Sometimes there are no words. There weren’t for Amanda that day. She sat in the mobile ultrasound unit, head in her hands, as tears slipped between her fingers. She knew she was pregnant. Had known for a few weeks now. She was devastated.
And so she wept.
Lauren, the nurse, let Amanda cry into the silence. In the moments that followed, Amanda managed to find the words to share her story. And the truth of her story was staggering.
The Power of Presence
Days earlier, Amanda had pulled into the parking lot of A Woman’s Choice. She stared at the somewhat dilapidated building—the one promising to make her life normal again. Her pregnancy wasn’t planned or wanted. The timing was all wrong, and Amanda wanted to rewind her life to a time when things weren’t so complicated. Abortion was the best option. Her best chance. Her only choice.
But if that was true, then why was she still sitting in the car?
That’s when she saw them. A sea of blue shirts, gathered a short distance away and facing the parking lot. The brightness of the colors seemed out of place here compared to the faded brick, gravel, and angry weeds that forced their way through every crack and crevice.
But the myriad of blue shirts wasn’t what most captured her attention. It was the faces. The postures. Some people were kneeling on the ground, heads bowed, faces in sorrow. Others stood with their hands raised toward the abortion clinic—towards her—as their mouths moved in silence. Praying. All of them, praying.
Amanda pressed herself further into her seat, as if creating more distance between herself and the crowd of people would erase their presence.
Me, she thought. They’re praying for me.
And my baby.
It was a Saturday morning. Why were these people there? The blue-shirt people didn’t know her, and yet she felt as if they actually cared about her. And about the person inside of her.
Amanda realized her hand was now resting on her stomach, as if to shield the tiny life within from the danger that waited nearby. And in that moment, Amanda knew that this posture—shielding, protecting, guarding—was exactly what she was meant to do as a woman.
As a mother.
Somehow, knowing that these blue-shirted people cared about her decision made her think that maybe—just maybe—she could make a different choice.
Next to the crowd of people, Amanda saw a bright pink bus. She’d missed it before, but now the words along the side—Caring, Compassionate, Confidential—might as well have been blinking in neon lights.
Amanda typed the number on the bus into her phone. Saved it. Key in ignition. Car in reverse. The clinic behind her.
The Power of Prayer
That’s how Amanda found herself on the mobile unit a few days later. She told Lauren her story and shared that, even though she was still scared and uncertain, she knew she wanted to keep her baby. Lauren was able to offer her a free ultrasound and met with her for several subsequent visits to talk about practical ways to provide support during and after her pregnancy.
If you ask Amanda now, months later, how she feels about her pregnancy, she’ll tell you that she’s over-the-moon excited to meet her baby. With the support of her family and the Care Center, she’s prepared to face the future without fear.
She’ll also tell you that it was the sight of people praying for her that made her walk away from the abortion appointment that day.
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The Prayer of Urgency
In his book, Knowing God, J.I. Packer writes, “People who know their God are before anything else people who pray, and the first point where their zeal and energy for God’s glory come to expression is in their prayers….If, however, there is in us little energy for such prayer, and little consequent practice of it, this is a sure sign that as yet we scarcely know our God.”
The presence of those who gathered outside the abortion clinic that Saturday is a beautiful demonstration of what it means to know God. Because if we claim to care about the unborn and women in crisis but refuse to spend time interceding on their behalf—how can we say we truly love God or know him?
Our desire is that we would be an organization, a community, and a city that prays. That our desire to see God’s name honored would result in great energy for God—and that it would begin with great energy in our prayer life.
Make no mistake, we are in a war. And in this war we fight, not against women, or those who oppose us, or even an abortionist. Rather, we fight against, “The spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).
So let’s put on our whole armor and pray, “At all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Eph. 6:18). Let’s pray for the Amandas and the boyfriends and the abortion volunteers and the abortionists who are also caught up in this war.
And let’s rejoice in the truth that Christ already has the victory, and one day, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things [will] have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).
And on the days when there are no words, let’s remember that, “These words are trustworthy and true” (Rev. 21:5).
And they are enough.