Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On Life and the Power of Prayer

Photo: Stock Xchng/ Ryan Forkel

I still remember part of a story I heard in church many years ago. It was about a woman who had a dream that she was a sheep and flies kept swarming around her. First they would swarm around her face, but when she would shake her head they would go to the back of her. When she would shake her tail they would come back in front. Finally she asked God in frustration what she can do. His reply was to simply pray.

This story could easily have been about me. My first instinct in any situation is to do something. I only later realize (doh!) that I should start with prayer. Even though I know better, and even though I have experienced the blessing of answered prayer more times than I could possibly count, I still feel that prayer is too passive. But oh, how it is not!

Today I read in the newspaper that Missouri is now the second state (after South Dakota) to legally recognize life as starting at the time of conception. Abortion businesses are now legally required to tell clients that "abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being." They are also required to offer the client the opportunity to watch an ultrasound before making a decision. Finally, in abortions that are sought after 20 weeks of gestation, the client must be told that the fetus can and will feel pain, and be offered pain medicine for the baby. Planned Parenthood of St. Louis CEO Paula Gianino says that they do not have a legal road to follow (in trying to fight the law).

This news is so exciting and just blows me away. After years and years of prayer by thousands and thousands of people, and after the respect for life at any stage has seemed to have gone lower and lower, it seems that the power of prayer is shining through after all. It seems that things may be turning around with answered prayer.

It reminds me of another situation involving life and answered prayer. In Chattanooga, TN, from 1985 to  1993, Christians prayed for closure of the city's abortion clinic. They prayed in the parking lot, offered counseling to women heading to the clinic, and even opened a pregnancy center across the street, offering real alternative help for the women. The prayers never ceased and one thing after another "coincidentally" happened to bring the abortion clinic to a halt until finally, the property was bought out from under the remaining abortionist. The man promised that he would simply reopen in another location, but he never did. In fact, he got out of the abortion business altogether. Chattanooga is now one of the largest cities in the United States with no abortion clinic. The old clinic location is now a National Memorial for the Unborn

Prayer may feel passive at times. It may seem that years go by without a response from the Lord. And you may think that the obstacles are just too insurmountable. But don't lose hope! The prayers of the faithful prevail in the end!

In awe at His miraculous nature,

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