On January 1st, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, thereby announcing, ““that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states [of America] “are, and henceforward shall be free.””1 As the news spread over the war-torn land, wearied soldiers, abolitionists, and slaves alike found hope in the midst of their fight. Freedom was on the way. Inspired by the Proclamation’s vision of liberty and equality, they pressed on, eager to grasp what they’d been promised.
Today, almost exactly 150 years later, the Proclamation is still recognized as one of “the great documents of human freedom.”2 As such, it should be recognized and celebrated. At the same time, it is important to note that the principles within it are as needed today as when first penned. After all, slavery still exists, and we must do something about it.
Tomas J. Lares, founder and president of Florida Abolitionist, is passionate about “raising up a generation of modern day abolitionists”—men and women who will do something about the trafficking epidemic taking place around them.3 Convinced that the best way to do so is “through prayer…,” Lares founded the National Annual Prayer Initiative.4 From it, Weekend of Prayer to End Slavery and Trafficking soon emerged.
Weekend of Prayer is a nation-wide event through which Lares hopes to raise awareness about human trafficking and “mobilize people of prayer….”5 While they are facilitating different prayer times and events throughout America, they invite anyone interested to initiate their own local prayer gathers between January 11-13. If you can’t facilitate your own, Weekend of Prayer has lots of events for everyone! Check them out below.
January 11: On January 11th, Weekend of Prayer has set aside 12:00 PM as an hour of prayer. Whether you are at home or in the office, take time to stop and pray. In addition, don’t miss the various prayer rallies taking place across the country. For those who cannot physically attend, prayer rallies will be accessible via webcast.
January 12: Help end modern day slavery by participating in the Prayer Conference Call. The call number is 712-432-0075 and the access code is 6149782 followed by the pound sign. For more information, visit http://prayersurgenow.blogspot.com.
January 13: Weekend of Prayer is asking clergy to dedicate January 13th to raising awareness about human trafficking among their congregations. Find ways to get your church involved in the fight against injustice.
To participate in any of the above mentioned events, visit www.WeekendofPrayer.net and fill out a participation registration form. Women At Risk, International (WAR, Int’l) hopes that you will take the time to be a part of this important time event. As our nation gathers together to pray, would we witness God’s spirit at work to set the captives free.