A prayer for life, more abundantly

The prayer below is part of my lenten series: 40 prayers for Russia's orphans.  Won't you join us in lifting up some of the most vulnerable children in our world today?  

Day 33
God loves life. He created life, he sustains life, and the ultimate promise he gives his followers is the gift of life, everlasting. As a Christian I want my heart to be conformed to God's. I want to love the things God loves and to hate the things God hates. God loves life and so I too, love life.

Today I want to pray for the babies, not yet born, who will become orphans.  It may be a controversial thing to say but I believe that if we are to love life as much as God loves life, we should hate the death of any baby, even those unborn babies who will go on to live in a Russian orphanage. Russian has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. Abortion has been used as a form of birth control in that country. When I think that our precious son could have been a faceless part of those statistics I feel both grieved and thankful.

Infant Arie. Without a family, for two years there was no one to cherish this photo. No one to put it in a frame or baby book.  But someone knew there was HOPE for him. Someone took this picture and a dozen more as he grew, with HOPE that there would be someone who wanted them, someday. Today that hope has been fulfilled by divine appointment and I treasure this earliest picture we have of our son, with deep gratitude and in awe of what God has done.
But of course it is not enough to call ourselves pro-life and then do nothing. Do I believe that it is better for a child to be born and then live in an institution than to be aborted? If you call yourself pro-life, do you?

My honest answer is yes but only marginally so. If I'm going to call myself pro-life I can't just say women shouldn't have abortions and then sit on my hands. I've got to say that I want that baby to be born and that I'm going to do something to make sure that she's taken care of once she is. Because loving life like God loves life means loving life, abundant. It means that we love to see life flourish- to see children and adults flourish with love, care, food, shelter, education, meaningful work, and opportunity. When I say that I'm pro-life I don't just mean that I'm pro-birth.  I mean I'm pro-lifelong flourishing in all the the ways that God intended. 

That's what Jesus' came to offer us, isn't it? Not just that our hearts would keep beating day, after day, after day, for all eternity. No, he came that we would have life and have it more abundantly.  This is my prayer tonight, for Russia's orphans:


Our Father,

Tonight we come with a request and a confession. We request in Jesus' name that you would protect the unborn children in Russia even when their futures seem so dire. Lord most of us cannot imagine the choice these mothers are faced with: to end a pregnancy or to institutionalize their newborns. It is an impossible choice and please give us compassion as we pray for them. But we know that you love life and with that in mind, we pray that these children will be born and given the opportunity to know life, to know love, and to know your grace.

We confess that we too often let our prayer stop there. But Lord we know it is not enough for us to pray that these children will be born. If we are so bold to ask their mothers to carry these babies to term and deliver them into this harsh world, we must also have the courage to alter our lives for them. We must be generous with our resources on their behalf. We must find ways to offer a helping hand. We must provide homes and families for these children. To each us of you will give a different calling but none of us are exempt from it. Forgive us for our shortcomings and give us wisdom and boldness to advocate for and offer ourselves to your precious children, orphaned in Russia. Show us what you would have us do.

Make us a people who are pro-abundant life, just like you.


1 comment:

  1. This makes my heart heavy too, Jillian; even more so now that I am mom to my son through adoption. I'm joining you in prayer for these precious children and their birth mothers today.


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