I read John 17 this morning. This chapter is known as Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer. He prays for Himself, for His disciples, and for those who would believe in Him through the disciples’ fulfilling of the Great Commission. It is a marvelous prayer. Jesus had just explained to His disciples that He has “overcome the world” (John 16:33), and now He prays for them as they are to be left in the world while He returns to the Father.
Jesus prayed, a lot. This may seem strange at first glance since Jesus is God; but He was also fully man and lived a life of faithful obedience to the Father. He relied on prayer. We often read about Him slipping away from the crowds to find a quiet place to pray. Luke 5:16 tells us, “He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed” (NKJV). Luke 6:12 tells us Jesus went out to a mountainside and spent all night in prayer. Children were brought to Jesus, so He could pray over them (Matthew 19:13). And sometimes He prayed with others (Luke 9:28).
If we are to be like Jesus, molded and conformed to His image, then we must be people of prayer as well. We must seek an ever-deepening relationship with the Father through prayer, that we might be able to live more faithfully for Him. This is something I strive for, but it has never come naturally to me. It is a discipline, and that is okay.
Scripture provides a few clear and simple reasons to pray:
1. God tells us to pray.1
2. We should follow Jesus’ example.2
3. Prayer keeps us from falling into temptation.3
4. God answers prayer.4
Of course, Scripture gives us many other reasons to pray as well.
This list was not meant to be exhaustive. That being said, I want to sit on that last one for just a moment. We are asked all the time how people can pray for us at Human Coalition. Our first response is usually to pray for our clients. These women and men are often faced with incredibly difficult circumstances and adding a child to the mix will often complicate their life further. That being said, we are asking them to do just that, choose life for their child. But we don’t ask them to do that in a vacuum. We offer a myriad of services in our clinic and in the community through our Continuum of Care. We provide immediate services during the crisis, like help with insurance, financial support, housing, and much more. But we also work with local churches, training mentors who will walk with these women and their families throughout their pregnancy and beyond, helping them ultimately by inviting them into their church community, sharing Jesus with them, and discipling them over a period of time. This piece is critical if we are to make abortion unthinkable and unavailable in America in our lifetime.
So, I ask you to join me in praying for Human Coalition by thinking in terms of three categories:
Women: Pray for the women who discover they are pregnant and make plans to abort. Pray we will be able to reach them in time. Pray they will be responsive, slow down, and listen well. Ask the Lord to give them a love for their child and be able to see beyond their crisis. Pray they have hope! Also pray for their families, that they would be supportive, even encouraging, of the choice for life.
Church: Abortion in America will end when the Church decides it should end – and not until then. The Church in America has not made this decision yet. Please pray that pastors would gain clarity on the issue and be bold to speak out about it with grace and compassion. Pray they would encourage those in their congregations to be involved in the fight to end abortion. Pray they would speak up, pray, give, and get involved in Human Coalition’s Continuum of Care or other programs like it, so that those considering an abortion would have a seamless transition into the Church.
Human Coalition Team: Pray for our team, particularly those on the phones and in the clinics. They are on the front lines of this fight every day. They often feel tired and emotionally beat up, and they need to be refreshed. Pray they would find the space, as Jesus did, to pull away and be intimate with the Father. Pray for protection for our families, that they would be strong and healthy. And pray for clarity and wisdom as we grow and seek to rescue more children and serve more families.
I cannot thank you enough for joining us in prayer. We believe this is God’s work and we are just His instruments to further His kingdom. We cannot do what we do without Him – or you. Those who faithfully join us in this work through prayer, volunteering, giving, promoting and so many other ways are just as critical to our mission as those who are employed. We could not do this without you, and we are grateful for you.
May the Lord bless you for your faithfulness in building His kingdom.
1. Matthew 5:44; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; Thessalonians 5:17
2. John 17; Luke 5:16; Luke 6:12; Matthew 19:13; Luke 9:28
3. Matthew 26:41
4. Ephesians 6:18-20; 1 Timothy 2:1