grateful that God used them to pull us out of the pit! We left Saddleback Church eight years later. We relocated and wanted a church closer to home for our growing family.
I promise this has to do with prayer! Way back then, at that first bible study, the associate pastor’s wife asked a question. I found it interesting that his wife would ask the question of her husband publicly. I thought maybe it was a plant! But she was sincerely asking, “How do you know when to stop praying for someone?” He chuckled and asked, “Is your prayer list getting a little long?” That was exactly it, and her sweet, burdened heart was searching. He basically told her until God takes them off her heart.
So, God answered my prayer this morning quite instantly. I asked for the words to write, and it came during my quiet time. Quick answers to prayer always excite me. Oh, me of little faith, I’m not expecting it. This is how God answered me today.
On Sundays, I teach Sunday School, so I miss my husband’s sermons. He streams the message live on Facebook, so on Monday mornings, I listen. This morning, I only had time for prayer and my daily bible reading. I have grandchildren spending the night, who will be up and ready to play with Grandma at the first sound. Shhh! My reading schedule took me to Ephesians 4-6.
Interestingly, that passage was the topic of Sunday’s sermon, which I missed. As I read, God moved me to write, and I couldn’t wait to get it all down. I mean, what can I tell you about prayer that you don’t already know. But God’s Word is alive and breathes new life into us whenever we read and pray. He encouraged me this morning to be vigilant in my prayer journey. I hope you are inspired as well. I’ll get to listen to my husband’s sermon at some point today, but I have a feeling my husband’s heart was on another portion of this passage. So I can’t wait! But this is what touched me.
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:11-14
EXPOSE THE DARKNESS
Can anything be darker than people who are exploited in the sex industry? Especially children. But God says to expose that darkness by His light, and we can do that through our prayers. Our prayers are powerful because He is formidable. This horrible practice is now visible, and although our world seems to be getting worse, instead of better, the hope of all destruction is the promised hope of eternity. We can give that hope to these people. We can pray that the Lord will protect them, comfort them, provide them with hope, and rescue them from the darkness. Pray that someone who knows Christ will intervene. Pray also for their persecutors, just like the guards that persecute Christians imprisoned for their faith today. It happened in the bible too, and God can turn anyone’s heart to help. No matter how evil, how wicked, nothing is too daunting for God.
FINAL WORDS, FOR RELEASE WEEK
Well, the first grandbaby is up. I must go! Thank you so much for joining me this week. It’s been an exciting time for me. But I’ll admit, a burdened time as well. My heart is heavy but hopeful; my mind is turbulent but tranquil because my trust is in Christ. Where else can it be? And as I speak to you, my burden turns to psalms, hymns, and songs of the spirit, and I will sing and make music from my heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph 5:19-20)
If you’d like a sweet reminder of prayer, please enter today’s giveaway, by going to my Facebook Group at Kathleen J. Robison, Reader’s Group. Just leave a comment on todays post. The prize is a decorative pillow with words of encouragement. You can place it on your bed or sofa, anywhere, to remind you of the power of prayer.
Rafflecopter wasn’t loading at the time of this writing. But keep checking back through the other posts! I’ll announce all winners on June 24. God Bless you, dear readers. It’s been a joy interacting with you. Pray unceasingly, and keep in touch!