12 Prayers | To End Human Trafficking

My heart is heavy but hopeful as we set out to pray for the heart-breaking topic of human trafficking. Slavery has been a part of the picture since the moment of man's fall into sin. We are all enslaved to our sin and we have a desire to rule over others and to rule over God. Some people take this sin beyond just a spiritual ruling in order to physically rule over others, enslaving them. It is these victims of slavery that we will be praying for today. We are asking the God of the universe to put an end to human trafficking. We are asking him to free the 30,000,000 people currently being held as slaves. We are trusting God to move his people to take action by bringing freedom, justice, prevention, and restoration to the victims. 

We are partnering in prayer with two organizations that are in the fight against human trafficking. International Justice Mission or IJM and The Dressember Foundation. 

IJM is on the front lines fighting for justice, freedom, restoration, and prevention. 

Dressember's goal is to raise awareness and funds to help end human trafficking. The participants wear a dress each day in December to advocate for the victims of sexual slavery. The purpose of wearing a dress is to celebrate femininity in the face of the great evil of sex trafficking, which exploits femininity. We found our photos for this #12Prayers from past and current Dressember participants. 

It is an honor to come alongside both of these organizations in prayer. 



1. Pray for repentance of our own sin.



Luke 5:32: "I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance."

Jesus, when we pray for a horrible injustice like human trafficking it's easy to forget our own sins that play into this atrocity. We all have root sin causing us to desire to rule over others, even God himself. God, we also acknowledge that we struggle with selfishness, lust, and greed, three factors that greatly feed the evil of human trafficking. Please forgive us for our sins. Help us to repent and change. Enable us to serve and love others. Make us different, shining like the stars in the heavens. 

2. Pray for liberation and justice to be brought to the victims.


Psalm 146:7: "Who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free."

Psalm 103:6: "The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed."

Acts 16:25-34: "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediatelyall the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 And the jailer[b] called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs,what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God."


Father, we beg for the liberation of victims. Please bring freedom to the 30 million slaves in the world. Remove the chains of their oppressors and help them escape. Just as you helped Paul and Silas escape the jail, free these people supernaturally. Free them through the repentance of oppressors. Free them through the work of your people to administer justice. However you do it, please grant freedom.

3. Pray for healing, restoration, and purpose for the victims.



Psalm 130:1-3:"I waited patiently for the Lord,  he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction,out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.


 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and 

fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Father, you are a God of Miracles." 

Joel 2:25: "I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten."


God, you are a God of miracles. You are a healer, restorer, life-giver. We know you can bring life, purpose, and joy back to people who have had the years stolen away as if by locusts. Father, we ask that you would enter into their lives through other people, through your word, through opportunities, and through peace to enable healing. Put a new song in their mouths. 






 4. Pray for salvation of victims. 




Luke 19:10: "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."

Psalm 86:5: "For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you."


Jesus, would you save these victims of trafficking not only from the slavery they are held in, but from the slavery that is in their hearts. Save them from the sin that, no matter where a person is born and what life they live, is always there. You are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love. Cause these dear people to call upon you so that you can save them. Grant them an eternity where every tear will be wiped away and every injustice against them made right. May that be their hope. 



 5. Pray for opened eyes, repentance, and salvation for traffickers.


Luke 15:7: "Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."

Isaiah 42:7: "to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison, those who sit in darkness."


Oh God, how hard it is to pray for our enemies. But you have called us to do just that. Jesus demonstrated this when he prayed for us, your enemies, and so we pray for these traffickers. We ask that you would remove the sin that blinds them and open their eyes to the evil they commit. We ask that they would turn from their sin and repent. We pray for your faith and salvation for them, that they would seek your forgiveness and find it. We pray they would seek and receive the forgiveness of those whom they've victimized. God, only you can do such a work. If you have done it on our lives, you can do it in theirs. No one is too far for the reach of your gospel. 




6. Pray for arrest and prosecution of traffickers.




Psalm 37:17: "For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous."

Psalm 7:9: "Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous—you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God!"

Heavenly Father, you are a just God. Our very notion of justice comes from you. You are perfect and holy. You are without sin, and because of this, you require payment for sin. We ask for justice to come to those who traffic people. We ask for authorities to locate, arrest, prosecute, and sentence these lawbreakers. 

