Praying for The Way Community Church

Happy Friday! For a lot of students and teachers, this was the first full week of school. I work for an after-school program, and so I witness just a fraction of the craziness that the first week can be a lot of times. Before we begin praying for our non-profit of the week, will you take a minute to pray for the students, teachers, and staff in the schools in your area? Pray for their peace, for time management, for wisdom, and for God to be evident in every classroom.

This week we are praying for a new church plant called The Way Community Church, pastored by Danny Brister. The church plant hasn’t launched just yet, and I think it’s a wonderful privilege and opportunity to pray for a brand-new part of the Church in Birmingham.

Acts 2:37-47 – “37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

Lord God, You birthed Your Church through a miraculous move of Your Holy Spirit, made possible by the shed blood of Your Son and His resurrection. You chose to use the Church to be agents of Your kingdom and to bring many souls into a relationship with their Creator and Redeemer. You have equipped it with the fullness of Christ, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, the riches of His Word – everything we need for life and godliness according to His divine power (2 Peter 1:3).

Forgive us, Lord, for replacing those gifts with the traditions of man and worldly thinking. Purify our hearts and our minds. We love You; help us love You more. We need You; make us see how much more we need You. Convict us and lead us to repentance for the ways we have sinned against You. Thank You for redeeming us and calling us by Your name. Thank You for forgiving us of our sins – for Your grace that covers all our sin and restores us.

We pray for Pastor Danny Brister to be a man ever more devoted to You. Protect him and his family from every effort of the enemy to thwart him from what You have called him to do. We thank You, Father, that Your Word says in Job 42:2 that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. We pray that You would shepherd him as he shepherds Your flock that You entrust to him.

We pray for The Way Community Church to be a church that is filled with and functions by the Holy Spirit. We pray that every person who comes to this church would feel a sense of awe. Let this local body be devoted to Your Word, to fellowship, and to prayer. Let it be a place where believers bear one another’s burdens and are able to give mutual support and care for one another. Empower this church to be a sign to the community of Your awesome power, amazing grace, unconditional love, and uncompromising holiness. Let this church shine Your light and Your glory for the whole East Lake community, and even all of Birmingham, to see and to be drawn to it. Use them to lift high the name of Jesus. Use The Way Community Church to bring many into Your Kingdom. For Your name’s sake. Amen.

I have to admit, I’m not sure I’ve ever prayed specifically for a church plant in my own city before. Have you? What else would you pray for? Leave a comment!

 

Praying for Abiding Hearts Home Care

I’m going to call the summer of 2016 The Summer of Rainbows. I have seen more rainbows this summer than I have in the previous 2-3 years. Not only beautiful, rainbows are also a powerful reminder of God’s covenantal love toward His children and a picture of His mercy  and grace. The bow is a war-bow, as in a bow-and-arrow. It is pointing into the heart of Heaven, reminding us that God has provided for our deepest need by sacrificing His own Son, and as Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” As this summer has been full of conflict and violence here and around the world, and as we head into the home stretch of the 2016 Election Season more fractured as a nation than ever before it seems, I do not believe the abundance of rainbows is an accident of nature. I believe the Lord is reminding us of His Sovereignty, His love, His faithfulness, His provision. That reminder is also a call to “walk in a manner worthy…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1-3)

Today we are visiting and praying for Abiding Hearts Home Care, which was started by Randy and Courtney Johnson. From their website:
“We are a Christ-centered non-profit in home care ministry that provides living assistance, nursing and home maintenance care to the sick, elderly and widowed in our community for the purpose of sharing the love of Jesus. The care that we provide meets practical life needs and offers fellowship, respite, connection to resources, advocacy and peace for individuals and their families in the comfort of their homes.

The mission of Abiding Hearts Home Care is to come alongside supporting churches, individuals, organizations and other community advocates to serve people in our community in practical ways that will meet their physical, spiritual and everyday needs, enhance their joy and quality of life, and most importantly display God’s love for them.”

I highly recommend checking out their website directly. Everything I read was so encouraging and inspiring.

Matthew 25:31-36, 40 –31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 

40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”

James 1:27 – “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

Lord God, one day You will come in all Your glory and “make everything sad come untrue” (from The Jesus Storybook Bible. It’s awesome! Get it for your kids.) We so look forward to that day, and we are filled with awe and wonder that until that day comes, You have called us to advance Your kingdom here on Earth as it already is in Heaven. We rejoice in the hope that we have in You, even in the face of hard things. There is coming a day. You will make everything right. The old things shall pass away and all things shall become new. And we will see You ruling in Your power, Your justice, Your strength, Your majesty, Your holiness, Your glory. Hallelujah to the Lamb, who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!!!!

