john (jǒn) n. A man who purchases sex from a person in prostitution.

John (jǒn) n. The Baptist. The disciple Jesus loved. Newton, the slave trader turned hymn writer.

Why pray?

Many good and noble efforts focus on addressing the problem of modern-day slavery, especially the needs of the exploited, yet the demand is seemingly insatiable. Initiatives focused on the needs and redemption of the exploiters are relatively rare.

Pray for the Johns Day is one small, humble effort to acknowledge the scale of the problem and ask God to intervene in the lives of those who participate in and support the sexual exploitation of others — both so that they may be halted in this evil, and redirected toward what good works they could yet do.

  • RSVP for the Facebook event.
  • Invite your church or other friends to pray.

Year 5 focus: Mark 5: 1-20

For the fifth year of this virtual event, we’re using Mark 5 as a text for prayer. Whatever prompts people to pay for sex, this story provides a good reminder that God is big enough to turn anyone from a life of destruction and to a restored life in the community.

Each year, I find myself struggling to start work on this event. Even inviting people to pray feels exhausting, and I’m tempted to take one year off. But every time I come back to God’s redeeming love, and these stories of how much He’s able to transform lives, I find new hope and energy to pray. Yes, we ask big things, but no other god so defines himself by redemption as the God of the Hebrew Bible.

As Albert Wolters writes in Creation Regained, “God does not make junk, and he does not junk what he has made.”

Why Participate?

Cursing and condemning wrong-doers is always the easiest way. It’s the tendency of the human heart. Yet Jesus commanded His disciples to pray for their enemies.

As the New Testament example of Paul makes clear, and the more contemporary cases of John Newton, Mitsuo Fuchida and Donnie Andrews show, God seems to delight in transforming lives bent on destruction into means of great blessing. Why would that be less true today?