Next up in the Lent for Life series is Prayer.
The USCCB’s Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities encourages us, alongside the Scriptures, to petition the Lord for mercy and justice.
Prayer is the foundation of all that we do in defense of human life. Our efforts—whether educational, pastoral, or legislative—will be less than fully fruitful if we do not change hearts and if we do not ourselves overcome our own spiritual blindness. Only with prayer—prayer that storms the heavens for justice and mercy, prayer that cleanses our hearts and our souls—will the culture of death that surrounds us today be replaced with a culture of life.1
I’d like to focus on three points in the pastoral plan that every one of us can take action.
Pray for life at every Mass
Parishes should include in the petitions at every Mass a prayer that ours will become a nation that respects and protects all human life, born and unborn, reflecting a true culture of life.2
As a new Catholic I was impressed by the prayers for life offered daily at Mass. If your parish does not participate in this request from the USCCB, please consider adding it to the book of petitions or speak with your pastor about including prayers for life at every Mass.
Remember parents in your prayers
Parishes should give special pastoral attention and offer special prayers for those who have suffered the loss of an unborn child due to miscarriage, abortion, or other cause.3
As one who’s suffered the loss of a child through miscarriage, I may not fully understand the torture of those that choose death for their child, but I do empathize with the pain of loss. And as the men and women who participate in the Silent No More campaign can attest, the pain is excruciating. Let us not forget the parents who live with their “choice”, that they too may be reconciled with our Redeemer.
Pray for life during Liturgy of the Hours, Stations of the Cross, Rosary, Novenas, Prayer Vigils, etc.
The Liturgy of the Hours as well as paraliturgical services also offer opportunities for the celebration of life and instruction in the moral teaching of the Church.4
When Christians gather for prayer, take this time to pray for life. Priests for Life, for example, has a great list of meditations to compliment the Stations of the Cross.
The Venerable Pope John Paul II exhorts us to pray for life daily in Evangelium vitae:
A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer.5
In honor of this exhortation, let us join with the prayers of the faithful. To get started, take a few moments to pray through the prayers below. May these words become the prayers of our hearts.
Prayers for Life
Lenten Pro-life Prayer6
Father of all mercy,
We thank you for this season of grace and light.
We know that sin has blinded us.
Draw us ever closer to you, in prayer and penance.
Since you, O God, are light itself,
Give all your people a clearer understanding
Of what is sin, and what is virtue.
Grant in particular that we may see, as never before,
The profound dignity of every human life,
Including the vulnerable unborn children.
Give us grace to defend
Our brothers and sisters in the womb
By our prayers, our words,
And our self-sacrificing actions.
We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s prayer for life
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion.
A prayer to end abortion
Heavenly Father have mercy on our nation and the world.
Through the light and truth of Your Spirit, return our society
to a system of justice that holds all life sacred.
I pray for the children who today will be returned to You
by the martyrdom of abortion.
May the sufferings and blood of these holy innocents,
be united with
the Most Precious Blood of the Lamb,
Who won for us salvation.
May they help obtain through You, Author of all life
an end to the slaughter throughout the world.
In the most powerful Name of Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ.
Caritas et Veritas is also pleased to make available the first pro-life application available on the iPhone or iPod Touch: Life Rosary – Meditations and Prayers. In addition to the mysteries of the Rosary, this application includes prayers and meditations from Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. Each day of the week includes special prayers for mothers, the unborn, our government, and the world.
We would greatly appreciate your support in getting the word out about this application. Please consider leaving a review and rating on iTunes and sharing the application with your friends.