We pray for Abiding Hearts Home Care ministry today as they answer the call You placed on all of us to care for those who are unable to care for themselves and to share the love of Christ with everyone around us. Keep their eyes fixed on You, the Author and Perfecter of their faith, and keep them connected to You as their Vine, so that they have the fruit of the Spirit to share with all those that they serve. We pray that You would protect them from the fiery arrows of Satan and from the distractions all around us. Please raise up Your provision to meet every need they have as they meet the needs of their community.

We pray for the Church to also respond to this call to be Your hands and feet to those who need You most. Do not let us be lukewarm and complacent in our safe pews and safe routines. Reorient our perspective so that our eyes are fixed on You, and we choose to step out on the water. Let us not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation to all who believe. (Rom. 1:16) Wash us with the water of the Word so that we can be blameless and undefiled by the world in order to be Your ready Bride and to bring You glory as we serve You. Use us to advance Your kingdom for Your name’s sake, Lord Jesus. You are worthy of our lives, our strength, our time, our resources, our everything. Amen.

 

 

Praying for the Lovelady Center

This ministry has a special place in my heart. Not only do I love the fact that they help women build their lives in Christ, but I also love their heart for prayer and worship. We also had the privilege of praying for them last summer. After our prayer time, their morning devotional time was just getting underway, which was started with worship music and singing. Seeing around 200 women, who have come out of difficult circumstances, singing “I am Redeemed”, moved me to tears. It was also my testimony. God not only redeemed my life from sin through His Son, but He is also redeeming my story from past sexual abuse.  You can see some videos on their Facebook page of their worship time. In one of those videos, they’re singing to “I am Redeemed”! Here is where we prayed for them on the blog last year.

The Lovelady Center‘s purpose is to help women build a strong positive foundation in Christ. Their mission statement is empowering women through faith-based initiatives so they can return to society as well-equipped women of God. We do this by providing a safe, structured, and loving environment.

Galatians 5:13-25 – 13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending us Your Holy Spirit to not only seal us in Christ as Your possession (Eph. 1:13), but to also encourage us, equip us, and empower us to live the life You have called us to live. I think how often of how I would love to have been on earth when Jesus was physically here, but He said it was better for us to have Him leave so that He could send Your Holy Spirit. I think I often lose sight of how rich a treasure and blessing that He is. So thank You, Father, for sending us the Holy Spirit.

We lift up all the lovely ladies of the Lovelady Center to You, Father. You have called them to freedom. Hallelujah! We pray that You would bind up the wounds of their past and bring them to the place where they can lay down their heavy chains, knowing You have wiped away every stain by the blood of Jesus Christ. (Yes, I am totally borrowing some of the words from the song I mentioned above.) You have already won the battle for them. We pray that they would learn how to walk in that victory by the power of the Holy Spirit. Give these ladies the courage and strength to daily and moment-by-moment die to their flesh and their old way of living. Empower them to choose to walk by Your Spirit into the life You have for them. We pray that these ladies would become like Your garden, watered by the Word of God, and bearing all the fruit of the Spirit.

We also pray for the leadership, staff, and volunteers at The Lovelady Center. Fill them with Your Spirit, and let their lives be full of the fruit of the Spirit. We pray that they would especially bear the fruit of love abundantly in their lives as they serve the ladies and children in their ministry. Give them the capacity to carry Your light into the dark places these ladies come from so that they can be used by You to help rescue, redeem, and restore. We are so grateful for the lives that have already been transformed through this ministry, and we give You, Lord God, all the praise and glory for Your redeeming work. We pray that You would continue to supply The Lovelady Center with all they need according to Your riches in glory. (Phil. 4:19).  Amen.

How is the Lord leading you to pray today? Have you had an opportunity to visit The Lovelady Center? I would love to hear about your experience with them!

Summer Prayer Journey – New Rising Star Community Support Corporation

Welcome to our second week of the Nonprofits Summer Prayer Journey! This week, we are praying for New Rising Star Community Support Corporation. It was founded in 2005 through New Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church. I love their motto, which is: “Serving our community with love, loving our community through service.” From their website: Our mission is to enrich the quality of life in the East Lake Community. With loving service we provide education, affordable home ownership, workforce development, and free transportation for seniors. Our aim is to develop a community of choice.” Thomas Beavers, the pastor of New Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church, is also the director of NRS Community Support.

Matthew 9:35-38
35 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He *said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

Lord, we praise You because You are gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. You are good to all, and Your mercies are over all Your works. (from Ps. 145:8-9) We are grateful that You have shown us what compassion looks like, not only to be recipients of it, but also how to extend it to those around us. We are Your workers whom You are sending into Your harvest.

