The late author Brennan Manning shared that “prayer is first and foremost an act of love.” Learn about an effort to love some of the least of these — the sexually broken.
Regular readers already know about my strong affection for William Wilberforce, whose tireless efforts to abolish the slave trade and end slavery in the British Empire led me to write his biography.
And as you know, Wilberforce did not act alone. The small group of Christians with which he planned and prayed, known as the Clapham Sect, took the long view of social change. To free slaves in an empire that depended on them must have seemed unthinkable to most. Yet, guided by God and devoting much of their lives to the task, they met their goals.
The Clapham Sect came to mind recently when I learned about a new outreach addressing sexual brokenness. PRAY LOVE HEAL presents itself as “a global community invested in the spiritual, sexual, and relational healing of the world.” Now there’s a challenge for you! To do this, they’ve launched a website featuring helpful resources and publish a daily email containing guided prayers, Scripture readings, and a brief devotion. Each month features a new prayer focus. March offers prayers for victims of pornography.
PRAY LOVE HEAL addresses “all forms of sexual exploitation and brokenness, including sex trafficking, pornography addiction, childhood sexual abuse, victims of the sex industry, rape, life and reproductive issues, homosexuality and gender dysphoria, and harms from sexualized media,” among others.
Now that’s a pretty tall order. Yet, like the Clapham Sect, PRAY LOVE HEAL understands this mission in light of a much larger effort to renew a Christian vision of sexuality, relationships, and the human person.
According to PRAY LOVE HEAL director Daniel Weiss, whose organization, The Brushfires Foundation, I’ve mentioned on BreakPoint before, we cannot adequately address one aspect of sexual brokenness without understanding the larger family and cultural contexts. Sexual wounds by definition involve trauma to our sense of self, our relationships with others, and our understanding of God. While such pain has emotional, cognitive, and relational components, at its core it is a spiritual wound that impacts a person’s deepest sense of himself and the world.
Looking at our culture today, addressing sexual brokenness feels like a herculean task. And yet, it has been done before. Paul encouraged the Ephesian Christians to “be imitators of God,” and to put aside sexual immorality, impurity, and covetousness. He understood what too few Christians do today—that sexual immorality and spiritual idolatry go hand in hand. Paul knew that Ephesus was a sensuous and idolatrous city, but He reminded believers living there that no matter the challenges they faced, God calls us to a higher standard.
Paul also stressed the spiritual nature of the battle before us. We are to put on the full armor of God because, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
And yet as one person shared with PRAY LOVE HEAL, too often in this battle, prayer is our last resort when it should always be our first.
I encourage you to visit PRAY LOVE HEAL to begin a more focused and prayerful approach to all forms of sexual brokenness.
I hope you’ll join me in committing these weighty issues to prayer, which John Newton called “the great engine to overthrow and rout my spiritual enemies, the great means to procure the graces of which I stand in hourly need.” I couldn’t agree more.
— by Eric Metaxas
Metaxas is the voice of Breakpoint, a radio commentary (www.breakpoint.org). Copyright© 2016 Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with permission. BreakPoint is a ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries.