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Praying at Planned Parenthood

WORLD covers the tragedy of abortion all year round, but in January, leading up to the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision on Jan. 22, we look back at developments over the past year. One notable event: On Aug. 22, Christians and others gathered across the country to protest Planned Parenthood and government funding for the organization. Pro-life groups held peaceful demonstrations at various Planned Parenthood sites, including one in St. Paul, Minn., where John Piper was asked to pray. With the permission of Desiring God, the following is a transcript of that prayer, which was posted, along with audio of the prayer, at —Marvin Olasky

Father in heaven, it is a sober moment to be this near to this place. And I pray that there would be in my heart and all of our hearts a kind of earnestness about what we are doing here. We want to just pause and stand in awe of you for a moment, because you made us. You made all the children. You made all the abortionists. You are our creator. You uphold all things by the Word of your power. You sustain all things. You govern all things. You say: “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose” (Isaiah 46:9–10). You are God and we are not. We humble ourselves under your mighty hand and we stand in praise and awe of your justice and wisdom and goodness and truth and power and eternal mercies toward your creation.

And we acknowledge in the face of your holiness and power that we are sinners. Everyone standing here in this gathering is a sinner in desperate need of salvation that you offer in Jesus Christ. We know that our conscience condemns us, and if our own consciences do, how much more your holy law. So we have not lived up even to our own standards, let alone to your standards. And we confess our sins corporately before you as individuals. As churches we have not given heed to your Word as we ought. As a nation we have not listened to the Word: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). And we are a sinful people. We have gloried in our shame and we have perverted your law and made good what you call evil. And we confess corporately that we are not what we ought to be. And, therefore, we fly to Jesus Christ. We love your Son. What would we do? We sinners here on this street, what would we do if there were no redemption in Jesus? So thank you for putting Him forward to bear your holy wrath and take our punishment and put our sins on His back “that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24).

And that is why we are here, Lord. We want to dedicate ourselves afresh and we want to pray for Planned Parenthood that they might “live to righteousness.” We want to ask that according to their title, which is on the wall—Planned Parenthood—that they would bring about nurturing parents rather than helping parents stop being parents by killing their children. We ask that you would help them create and bring about nurturing parents by not taking the lives of future parents in the womb. We ask that you would grant that they would see, along with our nation, that killing children is not an acceptable solution to a crisis pregnancy. There are other ways forward. You are God. You make ways for people out of difficulties and killing is not one of them.

So, God, grant, I pray, that because of this event and all these videos and other things that you are going to be doing in our days, that truth would hold sway. We are not eager to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes. We just want to see truth hold sway. So bring out of this building here all the truth that goes on in there. Let it be seen for what it is. And so, Lord, when you do these mighty works, may your name be honored and my Christ be exalted, may the gospel advance in our land. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

By John Piper. © 2016 Desiring God Foundation. Website: Used with permission.

John Piper

John contributes commentary and other pastoral reflections to WORLD. He is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. John has authored more than 50 books, including Don't Waste Your Life. John resides in Minneapolis, Minn.



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