The needs in our cities, and particularly in the East Lake area, can seem impossible to overcome. Society in a lot of ways helps perpetuate the cycles of poverty and all the conditions it creates. For too long, the Church, for the most part, sat back and expected the government to be the solution. We confess that a lot of us accepted that thought because it made it easier on us to ignore the problems, and to deny Your calling us into Your fields. Thank You, Lord, for raising up churches like New Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church, who have taken seriously Your call to be Your hands and feet to the least, the lost, and the lonely.

We pray for their organization, New Rising Star Community Support Corporation, as they continue to serve their community in all their various capacities. Continue to provide them with the volunteers and resources they need to serve. Keep their eyes fixed on You, and arm them with the truth that they are not dependent on themselves to meet the needs around them, but they are simply being the conduits through which You are meeting the needs. May You receive all the honor and glory for what You are doing through this ministry. Protect them from those who would speak against them and their work. We praise You, God, that You are bigger, stronger, and greater than anything that would stand against Your work and Your kingdom.

We pray for the people NRS Community are ministering to. We pray that You would heal them physically, mentally, and emotionally, reveal peace and truth (Jer. 33:6), free them from addiction, provide jobs and a livable income, restore families, cause the elderly in the community to be treated with honor and respect and not like burdens and inconveniences. Set the lonely in families (Ps. 68:6). Shepherd them, Lord, through godly pastors in the community like Thomas Beavers. Most of all, we ask that You would bring people to know You as their Savior and Lord, and we pray that You would use the ministry of NRS Community to that end.

Lord, we also ask You to send more laborers. Raise up more churches. Wake us up, Lord, and open our eyes to see the needs around us, and move us with compassion so that we step out of our comfort zones to meet those needs. We pray for revival in East Lake and revival in Your Church. For Your glory. Amen.

Thank you for praying with me/us. The Nonprofit Summer Prayer Journey won’t meet next week, July 1. You can join us the next Friday, July 8, as we pray for East Lake Initiative.

 

 

 

Praying for Ministry Ventures – A Ministry to Ministries

It’s one thing to have a God-given passion and calling to start up a nonprofit organization. But to figure out how to get it established, how to advertise, how to find your target audience, how to build accountability and an effective board, how to raise  money and/or apply for grants, etc, all while making sure you don’t lose your focus and priority on the One who called you into this adventure in the first place can be overwhelming, to say the least. That is why Ministry Ventures exists. Founded in 1999 by Boyd Bailey, their calling is “Empowering ministries to thrive”. They provide training and coaching around five key areas that help enable ministries to become sustainable organizations. Known as the Five Best Practices, they are: Ministry Model, Fundraising, Board Development, Administration, and Prayer. They are based in Alpharetta, GA, but their National Partnership Director, Mike Flink is based here in Birmingham, and he has worked with nonprofits in our area for a while now.

Psalm 20
1 May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high!
2 May He send you help from the sanctuary and support you from Zion!
3 May He remember all your meal offerings and find your burnt offering acceptable! Selah.
4 May He grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your counsel!
5 We will sing for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
6 Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.
7 Some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.
8 They have bowed down and fallen, but we have risen and stood upright.
9 Save, O LORD; may the King answer us in the day we call.

Lord God, You are faithful and true and merciful over all You have made (Ps. 145:9). You are mighty, all-powerful, and Your strength never fails. You do not abandon us when You call us to step out in faith. As we walk on the water, You are always on the water with us. You send us help when we call on You. You set us securely on high. Lord, we thank You and praise Your name!

We thank You for raising up an organization like Ministry Ventures, to help other ministries and nonprofits become all that You called them to be. Thank You for their record of integrity and for the various experiences You’ve given Boyd Bailey and each of the team members that they can use to help other ministries. We pray that You would give this ministry their hearts’ desire to empower nonprofits to become sustainable ministries that have the tools and knowledge to advance the Kingdom of God in their communities with integrity. We pray that You would “fulfill all (their) counsel” (v.4) through their “Five Best Practices” training so that it would even become an industry standard for nonprofits.

We specifically pray for Boyd and those who help lead this organization. Not just in relation to their ministry, but also in their personal lives, we pray that they would see Your victory. Let them boast in the name of the Lord our God. When the enemy comes against them, set them securely on high, Lord. I’ve seen enough glimpses into the world of ministry leadership that I know it can at times be extremely difficult. Even in those times, Lord, let them keep their eyes on You. Hear and answer them when they call on You, we pray. Let Your steadfast love be their shield and strength.

