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OSJ Special Prayers - A Prayer on the Topic of Abortion

If you’re not sure what to say, or how to say it, when it comes to addressing abortion in worship this Sunday, consider this summary and litany.

Recent bills have passed in the U.S. that create sweeping restrictions on abortions and new criminal penalties for the procedure. They will likely face court battles, and intend to provoke a re-examination of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that strikes down a state’s ability to outlaw abortion. These bills have engendered a national conversation about protecting unborn life, the rights of women and doctors, and the future of abortion in the United States.

(To read the CRCNA’s stance on abortion, click here.)

The words italicized in this litany come from article 44 of the CRCNA’s Contemporary Testimony, “Our World Belongs to God.” A leader should read the plain text, and the congregation respond with the italics.

Holy one, our lives are in your hands. Together we proclaim these truths:

Life is a gift from God’s hand,
who created all things.

Receiving this gift thankfully,
with reverence for the Creator,
we protest and resist
all that harms, abuses, or diminishes the gift of life
whether by abortion, pollution, gluttony,
addiction, or foolish risks.

God, we lament that we have not valued what you value.
We have not seen in one another your image,
we have not treated one another with care.
We have not made room for one another to flourish,
whether by our personal actions,
or the actions of our communities or policies.
We have not treated lives -- born and unborn -- with the reverence they demand.
We have caused harm, God. Forgive us.

Because it is a sacred trust,
we treat all life with awe and respect,
especially when it is most vulnerable--
whether growing in the womb,
touched by disability or disease,
or drawing a last breath.

Teach us, Lord, to care.
Call us to be agents of renewal.
Prepare us to lay down our lives for our friends.
Empower us to think and speak about abortion
In ways that admit the complexities,
And consider them with humility.
In ways that avoid assigning blame,
But tell a truthful, grace-filled story.
In ways that are filled with the courage
To defend the gift of life.

When forced to make decisions
at life’s raw edges,
we seek wisdom in community,
guided by God’s Word and Spirit.

We pray for the ones at today’s raw edges:
For the political leaders,
For the judges,
For the doctors and nurses who seek to “do no harm.”
For men, who can create life in love or in violence, with commitment or just in passing.
For women, who can sustain life in comfort or in fear, in loneliness or in community.
For girls, who cannot consent to acts which render them pregnant -- for their trauma, for their healing, for their future.
For children yet to be born, knit together by their Creator.
For pastors, who are the presence of God at these, life’s raw edges.
Dwell with all of us, Lord.

Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done.



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