Sunday, December 4, 2016

Praying and Then RESPONDING to Advance a Culture of Life

I arrived a half hour early for the Charlotte Love Life prayer walk yesterday on the sidewalks of Charlotte's busiest abortion center. There were at least 2000 people already there gathered to pray for the end of abortion in Charlotte.

The people kept coming, filling the lot where a wonderful band was praying and playing praise music. I saw many of my fellow Sidewalk Counselors and friends from the pregnancy crisis centers and the mobile RV. Incredulous, I looked out over the multitude of people praying that abortion would end in our city and nation.

Totally overwhelmed. I was not alone in tears streaming down my face. All of us who are actively involved in the pro-life movement and have seen women change their hearts toward God and toward their babies know how powerful the Gospel is and how the harvest is indeed plentiful, but the workers are so few. Sometimes, there are only two or three of us standing on the sidewalks in the frigid cold, pleading with the women entering the abortion center to let us help them.

Look at all these people!

We think between 3500-4,000 showed up. There were times when it was so crowded on the sidewalk and so mobbed with the people praying that we came to a standstill.

If even 1/10 of these people would become directly involved in helping the abortion–minded mothers, and if all the churches in Charlotte would be moved to participate in speaking up for the unborn and in providing for the needs of their mothers who choose life, abortion could be ended. Prayer is crucial. Action must follow, or the world's accusation that we don't care about the mother or the baby after he is born gains traction.

Afterwards, I helped man the Cities 4 Life tent. We gathered two pages of signatures of people who wanted to help with the mission of interceding for the unborn and creating a culture of life in our city.
I hope when the enthusiasm stirred up by the massive crowd dies away, their commitment will not.

Angela, who manned the tent with me and is a fellow sidewalk counselor made an awesome video slideshow of Cities4Life counselors in action. It is powerful, and I encourage you to watch it and to share with others. If you don't see the love and commitment Cities4Life volunteers pour into the abortion-minded mamas, you are not looking.

Next, contrast what you see in that video with what the pro-choice escorts were up to during the Prayer Walk. One of our counselors reported that they were cheering and dancing every time a woman emerged from the abortion center after disposing of her baby.

The pro-choice crowd had been warned about the prayer walk and they were also out in droves, though not nearly the numbers of our pro-life crowd. There were maybe two or three dozen pro-choice people and they carried vile signs, mocking the pro-life group and targeting their children with signs that said their parents were liars. Another said, "Girls Just Want to have fun-damental rights." (The implication of course is go have sexual license and 'fun' and then have the right to destroy the living consequence. Why that is celebrated escapes me.)

Other signs said if Mary had aborted Jesus we wouldn't be in this mess, and the tooth fairy and Santa Claus were not real. ( I never taught my kids Santa or the tooth fairy were real as I specifically didn't want them to ever think I lied to them, but for the pro-choice group to want to destroy children's trust in their parents revealed a side to them that is very disturbing.) The anti-Christian message is obvious, and were it directed at any other group, would be considered hate crime.

Our prayer group did not engage with any of those people, but prayed for them and marched silently to the sound of praise music and the voice of God in their hearts.

One family that was there walking with some of their friends was a mom who chose life over abortion. She brought friends, one of whom had aborted at that very clinic four years ago. Now, that woman was joining the walk, praying that all abortion would end.

That mama who chose life is very dear to me. I met her months ago on the pro-life RV, encouraged her to choose life, and put her faith in Jesus. With Cities4Life support, we helped meet many of her dire needs over the next year. Here was the text message she sent me after the prayer walk (shared with her permission):

Now, it was not me that helped her alone...the full network of Cities4Life poured themselves into this woman as well as several anonymous donors giving me money to help her. All of it was because of a deep love and commitment to our Lord and Savior, and we were all empowered by Him. Nonetheless, this text makes an invaluable point.

Many abortion-minded mamas just need the assurance they are NOT alone. There are people willing to help. Their situation is not hopeless. Their baby is precious. My words and prayers would have meant little to a mama without a home, food, or clothes for the children she already had. Cities4Life's tangible help is what made the difference to this woman. 

Please hear me: Prayer is absolutely critical and a gift of God, as well as a command. But we should not pray and then walk away without responding directly to desperate need.

Church, arise! The harvest is ripe and the workers are few.
Matthew 9: 36-38

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

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