created for Anti-Slavery Day 2021
Lord, you are a God who sets the captives free.
Your Spirit searches restlessly for those in despair,
that they may find the life you are calling them to.
We pray for those who are being trafficked and callously put to work in our region.
On the cross, you were powerless and subject to the cruelty of others.
Look with mercy on those who suffer this way.
May we, who are blinded by the shallow distractions of daily life,
feel the fear of the cornered and be roused to action.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God of all grace,
whose love desires the flourishing of all Your children,
send us out to witness to this transforming power and to be agents of such amazing Grace,
and the blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
be with you now and always.
A COUNTY LINES PSALM
The gang leader is my shepherd, I shall not ask.
He makes me lie down in unheated flats;
He leads me beside needle-strewn stairwells;
He enslaves my soul.
He leads me down windswept streets
For his own profit.
As I walk down the darkest alley, I feel evil;
For he is with me;
My phone and my stash, they cling to me.
He prepares every deal for me in the presence of my enemies;
My head it drips with sweat;
My water bottle is empty.
Surely ruthlessness and cruelty shall stalk me
All the days of my life,
And I shall live in an unfurnished home
My whole short life.
Creator of all, help us to share our trust in your love with those in whom your precious image is damaged through brutal exploitation and unthinking indifference.
May our eyes be opened to see the signs of suffering, so often subtly hidden in our midst.
May our hearts be opened to reach out with care and comfort.
May our voices be raised to champion the needs of those who are hurting and to challenge the complacencies and criminality that keeps crushing your children.
Inspire and empower us in the grace of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Saviour.
This prayer was written by Bishop Alastair Redfern and taken, with permission, from Slavery-Free Communities (edited by Dan Pratt)
You enabled your people to escape from slavery and learn to live more fully in your Promised Land.
Inspire your Church to work for freedom for all who are enslaved in our midst today.
Give us grace to bear the light of Christ to all who are suffering in slavery.
And lead us to reach out with care and compassion that your saving love may be made known, and your healing presence provide blessing and new life.
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord who, for our sake took the nature of a slave, humbled himself and died on the cross, yet rose again to bring new life to all who seek freedom and fulfilment.
This prayer was written by The Most Revd Justin Welby and taken, with permission, from Slavery-Free Communities (edited by Dan Pratt)
Father, we know from your Word that you care for all people but especially for the outcast, the dispossessed and the exploited. We recognise in our own lives the times we have not listened to you and have acted in such a way as to add to their exploitation. We are sorry for this. Please forgive us.
Help us to see those within our communities who are exploited;
help us to understand how to care for them and how we and our church community can show your care.
Help us to act and work in such a way that we can challenge injustice and break the chains of exploitation.
Help us to be with the oppressed.
Remind us to care for them.
Father, please help us also to help those who seek you.
We pray that we might be a light to your Church and our communities as we respond to your Word and seek your righteousness in our lives.
Please hear us as we seek to rebuild our communities, according to your will.
This prayer was written by Caroline Virgo and taken, with permission, from Slavery-Free Communities (edited by Dan Pratt)