“This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ‘
Verse 11: Give us today our daily bread – God knows how important FOOD is! In the global issues of trafficking food plays a key role in vulnerability and compliance.* Desperation for lack of food is one issue that entices people to make decisions they would no t normally make. Their stomach often growl louder than their thoughts of good sense. Physically they are weakened and it affects their decision making abilities.
Some examples of this from Genesis:
Consider Eve and Adam (they both ate) in the Garden, tricked by the Serpent over an issue with food. While their hunger was not really for food or out of a physical need – it is where this all begins – ok, hang with me here. . .
Jacob and Esau – Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for food!
And remember Joseph’s story in the book of Genesis – sold into slavery by his brothers, he rises after years in Egypt to be second in command only to Pharaoh himself. Then there is a famine in the land. Joseph’s family shows up in Egypt to buy food. Eventually, all of Israel spends all of its resources to buy food from Pharaoh. They have only their land and themselves to barter with to eat. So, they sell their land and themselves out of desperation for food! They were now slaves to Pharaoh and for a while that seems all good because they are able to eat. But the government’s evil task masters are cruel and the work becomes ever more demanding and the people begin to cry out to God.
God’s is hearing the cries of people all over the world today desperate for food and vulnerable to traffickers. He is hearing the cries of those who have been trafficking victims and for whom food continues to be a mechanism used by the traffickers to keep them compliant with every more increasing demands.
When we pray this prayer Give us today our daily bread – we can pray for our own daily provisions, God knows we all need to eat, He created us with the need. But, we can pray with a new reason for abolition and a connection with the vulnerable and the victims as they endure a pang in the stomachs and need their daily bread. Pray that food would not be a tool of compliance used against them in their lives. Pray for government policies and corruption that fuels continued dependencies and meager availability of foods.
Pray for women who live in fear of losing their children to starvation and who are desperately hungry themselves. Pray that their desperation does not lead them to sell their children thinking the traffickers will feed them better than she is able to feed them.
Ask others to join you in fasting and praying for victims of trafficking and ask God how to intervene through organizations that do the most good in working with local indigenousness farming and supportive structures that bring dignity and worth to productive work that supplies for the food needs of their villages. Consider giving gifts to friends and relatives that honor them but provide for this type of support to others in need. One such to consider is through World Vision – I enjoy buying ducks and chickens as gifts for my prayer partners instead of items that are mere mementos.
*Consider the global vulnerability that hunger presents as opportunities to traffickers. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations http://www.fao.org/ as of 2009, see their reported facts on global hunger include over 1 billion people – mostly children.