Prayers for Human Trafficking

Identify Uzbekistan in the atlas or on the globe.  Trace the journey Svetlana made from Uzbekistan, through Georgia to the United Arab Emirates.  Put out products from Uzbekistan – maybe a cotton product or something gold.  You may also want to download one of the pictures of the young people from Uzbekistan from the study site. You could also put out passports, chains or padlocks to remind people of the realities of modern slavery.

Gathering Prayer

Outcast God,

Born into poverty in an occupied land,

Driven from your land as your family fled violence,

Living alongside the marginalised and the oppressed.

Dying between criminals to the jeers of the crowd,

Open our eyes, that we who seek to follow you may recognise your face in the faces of those who are enslaved.

Open our ears, that we who seek to hear your word, may recognise your love in the stories which are often drowned out.

Open our hearts, that we who seek your way of life may be bold in witnessing to your longing for justice and peace.


Candle Lighting

God of all time and space,

We light this candle as a sign of our willingness to be your light in the world.

We bring before you the people whose story we have witnessed.

We pray for all those enslaved by the greed and cruelty of others; for all whose bodies and spirits are abused and broken; for all who long for freedom.

Bless all those who work to end human trafficking, at local and international levels. Shine your bright light of justice and love on the darkest corners of our world and give us hope and courage to stand with you.

We ask it the name of Jesus, our brother and our friend.


Psalm 10

Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor —  let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.

For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart, those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord.
In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, ‘God will not seek it out’; all their thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’

Their ways prosper at all times; your judgements are on high, out of their sight;
 as for their foes, they scoff at them.
They think in their heart, ‘We shall not be moved; throughout all generations we shall not meet adversity.’

Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under their tongues are mischief and iniquity.
They sit in ambush in the villages; in hiding-places they murder the innocent.

Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;  they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert;
they lurk that they may seize the poor; they seize the poor and drag them off in their net.

They stoop, they crouch, and the helpless fall by their might.
They think in their heart, ‘God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.’

Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed.
Why do the wicked renounce God,   and say in their hearts, ‘You will not call us to account’?

But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief, that you may take it into your hands;
the helpless commit themselves to you; you have been the helper of the orphan.

Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers; seek out their wickedness until you find none.
The Lord is king for ever and ever;  the nations shall perish from his land.

O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek; you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear
to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed, so that those from earth may strike terror no more.

Ruth 3: 1-17

3Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, ‘My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. 2Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing-floor. 3Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing-floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.’ 5She said to her, ‘All that you tell me I will do.’

6 So she went down to the threshing-floor and did just as her mother-in-law had instructed her. 7When Boaz had eaten and drunk, and he was in a contented mood, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came quietly and uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and there, lying at his feet, was a woman! 9He said, ‘Who are you?’ And she answered, ‘I am Ruth, your servant; spread your cloak over your servant, for you are next-of-kin.’ 10He said, ‘May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter; this last instance of your loyalty is better than the first; you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11And now, my daughter, do not be afraid; I will do for you all that you ask, for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman. 12But now, though it is true that I am a near kinsman, there is another kinsman more closely related than I. 13Remain this night, and in the morning, if he will act as next-of-kin for you, good; let him do so. If he is not willing to act as next-of-kin for you, then, as the Lord lives, I will act as next-of-kin for you. Lie down until the morning.’

14 So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before one person could recognize another; for he said, ‘It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing-floor.’ 15Then he said, ‘Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.’ So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and put it on her back; then he went into the city. 16She came to her mother-in-law, who said, ‘How did things go with you, my daughter?’ Then she told her all that the man had done for her, 17saying, ‘He gave me these six measures of barley, for he said, “Do not go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.” ’

Prayers about human trafficking

O God, our words cannot express what our minds can barely comprehend and our

hearts feel, when we hear of women and girls deceived and transported to unknown

places for purposes of sexual exploitation and abuse because of human greed and

profit. Our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry that the dignity and rights of

those who are trafficked are violated through threats, deception and force.

We cry out against the degrading practice of trafficking and pray for it to

end. Strengthen the fragile-spirited and broken-hearted. Make real your promises to

fill these our sisters with a love that is tender and good and to send the exploiters

away empty-handed. Give us the wisdom and courage to stand in solidarity with our

sisters, that together we will find ways to the freedom that is your gift to all of us.

We ask through Jesus the Christ, in union with God our Creator and the Holy

Spirit. Amen.

Sisters of Christian Charity, Eastern Province, USA



Your Spirit told us through the mouth of Paul that the whole earth and we too, as your children, groan in the pains of a birth. It is easy, Lord, to grasp and affirm this. For there are passages so difficult and hours so filled with anguish that the image really applies; they are labour pains. Something is being born. Who knows? A world in which men and women can breathe, a more just, a more human world!

So be it.


Prayer of Dom Helder Camara, Source


May God the creator, who danced creation into being, dance with us.

May God the redeemer, who lived for justice, live in us.

May God the sustainer, who offers hope, offer hope through us.


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