by Rachel Deffenbaugh
In the wake of major headlines blanketing our news media, this is an opportunity to remember our mission, corporately unite in prayer, and refocus our sights on God who is still on the throne.
These past few years have been marred with a global pandemic, fighting to overturn Roe v. Wade, and then the aftermath of doing so—the slew of attacks by pro-abortion activists aimed at the valiant work of pregnancy centers. When it feels like the world is falling apart at the seams—enduring many hardships over these years and now facing an unprecedented crisis in Israel—we remember our mission.
Recalling an article by Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International, he writes, “The mission of pregnancy centers is not to operate a pregnancy center! It is to reach those facing life-and-death decisions about their pregnancy with the Gospel of Life! The pregnancy center is but a method. Just like the church building is not the church, the pregnancy center is not pregnancy help.” Understanding the body of pregnancy help as an extension of the body of Christ is powerful. It’s a reminder of who we are in Christ, not individually, but corporately within the body of pregnancy help. We are a divinely appointed collective entity, where our mission transcends the four walls in which we operate.
We are called to a purpose that is greater than any one of us. Our mission is exemplified through the phone calls, conversations, and support we offer women. Our mission is exemplified in the hope we bring to women through the Abortion Pill Rescue Network (APRN) or other free resources they didn’t know were available to them.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” - Philippians 2:3-4
Unity of the Spirit
With harrowing reports coming from Israel, as Christians, we may feel like these attacks are a direct threat to us, wherever we are in the world. We know that Israel is God’s chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6) and our hearts ache when we hear the turmoil ensuing on the very land where Jesus once walked. This is an opportunity to pray; to extend our united power as the body of Christ, through the Holy Spirit within each of us, across the ocean.
“But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them because they take refuge in Him.” - Psalms 37:39-40 (emphasis added)
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas serve as remarkable examples of unwavering faith through unceasing prayer. While incarcerated, they decided to pray and worship (Acts 16:25) instead of wallowing in self-pity, fear, and even anger. One scholar describes prison at that time as “sleepless places” without much, if any, light. With every reason to play terrifying scenarios in their imaginations—letting fear grip and overwhelm them—they instead chose prayer. Together they prayed and the Lord heard them (as He always does). He answered their prayers by causing a mighty earthquake that led to their freedom (Acts 16:26-33). Had they chosen fear, they would have missed many blessings, especially:
- the opportunity to be freed (Acts 16:36)
- the blessing of seeing a prayer answered
- the opportunity and blessing to witness the salvation of a prison guard and his entire family (Acts 16:31-34)
We can read these accounts as the framework for our own lives to pray without ceasing in every circumstance. As we unite in prayer to pray for our mission, Israel, and a future where abortion is unthinkable, we must remember to direct our time and attention upwards.
Paul and Silas shifted their focus. They opted for a vertical focus, instead of “horizontal vision.” They looked to the Lord and chose the posture of Philippians 4:6: “…in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Closer to home, pro-abortion activists and politicians engage in baseless claims challenging the integrity of pregnancy centers, while pregnancy help continues its mission to help women in need. Like Paul and Silas, our focus must be vertical. We must focus on a higher purpose than ourselves; always seeking God’s Kingdom first (Matthew 6:33). Our focus must remain on the King of Kings, who has called us according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
As we confront an uncertain tomorrow, we seize this as an opportunity to deepen our faith. The turmoil in Israel and the continued attacks by pro-abortion activists should propel us to remember our mission, unite in prayer and intercession (just as Paul and Silas chose to pray in their darkest moments), and focus vertically, keeping our eyes fixed on the Lord.