Sunday, January 19, 2014

5 things you can do about abortion as a believer

Tomorrow, January 20, 2014 is our day of fasting and prayer before God for Him to change us. 

I think it's important to realize what is happening around us- what we are asking God to change as we go before Him. {These statistics are from here, unless noted.}
  • About 1.2 million abortions happen every year. {When you break that down, it is over 3200 abortions happening per day...137 per hour...which is more than 2 babies dying every minute, of every day.}
  • More than half of pregnancies among American women are unintended, and about 4 in 10 of these are terminated by abortion.[1,2] Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.[2]
  • At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, 1 in 10 women will have an abortion by age 20, 1 in 4 by age 30 and 3 in 10 by age 45.[4,5]
  • Nine in 10 abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

  • from personhood usa
Here is a broad cross section of U.S. women who have abortions:
  • 58% are in their 20s;
  • 61% have one or more children;
  • 85% of all abortions were performed on unmarried women (CDC).
  • 69% are economically disadvantaged
  • 73% report a religious affiliation.
  • minority women were disproportionately represented among women obtaining abortions and had higher relative abortion rates than all women {credit}
  • The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.[7]
Did you realize that almost 1 in 4 pregnancies end in abortion? I didn't. And the rates are now trending toward 1 in 3 pregnancies.

More than 3200 babies are dying every day. That is like a World Trade Center attack every single day for more than the last three decades.

As believers, we are called to rescue the dying:

Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay each man according to his work? Proverbs 24:11-12

For so long, I've felt inadequate to stop this sadness from happening- like somehow it was removed from my responsibility because it was so widespread, but I feel convicted that this is not the case. How can I love others and not care if the lives of the most innocent people are being thrown away around me? I don't think I can.

But what can I do?

I feel like God has been so gracious to show me what I need to change. Maybe we can all do these things for the glory of God, with His help. I know if we seek Him, He will show us where we can do His will.

1. Pray and fast.

Tomorrow {Monday}, I am asking you to join me for a day of prayer and fasting for God to change our hearts, to change the hearts of everyone to see what abortion really is, and for us to do something about it.

We'll be praying and fasting on January 20 for God to change us first. That He would humble and change our hearts first. That he would show us our own sin here, our own apathy and participation, and clean the hearts of His people first. That He would do mighty and powerful things, and that His people would be willing to risk our own comfort and convenience to share the Truth, even if it means being hated by the world. That He would give us the strength to stand against evil with the power of the Holy Spirit so that lives can be forever changed.

Scripture is filled with examples of His people being personally convicted of the sin of their nation, and praying and repenting before God for it to change, and HE ANSWERS them in a very big way! We can have faith that He can and will convict us to repent so that He can change the hearts of many.

Pray for the mothers, the fathers, for the doctors, and legislators and all family and friends involved. Pray that they would come to know the Truth, and find hope in Jesus.

2. Repent.
I don't know about you, but I realized this week that I live in a bubble. I have become apathetic and the fact that innocent blood is being shed, and that mothers and fathers all across the nation are lost and without Jesus has become far removed from my heart and my mind most of the time. I know I need to repent from apathy, from caring more about myself than the lost, from not loving those who need Jesus like I should. I need to repent from not caring enough to do anything about it.

I'm so encouraged that Nehemiah repented {himself}, and mourned and fasted over the sins of his people:
Nehemiah 1:4: As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5And I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned.
I'm so amazed how God was willing to change a nation through Nehemiah! I pray that He will find in us that heart of mourning and grieving over our nation's sin.

3. Ask God for opportunities to shine light into the darkness of someone's life.

This is so powerful:
Abortion is one of the darkest works of the human race – it is child sacrifice. And the only way it can survive is for darkness to survive. Wherever the light of truth and love comes, darkness flies away. Therefore it is one of the great callings of the followers of Jesus to let their light shine in both ways: to do good deeds and to expose darkness. The aim is partly negative: reveal the error hidden in the darkness, but mainly positive: to bring people to love the light and be made light in the Lord Jesus. John Piper “The Darkness of Abortion and the Light of Truth” - January 26. 2003
Pray that you get a chance to speak that love and truth directly into the life of a soul who needs Jesus. Pray that God would show you an opportunity to show them the light, and to help them walk in it. We have all sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God, and this sin is no different than ours- but maybe God will give you a chance to save the innocent life of a baby before it is ended. There is grace for all- we are all the same in Christ Jesus! If you have had an abortion in the past, there is absolutely grace and mercy and forgiveness for you. We are all sinners, made clean only by the blood of Jesus. He is so good, and so merciful to us. I would love to pray for you, and email with you if this is your story. {email me at mandy @ biblicalhomemaking dot com}

If you're at a loss for who to reach out to, remember the statistics I mentioned in the beginning- the girl who probably needs you the most is the poor, young single mama. She needs your support, she needs your love, she needs Jesus.

And what about teenagers- the next generation? How can we as a Gospel community pour into the lives of teenagers today? How can we show them the love of Jesus and preach the Gospel to this next generation, before they make that same mistake? And this is true for the teenage boys as well- they need to see the light of Jesus to change their hearts to love. They need to see examples of what marriage should look like, and what a man is called to do for his family. How are we reaching outside of our bubble to shine the light in this area?

4. Seek out ministries who can help, love, and change our culture.

There are so many ministries who could use your help. You could volunteer at a pregnancy crisis center, help someone pay for their adoption, or you could help fund a ministry for helping single moms financially with groceries and diapers.

There are even ministries sharing the Gospel at abortion clinics you could go and love someone by sharing the good news right there as they go to make one of the worst mistakes they could ever make. Maybe sacrificing your time, your money, or your comfort could help stop the innocent blood that is being shed every 30 seconds.

5. Share the truth using the platforms God has given us.

Do you have a social media account? You can share the truth. It is encouraging to see that hearts can change by simply understanding the nature of what is happening. There is hope for all, and we can share the truth in love, remembering we are all the same- all in need of Jesus, and we can show them the light of God's love without being afraid of being hated. No matter how nice you are, if you stand up for the truth in love, expect that you will be hated.

Remember, the perfect example for us of walking in the Spirit was the most hated of all. But we never know what God might do with the words He gives you the boldness to share. It might be that we are pulling some out of the fire. We need the Holy Spirit to give us courage to speak and to love on every platform we have been given.

Here are two great resources to share and watch:

Here is an 
excellent resource on the Biblical mandate to do something about abortion

I hope that you will pray with me for God to change us tomorrow, and for Him to show us where we can shine His light into the darkness.  I know our God is so big, and if we pray to Him He will hear us. God gave us a second chance through the blood of His Son, and one of our highest missions in this life is to share that Good News so that some might be saved. 

Oh, Father God, please help us to do that for your Glory.

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