It can seem overwhelming at times as we begin to address the oppressions associated with human trafficking. It is one thing to bring awareness about racism, violence (in all it’s forms), sexual abuse and pornography (just to name a few). But it is another thing to really talk about it (both one on one and in a group). Each of these sensitive issues affect people in so many different ways. There are many life experiences that give each person a different perspective.
Yes, there are facts and statistics that need to be shared. They make us realize the reality of it all. But more importantly, these statistics are actually people whose lives have been affected, carrying deep wounds that need to be healed. And yes, WE are those people. In order for barriers between gender, generation, races, religion etc., we need to learn how to better communicate. Here are just a few prayers with scripture to help us:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those who are perishing.
As we speak for others (or for ourselves), we can actually do more harm than good. We may think we are protecting some while oppressing others. I have realized that from being on both sides of the spectrum. It is important to speak our opinion, yet in an appropriate way.
Help us to better at communicating our words to others:
Give us wisdom, and discretion
My son, be attentive to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge.
A woman who is beautiful but lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.
He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
Teach us to speak words that give life, honor and respect
Those who love to talk will experience the consequences, for the tongue can kill or nourish life.
to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men.
Give us your words, not our own
Take control of what I say, O LORD, and keep my lips sealed.
Please protect our hearts, and teach us to not let our own pain influence our words
Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life
The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Help us to let go of all bitterness and anger
but now do ye also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, railing, shameful speaking out of your mouth
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
Speaking from my own experience, I can understand how important it is to be listened to and to listen to others. A good listener is a gift from God
Lord, give us an attentive ear to the needs and emotions of those around us:
Give us patience to listen first
Proverbs 18: 13
If one gives answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame
Humble us! Help us receive words of instruction
If you stop listening to instruction, my child, you have turned your back on knowledge.
Fools think they need no advice, but the wise listen to others.
Humble us! Heal us from selfishness
Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Heal us, Teach us not to be offended
Good sense makes a man slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
My last prayer is that through shining light in the darkness, by being courageous enough to discuss painful and difficult things, God gets glorified! I pray that He uses those very things that have seperated us to unite us! I pray that as we learn to communicate about painful things, we learn to hear each other’s deep pain with the love of our Father.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind – Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, So they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, So they’ll be as unified and together as we are - I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, And give the godless world evidence That you’ve sent me and loved them In the same way you’ve loved me.