Lord, we also pray for the ministries here in Birmingham that Ministry Ventures has been helping. Show Yourself strong on their behalf. Encourage and strengthen the leadership and the team members of those ministries. Let them look to You and boast in You alone. God, the enemy is a roaring lion, and I know of ministries that are under attack simply for doing what You’ve called them to do, and some that are struggling with not enough resources, and others who seem to have lost their vision. We plead the blood of Jesus over them and ask You to be their Defense, their Jehoveh Jireh, their Vision. Send them help when they call on You. Cause Your Church to come along-side these ministries to partner with them and to be a source of Your provision and help. Lord, bless the sacrifices these men and women have made in order to pursue Your will for them and for the communities they serve.

We boast in You alone, O God, for to You belongs the Kingdom, all the power, and all the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Praying for Christian Service Mission

This week we are praying for Christian Service Mission. It was founded in 1971 by a man named Johnny Lynch. From the 1980s through 2000, CSM operated Food Source, which networked resources and distributed food every month to 60,000 families across 6 states. In 2006-2009, the ministry went through some organizational and leadership changes and refocused its purpose and ministry. Today, under the leadership of the executive director Tracy Hipps, Christian Service Mission uses an asset-based community development strategy. (You should take a look at that link. I found the explanation and model quite fascinating.) Through relationships with local churches and ministries, they bring together people and resources to change the lives of those in need, using their 80,000 sq. ft. warehouse as a tool in their strategy.

I had the privilege of praying with a small group of intercessors through their facilities just as Tracy Hipps came on as the executive director. It was a powerful time together. That warehouse is impressive. The Lord has used Tracy and his team to do amazing things in our city for the underserved in the last few years. You can sign up to receive their e-newsletter on their website. I’m continually encouraged and impressed with all that this ministry is doing to serve our city.

We’re going to use the Lord’s Prayer as it’s found in Matthew 6:9-13 to help us pray for Christian Services Mission today:
‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread. 12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

Heavenly Father, there is no one like You. You reign in utter glory and splendor over all of Creation, yet You were so determined to have a relationship with us that You sent Your Son to die for us. You bring salvation by Your own hand, and You uphold it with Your own righteousness. (Is. 59:16) Your purpose cannot be thwarted. (Job 42:2) We give You all the honor, glory, blessing, and praise, because You alone are worthy of it.

We thank You for Christian Service Mission, and their commitment to work to see Your kingdom come in this city. Thank You for the resources You have given them and for the relationships You’ve allowed them to build between communities of resource and communities of need. We pray that You would continue to keep their eyes on You and the vision and mission You have called them to. We pray for unity among their leadership team, their staff, and their volunteers. Empower them to continue to be faithful ambassadors of Your kingdom in our city.

Use them to accomplish Your will for both the communities of resource and of need. We pray that You would protect them from becoming distracted with ideas or goals that are only man-made, and not part of Your will for their ministry, as we are all so prone to do at times. Thank You that Your plan is not to leave these communities in poverty, and that You have called the Church to be Your hands and feet to the least of these. We pray not only for CSM, but also that the Church here in Birmingham would rise up in humility and unity to answer Your call to be a light in the dark places. Use us, Lord, to intercede, to serve, to give, to submit to Your will for us and for our city.

We pray that You would continue to provide CSM with the resources they need to accomplish Your will. Thank You for the huge warehouse You have provided for them. Raise up more partners, more resources, more opportunities. Thank You that we do not have to strive and worry about anything we need, because You are our Faithful Father who loves to give us what we need even before we ask. Because a huge part of their mission is about relationships, we pray for the health of these relationships. Let forgiveness flow freely, and give Tracy and his team humility, discernment, and wisdom to navigate through conflict. We also pray that You would strengthen them and encourage them. Help them to stand firm against the schemes of the evil one. Cover them under Your wings. Be their Strong Tower. Do not let them stumble into any snare of the enemy.

We thank You for hearing our prayers, and we give You all the honor and glory for who You are and what You are doing and for what You will do. In the days we live in, we shout, “Hallelujah!”, to the One who has established His kingdom and His purpose for eternity. Amen.

The Wellhouse – Our Last Stop on the Nonprofits Summer Prayer Journey

I have been so blessed by this prayer journey we’ve been on this summer, and I’m sad this is the last one we get to go in person to pray with and for. We’ve only scratched the surface of all the great nonprofit organizations/ministries we have in the metro-B’ham area.

