12 Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out.
16 The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.
Today we pray for those who enslave and who exploit others for their own profits. Pray that they would be brought to justice. Pray that their efforts to abuse and manipulate for their own gain would be thwarted by circumstances, by concerned citizens, or by law enforcement. Pray that God would cause them to recognize the wickedness of their actions and to turn from them. Pray for the grace of God to transform the hearts even of those who have been guilty of such wretched sins, just as he did for the slave trader John Newton (author of the hymn “Amazing Grace”).
God of all peoples, awaken our hearts and deepen our commitment to work for a world where every person is free and able to live their lives fully and joyfully. We ask for conversion of heart for traffickers and for strong laws that protect victims. Help us to grow in our awareness that we are all connected. Give us wisdom, inspiration, and courage to stand in solidarity, so that together we will find ways to the freedom that is your gift to all your people. Amen