October Devotional

May God give you every desire of your heart

and carry out your every plan as you go to battle.

Our boast is in the Lord our God,

who makes us strong and gives us victory!

Psalm 20:4 & 7b

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Devotional

How incredible that Almighty God invites us to pray!  He actually commands us to pray but He also invites us to pray because He is relational and delights in our coming to Him in worshipful, needful prayer.  Blasé Pascal says that God “instituted prayer in order to allow His creatures the dignity of causality” C.S. Lewis added to that comment saying in his book, God in the Dock, “It would perhaps be truer to say that He invented both prayer and physical action for that purpose.  He gave us small creatures the dignity of being able to contribute to the course of events in two different ways…. through work and prayer”. And I would add to that by saying through work and the work of prayer, for it can be after all, hard work.

I also believe the Holy Spirit prompts us to prayer throughout our day (and the night watches) and if we are listening and respond, we have the privilege of joining Him in the good work He is in the midst of doing.  Exciting stuff! So, I try to be alert in my spirit and listen for and respond to His promptings to pray. I don’t want to miss His invitation to join Him. I'm sure you don't want to miss His invite either!

Thank you for asking to receive Refuge for Women – Chicago’s prayer needs.  Consider this an invitation to join in the good work God is doing in our guest’s lives by lifting up these needs in prayer to the One who can use them to effect real change.  Your prayers have eternal, real consequences

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for using our prayers to bring about Your good purposes for Refuge For Women-Chicago.  The desire of our heart is to see healing, wholeness and salvation for each our precious residents. Grant us daily victories in the constant spiritual battles we fight.  We ask for Your provision for our entire monthly expenses. We will boast in You, Lord our God who makes us strong and gives us victory. In Jesus perfect, powerful name we pray.


Taken from our October Prayer Newsletter.  If you would like to receive our monthly prayer needs please sign up here:  Refuge for Women - Chicago Prayer Requests



Why is Rockford Ranked #2 In Illinois for Trafficking?

A recent news report claimed Rockford Ranks 2 in State in Human Trafficking.  Most of us are familiar with Chicago being known for trafficking, but why Rockford?

Traffickers will often move the women to different cities.  Sometimes they are transporting them to large events such as the Super Bowl.  Sometimes they may be on the move to avoid being noticed by law enforcement.  They may travel to another city in an effort to isolate their victims from friends and family so they are unable to reach out for help. They may even go to a different city attract new clients or recruit new women.  

Because traffickers often move their women around, the I-90 corridor is convenient to help them travel.  I-90 is known as the “Midwest Pipeline” and is used to transport victims of human trafficking across the country. With Rockford having easy access to this major interstate, it makes them a prime stop for traffickers who will move their victims from Chicago to Schaumburg to Rockford and then back to Chicago. Rockford may also provide a prime location for traffickers who are moving victims to North and South Dakota which has seen an increase in trafficking. 

Lori Johnson, Vice President of RAASE also attributes this statistic to budget cuts and the decrease in available law enforcement.  She states, "Because of the budget cuts with law enforcement, we have seen the numbers increase because they know that there is no one looking for them right now."

According to Polaris Project, trafficking happens in towns, suburbs and big cities. No demographic is immune and they have seen trafficking reported in all 50 states.

September Devotional

Jesus rose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”

Then the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

Mark 4:39

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Devotional

Jesus spoke these words, “Peace, be still!” to the raging storm that was swamping the boat He and His disciples were in.  Even the seasoned fishermen were terrified that they would perish but Jesus, was asleep in the stern of the boat.  After calming the raging storm, Jesus said to His disciples, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”  Much of life finds us in the midst of raging storms where we believe our boats will be swamped for they are already filling with water, and we are full of fear.  But as Christians, we know that Jesus is in the boat with us, and blessing of blessings, He is never sleeping! 

These raging storms of life are not unusual nor should we be surprised by their constant raging appearances.  Jesus told His disciples (and us) on the night of His betrayal, “in this world you will have trouble but take heart (have courage, exercise your faith in Me), I have overcome the world”.  

Christ is in the boat!

Jesus can calm the storms around us or calm the storms within us, and will do what is best depending on His good and perfect will.  Our part is to remember (exercise faith) that Jesus is in the boat and cry out to Him.  And we are then to take heart, exercise our faith - He sees the storm, He hears our fears, He knows how BIG the storm is for us, He is tender with our weaknesses while the storm rages, He is glad to be with us and He can do something about it.  So, in this world we surely will suffer but Jesus will be by our side.  Let us always look to our Savior, the God of love and hope who gave His life for us and not look away.  He is with us in the boat and He has power to rebuke the wind and waves, commanding them - “peace, be still”.


Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus to take away our guilt of sin and save us by grace when we put our trust in Him as Savior. Thank you that He is transcendent and at the same time intimately imminent.  Immanuel, God with us.  Please help our Refuge residents, by faith, to each put their trust in Jesus and to know the closeness of Jesus in the midst of their life storms and healing journey.  We cry out on their behalf Lord.  Please, speak peace, be still over their hearts and minds. In Jesus precious, powerful name we pray.



Taken from our September Prayer Newsletter.  If you would like to receive our monthly prayer needs please sign up here: Refuge for Women - Chicago Prayer Requests