This week we are visiting and praying for The Wellhouse. Founded in 2011 by Tajuan McCarty, The Wellhouse is a faith-based, Christ-centered ministry which offers immediate shelter and traditional housing to women who have been trafficked, are prostituting, or otherwise sexually exploited. In addition to housing, they also provide for all of their ladies’ basic needs as well as providing life skills classes, GED prep, and other enrichment to help them become self-sufficient and to give them a sense of self-worth. The goal is for women to go on to live full and productive lives. Each woman stays as long as it takes to reach that goal.

The Wellhouse is the only 24-hour shelter in the Southeast offering immediate housing assistance to women being prostituted. Other such shelters often require certain paperwork which many ladies in these situations just don’t have and can’t get. In addition to being a place that ministers to these precious ladies, the ministry also spends a lot of time educating the public about the epidemic of sexual trafficking: how it happens all around us, signs to look for to spot a sex-trafficked victim, what to do if you do suspect something, and other awareness issues. Ms. McCarty also spends time advocating to have laws changed to better protect victims and punish the traffickers.

Carolyn Potter is their executive director. There are numerous ways to help this ministry, as you can find on their website. The best way is to pray. Another great way to help is by purchasing stunning photographs from Picture Birmingham, which gives 100% of their profit to The Wellhouse. If you can’t decide which photograph you like best, and your budget can’t afford more than one, be on the lookout for the Picture Birmingham 2016 calendar, which comes out in early Fall. In the spirit of full disclosure, the proceeds from the calendar go to both The Wellhouse and to Mission Birmingham, the nonprofit ministry from which this blog started and who has been a key organizer and facilitator of the Nonprofits Summer Prayer Journey.

During our time of prayer at The Wellhouse this morning, we will be praying through verses from Romans 8, and so we’ll use it for our prayer time here on the blog, too.

Romans 8:1-2 – 1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Lord Jesus, You are the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. To You rightfully belongs all blessing and honor and glory and power and praise. You died for us while we were enemies of God and children of wrath. You have set us free from the law of sin and of death. You have sealed us with Your Spirit so that we can one day share in Your inheritance as sons and daughters of the Father. Glory! Hallelujah!!

Jesus, we raise up these precious ladies to Your throne today. You know their stories. Even in the midst of the darkest moments, You gave them strength to survive, and You have brought them out of those dark places into a place where Light dwells, and where the Living Water washes them and sets them free. We declare, in agreement with Your own words, that there is now NO condemnation for them in Christ. You have set them free from shame and guilt. We pray that they would come to a place of healing and wholeness so that they know that and feel that in every fiber of their being. God, we pray that not only would they be brought to this safe place that The Wellhouse is, but also that they would be brought to knowing You as their Savior and Lord. In Jesus’ name, we come against every lie that the enemy of their souls has convinced them is truth. We declare truth – that nothing they have suffered and endured can separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus. We declare they are women of worth and value! We declare that they are precious in God’s sight! We declare that He has a good plan for them, to prosper them and not to harm them! We declare that they are not aliens and strangers, but are daughters and joint-heirs of the King, Beloved of the Bridegroom, sisters with every fellow believer.

Lord, we pray for an end to sex trafficking in this city, and for an end to sexual exploitation of any kind. That means, we also pray for the men and women who are the traffickers, that they would be set free from a life of destruction and rescued by the Great Redeemer. Lord, we thank You that even for them, once they respond to Your call to repent, that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. That is a very hard thing for us to pray, God, but Your arm is not too short that it cannot save even those.

Because there is the verse about the law of the Spirit of life and the law of sin and death, I wanted to take a moment to pray about justice in all of this. You are the God of justice, and Romans 8:33 says that You are the God who justifies. What You’ve been teaching me is that man’s justice does not always line up with Your justice. It is a more perfect but less understood justice. We pray that Your righteous justice would be fully accomplished on behalf of the ladies of The Wellhouse.

Finally, we pray for Tajuan, for Carolyn, and the rest of the staff at The Wellhouse. Lord, help them to stay at Your feet, keeping their eyes on You even as they fight for these women and all the other victims in our society. We know that God is for them and what they are doing in our city, and so we declare that no weapon fashioned against them will prosper. They wrestle with very strong forces, dragging things of darkness into the light, and so we pray for Your supernatural protection over each one of them and over everything that concerns them. We pray that even with the most heart-breaking cases, they would live and love and serve in the light of Eternity, knowing that these present sufferings are not to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to them (vs. 18). Give them great grace and strength, and cause them to put on the full armor of God each day so that having done all, they can stand firm against the devil’s schemes (from Eph. 6) as those who don’t just survive, but overwhelmingly conquer (vs. 37) through You.