 7. Pray for governments to help stop trafficking.



Proverbs 21:1: "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will."

Amos 5:15a: "Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate."


Father, we pray for governments to stand on the side of the victims. Your word says that you hold the king's heart like a stream in your hand. So we ask that you would turn the hearts of leaders, that they would enact laws and systems to protect the vulnerable. We pray against corruption in all levels of government and law enforcement. We ask you to change governments so that they hate evil, love good, and establish justice at their gates. 

 8. Pray against poverty, greed, and lust.


Proverbs 14:21: (poverty) "Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor."

Luke 12:15: (greed) "And he said to them, 'Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.'"

Matthew 5:27-28: (lust) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Jesus, you know the roots of this atrocity. They are poverty, greed, and lust. God, first we want to pray for those in poverty. Would you help bring people out of positions that lead to desperation, making them vulnerable to traffickers. Please bring work into these areas - animals, crops, and industry. Father, grant a way for people to care for their families and themselves so that they are not easily stolen away. We are so broken over the other roots as well, lust and greed. Would you open hearts and eyes to the sickness of lust and greed. Would you make them see that feeding off the flesh and backs of others is wrong and leads to nothing but emptiness. 

 9. Pray for awareness to grow.


Luke 12:2: "Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known."

Ephesians 5:13: "But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible."

God, would you help the public to see this as a problem for us all, not just those directly touched by slavery. As hard as it is to see and hear the truth and reality of what happens to these victims, we ask that you would help awareness increase. Show us how this is not only a problem overseas, but right here in our own cities. God, reveal to people how pornography plays into the trafficking of women and children. Give favor to those who are giving a voice to this cause. Help the truth of what is happening to these victims reach all races, ethnicities, and socio-economic classes. Pierce our consciences with the truth. 

10. Pray for the church.


Matthew 5:13: “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet."



Father, we pray for your church to rise up and speak for the helpless, vulnerable, imprisoned, and oppressed. We ask that you would awaken this issue in our congregations and bring unity between denominations so that we can unite to end this evil. We pray for new laborers to come out of the church for this cause, people willing to work daily to bring an end to slavery. 


11. Pray for IJM and Dressember and other like-minded organizations.


Psalm 90:17: "Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!"

Isaiah 41:10: "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

God, we pray for IJM, Dressember, and other organizations that fight for this cause. We ask that you would grant your blessing and favor over these people. Give them safety, both physically and spiritually. Give them endurance to keep fighting the fight. Give them light and encouragement as they engage in such a dark place. Most of all, we pray that you would grant them your love so that they can pour out love on these people who so desperately need it.



12. Pray for us to take action.



1 Timothy 6:18-19: "They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life."

James 2:14-17: "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." 


Father, raise us up to action! Raise up your people to go in and rescue. Raise up your people to fight for education and prevention. Raise up your people to risk their lives so that others can be saved. Father, you are a God of freedom, your whole purpose in sending Jesus was to provide freedom to the captives. Please provide freedom for these victims and provide arms waiting to help restore them. Raise up an army of people willing to take action in a variety of different forms so that an end can come to the evil of slavery. 



Thank you all for coming to the throne of grace with us as we ask God to do incredible miracles on behalf of the 30 million people in slavery worldwide. Thank you to IJM and Dressember for partnering with us in prayer and for the hard work you do on behalf of trafficked victims. Thank you to A21 for the prayer guide they have published, providing an outline to help me write my prayers. Thank you to the dear ladies on Instagram who let us use their photos for 12 prayers this month. As always, thank you to my team, Kate (graphic design), Laura (editor), and, new to our team, Jessica (artist and print designer)

Speaking of our new artist, Jessica has created a lovely downloadable print which captures the heart of Dressember and IJM perfectly. We have three dresses on this print to symbolize the three sisters Saint Nicholas saved from being sold into slavery. Do you know the average cost to buy a slave today is only $90? Our goal is to raise $270 with these prints, the cost of buying three slaves. That means we only need 54 people to buy a downloadable "I am Free." We have them available in two sizes a 5x7 and an 8x10. They would make a beautiful gift and you can attach a note telling the story of Saint Nicholas and how this purchase helped save someone from modern-day slavery. Please visit our 12prayersshop on Etsy and be Santa for the men, women, and children caught in slavery! Would you help us reach our goal?

Rachel Baxter