I Prayed have prayed
Lord, use powerful films like Sound of Freedom to turn hearts to prayer and action, that those created in your image may be set free from trafficking.
Reading Time: 6 minutes

The film Sound of Freedom hopes to catalyze the ending of illegal slavery in our day. It’s off to a great start! The film brought in $2.5M more than the #2 film at the box office on the Fourth of July. The second place film happened to be Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in 2,000 more theaters and with a Walt Disney Studios budget that dwarfed that of Sound of Freedom. Interestingly, when Disney bought 21st Century Fox, they shelved Sound of Freedom, which was going to be distributed by Fox.

Do you want state prayer alerts?


Sound of Freedom, now in the hands of Angel Studios (The Chosen), shattered the goal of two million tickets on opening week to match the two million children being trafficked in the world right now. Click to see how many tickets have been sold now.

Modern Slavery?

I was onstage when I found out about modern slavery. I was performing my one-man play about abolitionist John Woolman who was speaking against slavery a century before the Civil War in America. After the play ends I stay in character and answer questions from the audience. The year was 1998, and someone in the audience asked, “John, what do you think of modern slavery?” As Woolman I had the benefit of not living in modern times, so I asked the woman to tell us about it. She told how there are more slaves in the world today than at any other time in history. It floored me!

If you didn’t know there are roughly 50 million slaves today, you really must see Sound of Freedom. Even if you were aware slavery still exists, the film will put faces to the numbers.

The main story follows federal agent Tim Ballard (played by Caviezel who portrayed Jesus in The Passion of the Christ) as he lays everything on the line to track down two kidnapped children.

This film starts by what appears to be breaking a major rule in scriptwriting: The hero of the story should be introduced right at the opening and be the last person we see. In Sound of Freedom that person is 11-year-old Rocío, but it’s Ballard who spends the entire film searching for her and her four-year-old brother, Miguel. After the credits begin to roll, Caviezel comes on screen to explain it is actually the children who are the heroes. In a theatre, where “you can’t hit the pause button,” those children have more power than politicians and the global elite.

Think About One Child

There’s a moment in the film where Ballard is talking to a wealthy man (played by Eduardo Verástegui, who is actually a producer on the film and worked with Alejandro Monteverde, its director, on Bella, which highlights the sanctity of life). Verástegui’s character turns down Ballard’s request to bankroll a sting operation that could liberate 50 children after learning Ballard has been cut loose by the Department of Homeland Security. The film simplifies the real reason for that action, which is explained by Ballard in an interview he and Caviezel did with Jordan Peterson (the interview contains some vulgarity). As the wealthy man drives away from the meeting he opens a manila envelope Ballard slipped him. Inside is a photo of Rocío. Ballard wrote on it: “Forget the fifty kids. Think about one: Rocío, age 11. Sold into sex slavery.”

The film gives you the numbers: Ballard says human trafficking is “the fastest growing crime network that the world has ever seen. It has already passed the illegal arms trade, and soon it’s going pass the drug trade. Because you can sell a bag of cocaine one time; a child five to ten times a day.” Ballard also shares that there’s recently been a 5,000% increase in child pornography, which is driving the sale of children. But what the film does best is put the faces of Rocío and Miguel before us, and as intercessors those children motivate us to pray and act on their behalf.

Ballard is encouraged by his wife (played by Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino, who played the lead in another film exposing trafficking, Trade of Innocents) to leave his job and pension behind to liberate those two children. Ballard explains their motivation: “‘Cause God’s children are not for sale.”

He travels to Columbia and picks an unlikely partner, Vampiro (Bill Camp: 12 Years a Slave), an ex-cartel gangster who left prison to return to the filth of his former life. His explanation of why he’s helping children is haunting. He tells how he hired a 25-year-old prostitute, but after their transaction he notices cat faces painted on her toenails. He discovers she’s only 14, and she’s been trafficked since she was six. He said, “All of a sudden I’m hit by this tidal wave: this tsunami of darkness. And I know I’m the sadness in her eyes. Me. I’m the darkness, and I know the darkness has to die.” He told how he pointed his gun at his own head and put his finger on the trigger. Then he said, “If there is a time to ask if God exists, that would be it. I did. When God tells you what to do, you cannot hesitate.”

