Doing something that matters.
I've been dreaming and planning and scratching at the justice itch these last few days as I settle into a new role in a new season in Los Angeles. It just so happens that Sept.27 is the International Day of Prayer and Fasting for the Victims of Human Trafficking - a GLOBAL Salvation Army movement of prayer. There are a lot of reasons why this is an incredibly amazing thing.
Reason 1. WE NEED GOD. Human trafficking is a God sized problem. By that I mean it's humanly impossible to stop human trafficking in our lifetime. But what I understand about God is that nothing is impossible for Him. For God sized problems we need God sized solutions... and by that I mean we need to ask Him for help. What better way to kick off a justice season than with PRAYER. seriously. We. Need. God.
Reason 2. IT WILL SAVE US FROM HYPOCRISY. It sounds obvious enough - but we don't do it. I don't know why. We all agree we should, DO something to stop human trafficking - it's on my to-do list. I have a hunch this problem is connected to the BIG hypocrisy that runs through the centre of each human being on the planet. Paul spoke plainly about it in Romans 7 (the good I want to do, I don't...). But PRAYER is something EVERYONE can DO. Not just in a building but in the streets. Out in public. This will save us from hypocrisy.
Reason 3. IT WILL MATTER. One of the hardest things to do in life is to measure how things matter. I mean outcomes are tricky business. How do you know if what you said made a difference? If that late night phone call you took, or that prayer you prayed or that time spent volunteering made any difference at all? You don't. At least, not right away. But there is a way to measure what matters to God. He spells it out all over the Bible. God wants His people to ask for help. He wants His people to stop the hypocrisy and move to action. He wants to set the captives free. THIS WILL MATTER to God.
SO, if you agree we NEED God, and saving from our own tendencies towards Hypocrisy (if you cringe at the thought of DOING nothing again when you are confronted with the reality of the world's fastest growing crime!), and you want to DO something that WILL MATTER. You've come to the right place.
THE PLAN: Isaiah 42:22 is a powerful petition (check out the poster) - WE WILL NOT BE SILENT is a big call. Here is the vision for what it could look like in REAL LIFE.
Step One: Map out a PRAYER ROUTE near you. Maybe you do this after church or before church or at a shelter or at your high school or around city hall or PICK a PLACE that you think is significant. Doesn't matter how long the route is.
Step Two: Set the TIME and invite some FRIENDS to join you. Ideally it's anytime on this weekend when we are joining with people in over 126 countries as we pray.
Step Three: Put some YELLOW duct tape on your mouths as you set out (two of you or hundreds of you... doesn't matter!). Walk the PRAYER ROUTE in SILENCE. We are walking in solidarity with the millions of people trapped in human trafficking who HAVE NO VOICE. We are going to walk with and for them. This is called a PROPHETIC PRAYER ACTION - it's a public statement about what is going on in the world - prophets in the Bible (and JESUS) used this technique ALOT.
Step Four: At the end of your walk (ideally, in a PUBLIC place - Cityhall, brothel, strip club, etc... ) you all take the tape off together. Then PRAY OUTLOUD the WE WILL NOT BE SILENT liturgy (public prayer) we have created for this PRAYER action. (you can get this at sajusticeusw on facebook or tweet us @sajusticeusw or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Step Five: take a picture to mark the occasion (or film the walk) and send it to us please... we will help spread the word that EVERYONE can DO SOMETHING that will MATTER.
I can't think of a better thing to do than ask God for help, stop our hypocrisy, and do something that will matter.