By Rachel Dawson, Crosswalk.com
45 years ago, the Supreme Court made one of their most influential and controversial decisions to date, legalizing abortion in all fifty states in Roe v. Wade.
The debate still continues among Americans today: are you pro-life or pro-choice?
“As believers,” Christy Britton writes for True Woman, “we consider ourselves to be pro-life. To be content with the murder of lives forming inside the womb is unimaginable. But being pro-life is more than being anti-abortion… Being pro-life must be a way of life.”
Is pro-life a way of life for you?
It’s a stance that seems counter-cultural in many ways. To be pro-life means to hold the lives and value of others highly, even at the sacrifice of ourselves. Culture would argue, however, to hold yourself higher than all others, regardless of the cost. The way of Jesus never seems to follow the way of the world—he calls us to live differently even when it goes against the flow.
“The pro-life ethic doesn’t allow us to see the vulnerable as burdens,” Britton writes, “it requires we see them as image bearers of a holy God. Being pro-life means championing, celebrating, and fighting for life. It means valuing all human life, particularly the lives of the vulnerable who need our protection.”
Being pro-life means welcoming refugees. It means opening our hearts and homes to orphans and children in foster care. It means caring for and celebrating those with special needs and genetic differences. It means protecting the lives of the unborn and promoting adoption as an alternative to abortion. It means fighting against human slavery and sex trafficking.
Being pro-life is about so much more than just being against abortion. It means protecting, defending, caring for, and loving the vulnerable. It means living and loving like Christ.
“People are vulnerable because of many different reasons,” Britton explains, “including age, race, disease, disability, imprisonment, and poverty. Pro-lifers don’t see these people as burdens; we see them as bearers of God’s image and therefore valuable. We care for them while honoring their inherent dignity. We value the vulnerable not because of what they can do but because of whose they are.”
This Sunday, Christians around the world will mourn the innocent lives lost since Roe v. Wade was decided. It’s Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, and it’s an opportunity for us to act on our beliefs in new and bold ways. Perhaps you’ve said you’re pro-life, but you have never really done much about it. Perhaps you’ve wondered how God really feels about the whole debate, and you have never really spent time in prayer about it. Perhaps you’ve considered pro-life to be simply an abortion issue, nothing more.
Wherever you are in your faith journey today, we invite you to spend time in prayer, asking the Lord to show you his heart for his creation and show you how you can follow him faithfully in the midst of culture today.
We invite you to join us in praying this prayer on this Sanctity of Human Life Sunday:
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are Creator of all and the Giver of life. You have created humankind in your image to reflect your glory to the world, and we praise you for the work your hands have done. On this Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, we mourn that many of your precious sons and daughters have lost their lives too soon. We grieve their absence today and every day.
We are broken people, and we have all sinned against you in so many ways, and we pray that today would be a day of repentance and forgiveness. We humbly come before you knowing that all of us have fallen short of your glory, and we ask that you would forgive us of our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. Restore us to right relationship with you. Open our eyes, our hearts, our minds, and our hands as we seek to serve you and glorify you through our love for one another. Transform us into new creations. May we truly be your hands and feet in our world, serving others like Jesus came to serve, loving others like we are to love ourselves.
Jesus, you made a way for us where there seemed to be no way. We pray today that you would breathe new life into us. We pray you would increase our empathy, compassion, and love for our neighbors, no matter their age, race, ability, background, or need. We pray we would be people whose hearts echo your own heart for your people—be our strength, Holy Spirit.
Help us to be champions of life, Jesus. Strengthen us and equip us to do your work in our communities, our nations, our world. May we stand for what you have taught us, and may we give you glory in all that we do.
We love you and praise you on this day and every day, Lord. Thank you for the gift of life. Help us to protect and preserve it in every way we can. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
In your holy and mighty name,
Rachel Dawson is the design editor for Crosswalk.com.
Photo credit: Unsplash