Prayer for December 18: Please pray with me. God of the oppressed, yesterday we read from the prophet Isaiah that you bring good news to the oppressed, that you bind up the brokenhearted, that you proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners. Lord, there are a group of people who desperately need this – those that suffer from domestic violence and abuse. They feel like prisoners in their own homes, captives at the mercy of mad people, brokenhearted because of the violence caused to them by ones they supposedly love, oppressed and out of control. Walk with them and accompany them. More than that – free them from their captivity and imprisonment in pain and suffering. Move within us to do something, anything, when we come across people who are abused. Keep our eyes open and don’t allow us to turn away – let us be a channel of communication with the abused to know that they are cared for and are not alone. Change the hearts of those that would abuse someone else. Open their eyes to seeing that their lives will not improve by trying to control someone else – they will only bring misery and pain to others and eventually to themselves. If their hearts remain cold and frozen, move them – move them physically away from their victims so they can’t cause more harm. Open the doors of their homes and let them leave. Free them from their own captivity to violence, anger, shame, addiction, wrath, and being lost. Amen.