The Peterson interview elicited a similar testimony from @M3THOD1978:

Im 44 now. But I have to be honest with you all. At some point in my wasted youth, I used to participate in paying for play. One night, after having had many nights, I called and was provided a girl who came with some Mexican thugs, who didnt speak English. The girl started to actually cry when I was ready to take what I paid for :(. At the time, in my tipsy coked state of mind, I thought to myself how awesome I found someone who was new to the lifestyle and was just shy and needed to be broken into the life she chose. I was so wrong. I look back now, 10 years past, and I realize she was trafficked, Im sure of it. And I am now a man of God and devastated. I went to this movie alone, and cried at the state of who I was, and who some still are. I street preach the Bible to those who will hear; and have only realized my need for a loving God, after I was the darkness in earth. I am so sorry to that girl, and wish I could go back. Regret is real. God is so great, that he will use the lowest of the barrel, to call others to him. I am living proof. Forgive me Lord. I am lost without you. 

Pray Sound of Freedom brings many of the millions who are fueling this evil to come under conviction.

There’s a moment in the film when Ballard goes alone into a region of the Colombian jungle the police refuse to enter. I was struck by the power of this image: Caviezel, who’s played Jesus, was willing to give his life to save one little girl, just as Jesus would have died to save one soul.

Here’s the trailer:

And you don’t have to wait until you see the film to start praying for the end of human trafficking. You can start with this haunting music video:

Also, don’t let the ticket price keep you from seeing the film in a theater. Many have paid it forward (a plan Angel Studios used with The Chosen), or you can pay it forward for some who can’t afford it: www.Angel.com/FREEDOM.

Angel Studios is carrying the film into more theaters for their second weekend, but in the interview with Peterson, Caveziel indicated some theaters are rejecting Sound of Freedom. Pray for open doors!

The film is rated PG-13 “for thematic content involving sex trafficking, violence, language, sexual references, some drug references and smoking throughout.”

Though I don’t think there’s ever a reason to add vulgarity to a film, there’s no blasphemy and no f-bombs. Everything is done tastefully in telling the horrors of sex trafficking, but you definitely see kidnapping, and you’re aware of what’s going on behind closed curtains. The closest they come to showing what’s going on is when a man lays an 11-year-old girl on a bed and starts undoing his belt. Ballard stops him right there. There’s some PG-level violence. See the PluggedIn (Focus on the Family) review for more details.

I saw it with fellow IFA contributing writer Joyce Swingle, and we agree that teens  — with proper preparation and debrief — may be able handle this film, and it could do even more in a young person’s prayer/action trajectory than for those of us who already know what’s going on. At the same time, it is an intense movie. Joyce wrote an excellent article about debriefing from this vicarious trauma.

IFA has an excellent Special Report, “The Dark World of Human Trafficking,” and also makes it easy to request your representatives in Congress take action to help stop trafficking. Click here or find it under the Action tab at www.IFApray.org.

We’ve also covered other films that expose trafficking: The Sound of Violet and Pursuit of Freedom.

In the comments below post your prayers for Sound of Freedom and other films about human trafficking to break through indifference so chains can be broken.

 Rich Swingle has taught and performed in 39 nations on six continents, mostly with his own one-man plays, including I Dreamed I Was Free, about the abolition of legalized slavery. Hes performed in more than 45 film projects, and his bride Joyce Swingle, another contributing writer for IFA, have 41 screen children. The Swingles live in New York City. www.RichDrama.com. Photo Credit: Angel Studios.

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July 13, 2023

Department of Justice recently removed information about child trafficking from their website.
You can read what was deleted at Conservative Daily.
Ask your government officials WHO removed it and WHY it was removed.

Grant Windholz
July 12, 2023

AMEN and a summer blockbuster too! Reveal the truth of protection for our children!

