“For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world”,
Can you pray for justice and not judge the person that brings pain to others?
I wish I’d say in my life I’ve “hated the sin” and “not the sinner” but honestly that is not the case. My immediate reaction to the people who have forced others into slavery is not love but judgment. As I have looked into the eyes of a young girl enslaved in domestic servitude, forced to work fourteen to sixteen hours a day, then raped as a part of her enslavement. Or sat with boys no older than 10 that are forced to beg and give the money to their trafficker. It’s easy to judge, and difficult to pray with mercy especially for people who have dispensed acts of evil upon the vulnerable and enslaved children.
When I started praying years ago for the end of slavery, I thought and prayed with the justice system in mind and judgment for the traffickers. In my self—imposed system of prayer, I allowed God to be the jury while I played the “Judge”. I was arrogant. It was easier to judge than to wrap my mind around an evil act that people chose to inflict on others. As if these people crawled out of hell to administer pain on people, not human beings that choose to do evil. I hated the sin and the sinners instead of hating the evil. I also looked at the circumstances and not on God’s power to change them. My focus was not on what God could do but what the devil was doing.
One-year things started to change. At “Prayer for Freedom” every year we do at least two 21-day prayer and fasting campaigns to end human trafficking. Each year we chose a form of slavery to pray about child soldiers, sex trafficking or forced labor. In the summer of 2011 we prayed for the end of child soldiers and the end to the war with LRA (Lords Resistance Army). I’m sure many of you know through the YouTube video in 2012, “KONY” which went viral, who and what the leader of the LRA, Joseph Kony has done. Simply put he’s terrorized and forced children into all forms of slavery to gain and maintain power. He used girls as sex slaves, boys as soldiers and women and children as forced labor and burned and looted numerous villages in Africa. During this campaign the ministry held a prayer meeting where people around the area could come and pray. A lady came that I was a friend of a friend. Prayed, “God make this guy “Kony” an example of your love. Let him become a witness of mercy and let all the people know that he is yours and make converts for you.”
I wanted to scream! I had done research, completed a training course in the effects of child soldiers, and written stories about the horrors girls face as they’re ostracized from families because they were LRA sex slaves. And here is this woman praying for “Kony” like he is an ordinary “Joe” on the street. My heart was burning so hot; I felt my temperature go up. I wanted to stand up and yell, “No, you have no idea what he has done! He has not only killed children he has made them kill their own brothers, by beating them to death.” I was burning up with fiery, my head was throbbing and my mind was continually thinking, more like screaming out that is not what justice looks like. I managed to keep myself calm and what was going on in the inside wasn’t reflecting on the outside with the exception of a very flushed face. But I was mad, I had decided what Kony’s fate would be, and it would be something that reflects justice and judgment, an epic punishment for all the world to know you do not abduct and torture children. Yet the Holy Spirit was speaking to me this might not be the right way to pray with a heart full of judgment and a burning hot coals of rage in my mind.
The woman told me she had no idea who “Kony” was or the LRA and it was a good thing. Her prayers were with a pure heart that knew Jesus was the answer to bring change. She had no preconceived idea of what judgment “Kony” deserved, she didn’t know the circumstances and was looking on with child—like eyes. In her innocents to the situation and her love for God she prayed a pure and kind prayer. I on the other hand needed the Holy Spirit to change my heart to be more like hers. To remove the judgment and condemnation in which I believed was praying for justice.
To grasp that in doing research and raising awareness it’s a good but it should never take the place of faith. And facts can change overnight with God if you believe in faith. Not to be naïve about the devil and understand that he wants us to look at the evidence of what we have done and what others have done then make judgments upon others and ourselves which stops us from really grasping Gods heart in prayer. But when I pray for justice or the end of slavery to want God’s presence to be so strong on the earth that the evidence of injustice is gone. The only way this will happen is for praying for people to know the love of Christ and accept Him as their Savior.