The Future of Trafficking

Dr. Amanda Eckhardt of RestoreNYC shares the effect of COVID-19 on anti-trafficking efforts and the future of sex trafficking.
In this episode…
  • Dr. Eckhardt leads RestoreNYC, a prominent faith-based anti-trafficking organization, alongside a talented team of 35 staff who are driving impressive results for survivors of trafficking in NYC.

  • Rick Barry is Executive Director of Center for Christian Civics, where he helps ministry leaders and faith communities develop missional approaches to their local public squares. He has worked on campaigns for local, state and federal office, is a former writer and editor for Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and oversaw communications for the Grace DC church network. He and his wife live in Washington, DC.

  • Introduction (00:30)
  • Interview (07:15)
  • Prayer (20:10)

Dr. Amanda Eckhardt of RestoreNYC joins us to kick of a mini-series covering how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the face of major issues many Christians care about.

We are each called to different works in the public square. Christ’s mission encompasses every manifestation of sin and brokenness in our world, and his healing is deep enough to reach every corner of sin in our lives. This week, we are featuring short conversations with Christian leaders from a range of organizations sharing how they see issues we all thought we understood changing as the Coronavirus spreads.

Make Space

Dr. Eckhardt encouraged us to consider how we might use extra space in our homes to show welcome and hospitality to people in dire straits. This week, ask God to show you what resources you have that he may ask you use for the sake of showing mercy to others. Then ask him to prepare your heart to take the difficult and frightening step of making the offer if you see a need.

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Prayer One

Lord God almighty, creator of all things, keeper of justice and compassion, you know the hearts of all people. You know when all do good and evil. And you know that which is hidden in our hearts.

Cleanse us, Lord. Help us to follow you. Help us to do good. Help us to know our hearts.
Help us to do justice and live compassionately. And help us to recognize your hand in all things.

God Almighty, we pray you would impart the Spirit of Jesus to us, your Holy Spirit, so we may know what to pray for—and even if we do not know what to pray for, we humbly ask that your Spirit would hear the groanings of our hearts.


Prayer Two

God, you are no stranger to the helplessness and hopelessness of women. You heard the calls of barren women—of Sarah, Rachel, Hannah, and Elizabeth. You’ve given a woman hope and your Spirit in the midst of war and troubles—as you did for Deborah and Esther.

Lord, we pray that you hear the cries of women in desperate situations, that they recognize you are present everywhere, even in the midst of their darkness and despair.

Lord, we call on you, who is present right now, to hear the cries of the helpless and answer them.


Prayer Three

You’ve placed your Spirit upon mighty and courageous women. We pray with Miriam, “The Lord is my strength and my defense. He has become my salvation.” We pray with Deborah, “You who ride on white donkeys, sitting on your saddle blankets, and you who walk along the road,
consider the voice of the singers at the watering places. They recite the victories of the Lord.” And we pray with Mary, the mother of our Lord, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm. He has scattered those who are proud in their innermost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.”


Prayer Four

Lord, you know the pain of hunger, of hardship, of persecution, and of death—death on a cross. You have had compassion on the hunger and hardship of women, for you appeared before Hagar as she was dying in the desert and said, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid.” Let us not be afraid of death in the desert places of our life, Lord. We pray you remove the fear of death from this place and change it from a desert into a part of your kingdom.


Prayer Five

Lord, you seek to protect the foreigner and ask your people to always care for the alien, the orphan, and the widow.

You rewarded Ruth for her dedication to her mother-in-law and protected her in a foreign land, making sure she could have enough to eat from gleaning in the fields. And you blessed her by grafting her into the family of our savior.


Prayer Six

Lord, you are the friend of those who are downtrodden. In your kingdom, there is no Jew nor Gentile, male or female, slave or master.

We ask you to free those who are in slavery as you did with your people in Egypt. Free all people in this place from the cycle of sin and death, and redeem us all to new life.


Prayer Seven

Let us not forget, Lord, that you forgive all sins, and that what was once lost can always be found again. Let us not forget, Lord, that Tamar and Rahab—both women who were prostitutes—are the foremothers of our savior. Keep us from ever looking down on those who are in darkness, for you are always able to redeem them.


Prayer Eight

Christ is light to all, and his light shines in the darkness, and the darkness is overcome.

We come before you God, and ask for you to shine your light on this place. Overcome all darkness with the eternal light of Christ, the true Morningstar.


Prayer Nine

Lord, we pray dearly for the oppressed.

We also pray dearly for the oppressor.

Lord, you harden the heart of Pharaoh, and we know that the hearts of the oppressors are hardened against you. They keep themselves from your light.

We pray you crack open the hardness of their hearts, so they will no longer be hidden from the light, but that they would be overcome with the light of Christ, God with us, and see their evil exposed.

We ask that you take away the hard hearts of the oppressors, that they would willfully set the captives free and that all glory and honor would go to you, our mighty God.

We pray these things in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.


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