Praying on the Sidewalk

June 13, 2012 - 1:21pm
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Have you ever prayed outside of an abortion clinic and encountered hostile stares, rude words and negative reactions?

Or have you ever prayed outside of a clinic for weeks at a time and all that happened was... nothing? No babies were saved, no pregnant women changed their minds and no clinic workers suddenly converted? Were you left wondering why your prayers didn't seem to have any visible answer?

Have you ever just felt discouraged about your work as a pro-lifer?

I know I have. Praying outside of abortion clinics can be scary and hard. It takes a much thicker skin than I've got. Not to mention that in all my years of praying, I've never once seen a woman change her mind about going in (admittedly I don't have that much experience).

If you're starting to feel as though your pro-life witness isn't doing much to help, here are a few little tips to keep you going.

1. Women need your witness. I just read an article about a young woman who didn't want to have an abortion and was secretly hoping that pro-lifers would stop her from entering the clinic. That article made me kick myself for every time I've skipped out on praying outside a clinic (and it inspired me to write this blog post). The truth is that every time we stand out there to witness against the outrage that is abortion - and more importantly, to stand up for the beauty and dignity of human life - something good will come of it, even if we can't see the results directly. 

2. Men need your witness. When I prayed outside a clinic with some friends a few months back, several men stopped to thank us for being there. It can be even harder for men to speak out against abortion than for women, but men are often as deeply wounded by abortion as women are. They need our witness and prayers as much as women do.

3. Prayer transcends time and space. Just because you can't see the effects of your praying doesn't mean there aren't effects. God can take those prayers and apply them to a woman hundreds of miles away who needs that extra bit of help, or transfer them to next month, or to yesterday. The economy of grace is an amazing thing and totally beyond our comprehension. The one thing we do know is that prayer works.

I would love to hear any other tips you have. What kind of work do you do for the pro-life cause? How do you motivate yourself to keep going when you get discouraged? Have you ever been there when a pregnant woman changed her mind about having an abortion?