It’s easy to fall into despair. My grandparents used to talk a lot about how bad the world is getting. It was a depressing thing for my adolescent ears to hear. Another shooting. Another crazy decision from the government. Another death. I vowed to myself to avoid that kind of negativity. As I grew older and the world continued to get bad, maintaining hope proved difficult.
Thankfully, I had help.
Abortion is now the world’s leading cause of death. According to the statistic tracking website Worldometers, abortion has killed more people than AIDS, smoking, and alcohol combined. In 2018, 41.9 million deaths were cause by abortion.
This number is expected to grow now that the New York State legislature has passed a bill that legalizes abortion to within 24 weeks of pregnancy, “or at anytime when necessary to protect a woman’s life or health.” Murder of any variety is disturbing but the “protect a woman’s life or health” clause is even more chilling upon closer examination. As Stacey Lennox notes, “Health is so broadly defined as to make almost any issue sufficient for a woman to request an abortion.” She goes on to say that, “New York just legalized Kermit Gosnell.”
Add to this a recent report from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading abortion provider, disclosing that they performed 332,757 abortions in 2017-2018, their most since 2011. During that same time period, they have enjoyed an increase in taxpayer funding and a decrease in the amount of contraception and cancer screening services they offered.
My grandparents were right. The world is getting bad. But for Christians, there is help. We are not without hope.
This help and hope is most clearly realized through prayer. Now I know that such an act seems hollow to many. Skeptics love to mock thoughts and prayers. But that shouldn’t deter us. When Christians pray, things happen. God listens.
For far too long we have relied solely on politicians to do away with things like abortion. While there are many who work hard to stop this great evil, others simply use it to get votes. For them, abortion is the boogeyman they promise to kill but deep down inside never want to go away because it’s what makes voters keep turning out for them. We should ask ourselves why, under an administration that has vowed to stop abortion, we saw an increase in federal funding for it under their authority.
Write your congressman all you want but don’t forget the power of prayer. When Christians pray, they speak directly to their Heavenly Father (Matthew 6:9), because of the perfect life and work of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16), and by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26). Don’t be surprised by cynics whose god is government and whose prayers are tweets, picket signs and funny hats. Neither should you be surprised to see God work.
Just remember that prayer isn’t about changing God’s mind. It’s more about him changing your heart. But if he sees fit, he’ll change situations too.
Contrary to common belief, prayer is no replacement for inaction. Rather, it is the fuel and the guardrail for the right actions. This regular communion with God is what motivates Christians to persevere, to do good, to love boldly, and to stay hopeful instead of simply sitting around talking about how bad the world is getting. And prayer guards us from hypocrisy. It helps us to value the humanity of the unborn child, the 30-year-old man suffering from injustice, and the 87-year-old woman nearing the end of her life.
Everyone is religious. Some people just hold their worship services in the state capital and sing their praises at the destruction of human life.
But true religion is different. True religion looks after orphans and widows rather than coming up with new ways to justify murdering them. And this true religion is fueled by praying to the One True God.
When a mother’s womb is the most dangerous place in the world, we know that things aren’t as they should be. But we must not lose hope. Jesus Christ was in perfect control thousands of years ago when a maniacal leader threatened to kill anyone who refused to worship him. Jesus Christ was in perfect control later on when another wicked ruler killed a bunch of babies in order to maintain power. Jesus Christ was in control on Tuesday night when the New York legislature made it a lot easier to kill babies. And Jesus Christ will still be in control long after the New York legislature and Planned Parenthood are but footnotes in the awful history of abortion.
Do not fall into despair, Christian.
Yes, things are bad. But they are held together by a loving God who will one day, finally and forever, turn all things, no matter how evil, for his glory and the good of his people.
While you wait for that day, prayer is the most important thing you can do.