What Prompts Prayer?

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Some people are good when it comes to intercessory prayer. They keep a journal. They make lists. They are faithful in this service and blood-earnest in their pleas before God. At some point, God will show us how their constancy and fervency in prayer changed the world.

Among these prayer warriors are those who pray for the end of abortion. They see the intentional killing of innocent human beings as the greatest evil of our time. They pray for the army of rescuers working in pregnancy help clinics. They pray for those in authority that they might promote policy and laws that would protect the weakest among us.

The rest of us need priming. But everything about abortion is designed to hide the pain and loss that usually prompts prayer. Even the word “abortion” reveals nothing. If I mention “lynching” a repugnant image flashes in your mind. Prayer and protest erupt in all but the most hardened of hearts. Which leads me to the first of 3 biblical admonitions that always prompt me to pray for the prolife cause.

Exposing abortion prompts prayer.

Ephesians 5:11 says, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” For most people, to see abortion is to reject abortion. Abortion advocates must divert debate from the morally revealing question: What is the unborn? Is it human? Hollywood and the media traffic in the graphic and scurrilous but avoid any exposure of abortion itself. The unborn are killed out of sight and in secret. There is nothing to bury. Grieving loss is not allowed. Works of darkness require darkness.

If you ask me when I have been most prayerful, the answer is easy; when I willingly exposed my eyes to the pictures of the unborn after abortion. Then I understand why God provides a whole book in the Bible (Lamentations) just to help us weep in repentance and pray for justice.

Loving a pregnant neighbor prompts prayer.

The evil of abortion is so overwhelming that you will either run from it to protect your own emotional health or find a way to break the thing down to a size you can deal with. Following the law of love, which prompted one simple action and then another, the Samaritan rescued a man from an unjust death. Jesus said, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10: 37).

Eva Fogalman, in her book, Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, gives us a glorious example of what “go and do likewise” looks like in the cause of life.

In 1942, Wladyslaw Misiuna, a teenager from Radom, Poland, was recruited by the Germans to help inmates at the Fila Majdanek concentration camp start a rabbit farm to supply furs for soldiers at the Russian front. Wladyslaw felt responsible for the thirty young women he supervised. He stuffed his coat pockets with bread, milk, carrots, and pilfered potatoes and smuggled the food to them. But one day one of his workers, Devora Salzberg, contracted a mysterious infection. Wladyslaw was beside himself. He knew if the Germans discovered the open lesions on her arms they would kill her. Wladyslaw knew that to save Devora he needed to cure her. But how? He took the simplest route. He infected himself with her blood and went to a doctor in town. The doctor prescribed a medication, which Wladyslaw then shared with Devora. Both were cured, and both survived the war.

This young man was not going to stop Nazism, but he was going to rescue Devora. In the same way, when you love your pregnant neighbor, you will find yourself helping her choose life and praying!

My friend, Fern, befriended a college student in a pregnancy crisis. She sent these texts.  

Aug 3:  “Dawn” made an appointment to get an abortion and while she feels terrible about it, she also feels like she has no choice. Pray that her heart is changed!

Aug 10:  She missed her appointment. She is now considering adoption.

Aug 13:  Things are down again.  She now has an abortion scheduled for Monday. Pray!

Aug 17:  Missed appointment again! God is working in her life. 

Sept 1:  We’ve hit another rocky period. She has an abortion scheduled for tomorrow. She found out today that her parents are planning a trip to visit her and she is panicking.

Sept 15:  Missed third appointment. But feels like she has no choice. Please pray.

Sept 20:  She fears her parents but has agreed to another ultrasound.

Sept 22:  I was with her. She saw her baby moving and made the realization that she wants to carry her baby. Please keep praying against attack by the enemy. We are overwhelmed by seeing God’s hand move in this situation. God is good.

Child-like faith prompts prayer.

I have invested the last 30 years of my life to advancing the gospel of life. I’ve written 4 books on prolife bio-ethics abortion and pregnancy crisis intervention. I’ve organized a dozen pregnancy help clinics. I’ve gone to China 29 times, to help the Chinese church stand for life where abortion and gendercide is especially concentrated. I guess I’m an expert.

Yet I aspire to see myself as a child with his father. The one thing a child does with a loving father is talk freely and ask for many things. Now picture such a child, walking with his Father, and confronted with a gross injustice. Will he not naturally turn to his Father and say, “Daddy, do something!”

That is our privilege in Christ. We are children of the Heavenly Father. “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11). Let us pray.

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