NIGHT PRAYER: Tuesday 1/11

 (Today, January 11, is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day)

I pray tonight, Lord, for women, children and men
    whose bodies are trafficked as commodities 
by those who neither revere nor respect human life,
    created in the very image of God...
What depth of greed, Lord, what perverse desires,
    blind anyone to your presence 
in every man, woman and child
    walking the face of the earth?
Remind me of your word in Proverbs 31:8 
    Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
    Protect the rights of all who are helpless.  
Raise my consciousness and move me to act:
    to read, to learn, to write, to advocate 
for victims and potential victims
    who fear for their safety, for their lives...

And in smaller ways, Lord, closer to home,
    help me speak up for any who can't speak for themselves:
give me the courage, the voice, the words 
    to speak up, to defend, to intervene and protect
        the bullied, the abused, the marginalized, the forgotten
    in my home, in my family, in my neighborhood
        and where I work and pray, where I and study and play...
When others are afflicted, Lord,
    give me the spirit and conviction 
to stand up and ask why
    and change the structures that harm us all...
Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
and watch over me as I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep rest in your peace...


Tonight's music isn't a hymn, it belongs more in the genre of protest song, the poetic form of a 1946 post-war confessional prose by the German Lutheran  pastor Martin Niemoller (1892–1984). It is about the cowardice of German intellectuals and certain clergy—including, by his own admission, Niemöller himself—following the Nazis' rise to power and subsequent incremental purging of their chosen targets, group after group.
Stand Up by Mike Stern
If a video doesn't appear below, click here!

First they came for the Communist
then they came for the Jew
but I wasn't a Communist
and I wasn't a Jew

So I didn't stand up and I didn't ask why
by the time they came for me
there was no one left to ask why

Then they came for the unionist
and they came for the priest
but I wasn't a unionist
and I wasn't a priest

Then they came for the pacifist
and they came for the gays
but I wasn't a pacifist
and I was not gay

Now they come for Muslim
and they come for the refugee
but I am not a Muslim
and I'm not a refugee

Now I will stand up
and I will ask why
and when someday they come for me
I hope there's someone standing by my side

Yes we will stand up
and we will ask why
and when someday they come for you
there'll be lots of people standing by your side
a world of people standing side by side.




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