Pastoral Prayer – June 26, 2022June 27, 2022
This past Sunday I used the pastoral prayer to thank God for the overturning of Roe and to pray for our nation. Several in the congregation asked for the transcript of the prayer, so I am posting it here—for them, and for others who may be interested.
We praise you, O God, for the Supreme Court decision handed down this Friday to overturn the legal fiction and the moral evil that was Roe v. Wade. What a remarkable instance of your grace. Many have long prayed for this day. We rejoice in your work to strike down an invented constitutional right which has allowed for the destruction of more than 60 million lives.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger (Psalm 8:1-2).
We give thanks, gracious Father, for all the indefatigable efforts over the last 50 years to work for justice for the unborn–for the hundreds of peaceful marches and protests, for the thousands of crisis pregnancy centers, for the hundreds of thousands of articles, books, and opinion pieces, for the millions of volunteers, for the hundreds of millions of prayers. For every foster parent, every adoptive parent, every generous benefactor, for every pro-life political measure and appointment, for every textually faithful judge and justice, for every pastor and religious leader who has cultivated a culture of life, for courageous mothers who saw her baby to term, we give you thanks.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate (Psalm 127:3-5).
We thank you for the gift of children, for the blessing of abundance and life. We pray for those who mourn the loss of children; comfort them. We pray for those who desperately want to have children; sustain and bless them. We pray for those who love choice more than children, have mercy upon then. Turn our hearts away from idols of convenience, from the devilish lie of human autonomy, from ruinous habits of the sexual revolution, from the cowardice of wayward fathers, from the confusion of pro-abortion mothers.
Heal our land. Strengthen your church. Empower your preachers. Comfort the downcast. Convict the wayward. Promote the cause of righteousness. Prevent the spread of evil. And protect those who cannot protect themselves.
We know that righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people (Prov. 14:34). Give courage to state legislatures to pass laws that will protect the unborn. Change the minds and change the hearts of those who glory in the destruction of life, who have worshiped at the altar of death, and have given themselves over to the sacrament of our age. Have mercy upon our nation, O Lord. We pray for safety, for peace, and for persuasion.
And have mercy upon us, O Lord. Forgive any species of pride within us. Give us tender consciences to any forms of hypocrisy or pomposity. Set us free from our temptations to fight as the world fights or hate as the world hates. May we not revile when others revile us, but let us pray for those who may count us their enemies.
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name be glory (Psalm 115:1). Heal our land. Strengthen your church. Empower your preachers. Comfort the downcast. Convict the wayward. Promote the cause of righteousness. Prevent the spread of evil. And protect those who cannot protect themselves. In the name of Jesus–the mighty Son of God who came to earth as the helpless son of Mary–we pray, Amen.