The disciples of Jesus once came to Jesus and asked him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” It is in this context that Luke shares the prayer of Jesus that we often call the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus gave a beautiful summary for how we should pray. Moreover, the instruction that Jesus gave is a beautiful summary of what we find in the rest of Scripture.
The book of Psalms is also a wonderful guide to teach us how we should pray. Recently our church used Psalm 94 as our Psalm for the week.
Psalm 94 begins with a call for God to act against the proud and the wicked. How often do you pray what theologians call imprecatory prayers? Some have suggested these prayers are just bad Old Testament examples. That is false. We certainly may not pray this way against our own enemies. And we don’t pray this way because we are inherently righteous. We pray for God to act and to pour out His perfect justice because God is good and holy. We call for God to act according to His beauty and perfection.
This Psalm also shows us that we must take seriously the evil of the wicked. The wicked in their speech and in their actions strike out against God by attacking His people. Even more they think that God doesn’t take any notice.
I praise God that at some level we are seeing a decrease in the official number of abortions in our nation. The U.S. Supreme Court may poised to overturn Roe v. Wade by the end of June. But let us not think that somehow we have won this battle against evil. Far from it! Illinois, unlike some other states, has removed all abortion restrictions in recent years, and we’ve already seen the number of abortions increase. This heinous trend would continue, if not spike, when Roe is overturned and returned to the states.*
Let us not be silent in our voice nor in our prayers as we pray against the slaughter of God’s people and the killing of the unborn.
If we just viewed the world from our human perspective, we would be tempted to think that God doesn’t really care or take notice of what is going on. How can a cruel war be raging in Ukraine? How can there also be conflicts taking place in Ethiopia, Yemen, and Burma? Still well over 1 billion people live under the cruelty of communism in China, North Korea, Cuba, and other countries not to mention the enslavement of about as many under Islam.
Yet God is at work in ways that we can see and don’t even consider. We must not think that God just lets things go without anyone being accountable.
We live in a world dominated by sin, death, and rebellion. That is why we must always be incredibly thankful when we are instructed by the LORD. And how desperately we need to hold onto the promises in prayer and in action that God gives to us!
For the LORD will not cast off His people,
Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
While we rest in the promises that God has given us, it would be foolish to imagine that God’s main goal is to make sure we are happy. No, God wants us not to simply be happy but to be holy. He calls us not to a life of ease, but of service to His great name..
And the Psalm above reminds us that if the LORD had not been our help, we would have settled in silence. It is the mercy of God that holds us up! The horror of the evil in this world cannot overcome the hope and promises that God has given to His people.
Martin Luther wrote:
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The sole reason that we must continue to pray is not because we always see the answers to our prayers but because we know that God is holy. He will never forsake His promises and His people.
Pray the Psalms!
*When Roe v. Wade is overturned: In blue states like Illinois, New York, Maryland and California, abortions will remain legal and become abortion destination points. In red states, we hope and pray that they would move immediately to ban the cruel practice of killing of unborn babies. Twenty-two states already have pre-Roe in place.
The battle to protect the lives of pre-born babies is ramping up. The work to protect pre-born life in the halls of our legislature; change hearts and minds of people on this issue; and show compassion to women struggling with life-ending decisions will become even more crucial in the weeks, months and years ahead. Continue to Finally,
Appeal to God for His Mercy
- Please pray for the justices, that they will not waiver but remain firm in their decision to overturn Roe.
- Pray for their protection and safety since they have already received personal threats against themselves and their families.
- Pray for women who are facing crisis pregnancies or difficult situations, that God would touch their hearts, that they would feel supported, and that they will choose life for their babies.
- Pray for a flood of new volunteers who will commit to prayer and sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics and at pregnancy centers to help turn individual hearts away from the slaughter of the most innocent.
- Pray that church leaders would speak boldly on this issue and offer hope to post-abortive women who need love, care, and assurance of God’s forgiveness. Pray that Christians will share the love of Christ with post-abortive women, and that these women would find healing through a church group and/or Bible study.
- Pray for our work at IFI as we prepare for the battles that are sure to come to the General Assembly if this decision is upheld.
- Please pray for the Governor to exercise godly wisdom as he determines the fate of legislation before him.
- Pray that every leader in our nation would come to realize that “fetuses” are real humans in the womb who deserve protection.
- Pray that God would graciously give our legislators discernment on how to steward our state’s resources. Pray that they would have a Biblical understanding of justice, righteousness, and honesty.
- Pray that Christians of every age would “seek God continually” and develop a biblical worldview on the issues of the day.
- Please pray that Christians would recapture the vision that marriage, as God defines it, is something to be desired and cherished.
- Pray that the younger generation would have a change of heart and embrace the idea of a life-long union in the context of a God-ordained marriage.
- Please pray that Christians would understand God’s first command to humanity to be “fruitful and multiply.” May we not only be pro-life, but have a love for babies. Pray against the selfishness that pervades our thoughts regarding having children and bigger family than what is “culturally acceptable.”
- Pray that we can be used to bless, honor and care for the elders in our families, churches and communities.
For Those in Authority
For the next several weeks, please pray for the political leaders listed below. Pray that they would seek God’s wisdom when they make decisions that affect the people for whom they work. Pray that God would turn their hearts to Himself. (Proverbs 21:1)
This includes praying for Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, J.B. Pritzker, and Julia Stratton and those who serve in these administrations. Pray also for our two U.S. Senators: Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.
Please pray for the nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court: John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. (Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will take her seat on the Court when Justice Breyer steps down in late June or early July.)
In addition, please pray for the following officials:
- U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-California)
- U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas)
- U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-Illinois)
- U.S. Representative Cynthia Axne (D-Iowa)
- U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Indiana)
- State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin)
- State Senator Donald DeWitte (R-West Dundee)
- State Representative Fred Crespo (D-Streamwood)
- State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville)
- YOUR local City/Village/Township Officials
If the Lord had not been my help,
My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.
If I should say, “My foot has slipped,”
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.