Karen Sievenpiper
July 12, 2023

This must be stopped!

July 12, 2023

Great Movie and commission for us all, to stamp out child sex slavery in our generation.

July 11, 2023

My local theater wasnt going to show this film. Im friends with the manager and i kept on her to keep on her boss! He eventually said yes & its doing extremely well. Praise Jesus!

Denise Moore
July 11, 2023

FATHER my HOLY One and the only True GOD, I Pray that this film Maker can opening up eye’s in and AROUND This world, To See and to Help what’s GOING on with Evilness demonic sickness that’s happening in reality, with children’s and families Around the world Father opening Door’s that No Man or Evil can’t shut, Once the film Maker release this movie Out to exposed the devil and darkness what they doing, Father put the Right person there and Let this movie be as realistic to the world so we can continue to fight Back that the devil stolen from Us Ours children’s, LORD continue to protect the kid’s around the world, with divine safe haven, Have Angels of swords AROUND them at All time’s, have the parents be attentive to watch the kids and themselves too. LORD we needed Your Devine Power flowing Over us All in Jesus YESUHA the CHRIST NAME AMEN

July 11, 2023

“I’m the darkness, and I know the darkness has to die.” Such a profound remark that underscores the proliferation of sex trafficking. I 1917 I wrote “Anya Unbound” (Canadian setting) to inform people, especially parents, of this insidious evil lurking in their own neighborhoods. Many thought that it too would make a great movie about this serious problem. Shortly after, 2 traffickers were arrested in a small prairie town nearby my home. Above all it is most important for parents and their children to be aware, politicians come second. Lord please heal our families and let our children know who they are in Your eyes. Love them to overflowing. Secure them in Your love.

July 11, 2023

It’s very important for people to contact their gov’t officials, federal, state & local – to ask what they are “specifically doing” to help the situation (not placebo legislation with no teeth). As a taxpayer, YOU must ask hard questions & demand laws that bring about real punishment & justice. Today, some officials want to brush you off, give you nice answers, then turn their back on you & forget about what you are asking them to do. DON’T ALLOW them to do that. Sadly, there are some officials who are involved in this. It’s not hard to figure out who. But it’s up to all of us to ask God to remove them from office & completely up to us to follow up to make sure it happens.
Pray outside the box as “heart after God” David often did. Pray for the removal of corrupt or compromised people, from influence, in anyway God deems is needed. Then praise God for when it happens.
Recently, I have done some research in finding out who supports certain candidates “financially”. You would be surprised how often that support is nothing more than a “front” for those buying officials – in order to “look the other way” so that certain people can continue to do dirty business. And sometimes, it’s going much deeper than “looking the other way”.
Lord, help us to be involved in ways that reveal the underbelly of certain things or people that are hidden from us. Amen.

Marsha Bashor
July 11, 2023

I pray Lord and thank you for this film and the awareness it brings about this terrible evil, used against our children. I pray against sex trafficking all over the USA, and other countries. I ask that this be destroyed by your hand. Thank you for Tim Ballard , protect him and his family.

July 11, 2023

Lord, God of host, I ask that this film would bring a great awareness of the human trafficking in our world, our nation, our cities, our churches. I pray over those involved in the human slavery, and the sex trade, that they would be caught and brought to justice, and prosecuted under the law, that the full weight of their sin would be brought out of the darkness and into the light, for nothing is hidden from you, Lord. I ask Father, that you would crush this demonic evil, and this demand. Merciful God, you are a long suffering God towards us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Let a heart of brokenness overwhelm those involved or participating in this evil practice that leads to a deep repentance hearts that lead to Jesus Christ. Amen

July 11, 2023

Lord thank you for bringing this evil to light and allowing us your people to stand in the gap and pray for these children, their families, and those that participate in supporting this. I pray thy Kingdom come thy will be done on earth as of is in heaven. I break the power of the devil and his wicked forces. As your Word says we pull down, smash, and destroy his evil forces. We speak love, life, and the peace of God over all involved especially the children.



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