AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott announced details on the third annual Week of Prayer to End Human Trafficking as part of Governor Abbott’s Response Against Child Exploitation (GRACE) initiative from Monday through Sunday throughout Texas.

According to the Office of the Texas First Lady, the initiative “serves as a call to action to the faith-based community to unite in prayer, learn more about human trafficking, and discern opportunities to prevent exploitation and support survivors.”

The Week of Prayer will begin with a virtual event on Monday at 7 p.m. on Facebook and will include an address from First Lady Abbott and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Stephanie Muth, along with a prayer and a panel discussion with faith leaders.

“As an integral part of GRACE’s efforts, the Week of Prayer to End Human Trafficking brings hope and healing to survivors as we work to stop this horrific crime,” said First Lady Abbott. “This week, and every week, I invite Texans of all faiths to join us in prayer and action to eradicate human trafficking.”

First Lady Abbott’s office released the following daily prayer intentions for the Week of Prayer:

  • Monday — Pray for all those currently exploited to find safety and healing;
  • Tuesday — Pray for all those who are vulnerable to receive the help, love, and support needed to meet their needs and not fall victim to human trafficking;
  • Wednesday — Pray for an end to demand and societal factors that normalize exploitation;
  • Thursday — Pray for protection from online dangers and for caregivers to be equipped to keep their children safe;
  • Friday — Pray for Texans to have the courage and skills to speak up and intervene when they see behavior that puts others at risk;
  • Saturday — Pray for every child to have access to safe, supportive mentors and role models;
  • Sunday — Pray for discernment on the actions you can personally take to prevent human trafficking.

The Office of the Texas First Lady along with Governor Abbott’s Child Sex Trafficking Team, DFPS, and faith leaders launched GRACE in 2019 with a goal to develop strategies to end human trafficking, First Lady Abbott’s office noted.

In addition, the First Lady is asking the community to wear blue on Wednesday in honor of National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness. Those participating can use the #TXPraysToEndHT on social media to show support for the initiative.

Here are the Texas faith leaders participating in the Week of Prayer:

  • Pastor Jay Abernathy, senior pastor at Faith Baptist Church Woodville;
  • Susan Peters, Antioch Community Church in Waco and Global Director of Unbound;
  • Pastor Mosley Hobson, senior pastor at Greater St. John’s and New Zion Church of God in Christ for the Texas Southwest Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction under the leadership of Bishop P.E. Bryant;
  • Rabbi Neil Blumofe, senior rabbi at Congregation Agudas Achim in Austin;
  • Imam Islam Mossaad, Imam for North Austin Muslim Community Center;
  • Dr. Gilberto Velez, M.D., Iglesia Cristiana Misericordia;
  • Evangelist Sophia Strother, national director and vice chair of COGIC IDOE Rapid Response Ministry;
  • Father James Misko, vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Austin.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline connects victims and survivors with services and support to get help and stay safe. That number is 1-888-373-7888 and is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Information can also be found here.