How Do You Pray to End Abortion?

Opinion   |   Father Frank Pavone   |   Sep 18, 2018   |   4:04PM   |   Washington, DC

How do we “pray to end abortion?” There are very specific contours to this multi-faceted intention, and in this second part of this series, we continue to explore what they are.

When we pray against abortion, the starting point is that we already know where God stands on the matter. There are many very good and legitimate things for which we pray, but about which we really don’t know where God stands. Let me give sort of a trivial example. Earlier this year, in regard to the Super Bowl, a friend of mine got me interested in the Philadelphia Eagles. And so when they got to participate in the Super Bowl, I was rooting for them. And I even said a prayer that that they would be victorious in the Super Bowl!

Now, obviously, this is not the kind of prayer that is of the highest level of importance but we are permitted to pray for all kinds of things and they did end up winning the Super Bowl. But in a prayer like that, we say, Lord, obviously, whatever you want, you know. And I don’t know what you want. I don’t know if you want this team to win or not. But I pray they do. Lord, if it pleases you, let this happen. That’s one type of prayer. But when we’re praying against abortion, we already know the mind of God. We know his will. We know his heart. It is for life. God is life.

So we are praying for something that we already know. We’re aligning ourselves with the perfect will of God that the killing of these children would completely cease. And that forms, again, a basic framework of our prayer against abortion.

Now, another framework of our prayer against abortion is that it’s very, very specific. We are not just praying in a general way “for a culture of life” or in a general way “for respect for human life,” or “protection of life from conception to natural death.”

These, of course, are goals we believe in deeply, teach about and preach about. These are also very, very general aspects of the Christian vision of how the world should be. When we talk about praying against abortion, however, we’re talking about something very, very specific, namely, that the actual killing of this group of people, the children still in the womb, would stop. We pray that the protection of their lives would be restored, that the recognition that they are our brothers and sisters, worthy of protection, would, again, be restored to the minds of hearts of everybody in society, at every level of influence.

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So we’re praying for something very, very specific…that very specific acts of violence would stop…that the abortionist’s instruments would no longer go towards their body to rip them apart…that the mothers going into those abortion facilities would literally turn around and come out…that those babies would be spared…that those lives would be saved…and that this evil would no longer be permitted. All this is very, very specific. When we pray for something, we need to know what we’re asking for, and let God know what we are asking for in a very, very specific way.

In order to be specific, the thought has to be clear in our mind, and the words have to be very specific on our lips. A lot of times, when a subject is as controversial as abortion, and stirs up so many passions and emotions, some people don’t want to be specific, especially if they’re praying out loud, and especially if they’re praying in church. This goes for the clergy, too.

Some of them are afraid to bring this up. Because it is a very contentious and divisive issue, the temptation is to take refuge in a much more broad and generic, and you might say ecclesiastically politically correct wording. So we pray “for all human life from conception to natural death.” Well, that will always be an intention whether abortion is around or not. Or we pray “for a culture of life.” That, too, will always been an intention whether abortion is legal or not. Here, we’re talking about praying for an end to abortion.

So let’s be very specific, and let’s get other people to agree on that specificity. Remember, the Lord said that if we agree on anything and ask the Father for it in his name, he will give it to us. So we need to agree on what we’re asking for, and in order to that, we need to say it clearly, plainly, and without fear. Specificity by itself does not make this a “political” intention. It’s a prayer intention, which is specific.