By Molly Law, Crosswalk.com
After 50 years, Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court in a 5-to-4 ruling and has the nation divided. The decision has also divided the Christian community.
As Christians, we know the exact value of life. We know that we were all made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), the intimate way he formed all of us in the womb (Psalm 139), and how much Jesus valued children and instructed their care (Mark 10:13-16).
Oftentimes, in trying to protect the life of unborn babies, we forget about the lives of the women carrying them. If we are to say that all lives matter, as is biblically stated, this also means the lives of these women who have to make one of the hardest and worst decisions of their lives.
We do not know their lives, what happened to them or why they feel they must resort to this measure. We do not know if they were raped, or subject to incest or abuse. We do not know the economic toil that deep systemic issues have placed on the majority of families in our country.
So today, as we all desperately want our voices to be heard, I want mine to be in prayer for the women who feel alone and hopeless — for the pregnant and single — for all women for whom this concerns. I pray for all who were created and loved by God.
1. A Prayer for Women Who Feel Alone
In times of uncertainty and change, it is easy to feel isolated and alone. Although the media may want to paint this as black and white, and so much misinformation is being passed through snippets of social media posts, there is so much going on that will affect every area of society.
If pregnancy is a result of rape, the feeling of loneliness and shame are already entwined by the latter, let alone the resulting pregnancy. Any pregnancy can be isolating at times.
Hormones are changed and mixed, resulting in depression and anxiety. For women who do not know this is happening to them or do not know who to turn to, this can be overwhelming and scary.
My prayer is for these women who feel alone, confused, and afraid. What is comforting to remember is that God was and is there for women.
In the Old Testament, when Abraham and Sarah took God’s promise into their own hands out of pure impatience, they forced a woman, a slave, into a precarious situation. While she was pregnant with Abraham’s child, she was mistreated and ran away, but God revealed himself to her and blessed her.
Hagar was at the mercy of a soon-to-be nation and a product of a patriarchal hierarchy, but the Lord made sure she wasn’t alone — that he was there with her no matter what the world told her.
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me” (Genesis 16:13).
2. A Prayer for Women Who Feel Hopeless
When feeling alone, hopelessness can follow. The future is uncertain now, as state laws will be debated and put into place in undetermined times.
Privacy laws have also been uprooted making many women feel they are left without hope — living with the stigma of an unplanned baby in a time that still stigmatizes women in every social class.
Women may feel as if they will be branded as criminals without the protection of privacy laws when they are in mental and social distress. When they find their health and sanity are being harmed.
One such woman in the Bible found herself unprotected when Mosaic law provided certain protections for women in a heavily patriarchal society.
In Genesis 38, Judah disregarded his daughter-in-law’s safety and survival. He did not provide her with another husband after her husband died, as was the law.
When Tamar took matters into her own hands and Judah tried to cover his sins with hers, God protected her and exposed Judah.
Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah” (Genesis 38:16).
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
3. A Prayer for Pregnant Women
God created women with the greatest ability of all: the gift to create and sustain life. Many women are blessed with a loving husband, secure economic standing, and healthy births.
Even women who have all this and more may be in a situation that is life or death at the time of delivery, and the hardest decision of their lives must be made.
Then there are women who are living in dreadful social conditions with no money and no hope, who were at the mercy of the men in their lives who also created this pregnancy.
In God’s creation, he created male and female to be fruitful and multiply. It takes two to create this new life. A godly man, a godly husband, would never fulfill his own desires and forget the one who gave it to him, forget about the after-effects, but we live in a fallen world, one in which God told Adam and Eve they would face when they left the Garden in sin (Genesis 3).
It is only the women who bear the shame of an unplanned pregnancy although it took two bodies to create it.
I pray for the women who are pregnant right now. No matter what stage they're in, what life circumstances that surround them, or the scenarios of their births. I pray they find peace and comfort in the Lord in the midst of this decision.
4. A Prayer for Single Women
Women were created to bear children. For single women, the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade may feel daunting. Although they may do everything in their power to prevent pregnancy: abstaining or taking preventive measures, there is still a chance it could happen.
For women who are abstaining, and therefore do not have protection measures in place, they may still be violated and find themselves pregnant, even though they wanted to honor God and wait for marriage.
Even though this pregnancy was not their fault, they may feel hopeless and alone, feeling like there is nowhere to turn.
God shows grace and mercy in both instances. Jesus showed grace to the Samaritan woman at the well who was living with a man who was not her husband (John 4). He revealed to her what the Living Water could do — more than any earthly pleasure.
He also showed grace to the woman caught in adultery, which may or may not have been her fault in that time and place, and revealed to her true sacrificial love (John 7:53-8:11).
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, (Exodus 34:6).
5. A Prayer for All Life
New life is to be cherished and wanted. All life matters. In the pursuit to save unborn babies, the lives of the women and the men bringing them into this world must be made better.
The systems and securities that are in place must be a priority before the last resort is considered. Perhaps giving mothers better conditions in which to raise their children — to give a better life to their baby, in safety — could result in fewer abortions than uprooting the choice altogether.
Even making resources more available about adoption and encouraging parents who have the ability to consider adoption could result in fewer abortions. Scripture models the beauty of adoption, as God has adopted us as his children.
This is certainly a scary and uncertain time that we are living in. I pray as Christians, non-Christians, women, and men that we all show each other grace and love — the same that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ shows us every day.
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Molly Law is the Editor of Christianity.com. She has a Master of Arts in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling UK, where she studied and lived for a year in Scotland. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Professional Writing and a minor in Biblical Studies from Gardner-Webb University. Her editorial career includes Senior Editor of a bimonthly magazine for the American Correctional Association, Editorial Assistant at Luath Press in Edinburgh, and Freelance Journalist for the News Virginian. She enjoys reading 18th-century British Literature, creative writing, and traveling.