January 19, 2020

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

“On January 13, 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation designating January 22nd as the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day. (January 22, 1973, was the day the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion-on-demand in all 50 states.) Churches around the United States now take a Sunday in January near this date to celebrate God’s gift of life, commemorate the many lives lost to abortion, and commit themselves to protecting human life at every stage.”1 

Today we celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday in America. President Reagan had this to say when he instituted this commemorative day:

“Reverence for human life and recognition of the sanctity of individual life are among the defining characteristics of a just civil order. The United States of America was founded by visionary people who believed, and said forthrightly, that the test of any just political system lay in whether it affirmed the unalienable rights endowed by God, rights that no civil authority was ever free to deny or contravene. In this context, it is no wonder then that the first right proclaimed by our Founders in the Declaration of Independence was that of life, and that the care of human life and happiness. 

“Today our Nation, economically prosperous and at peace, bears a fresh, dark wound upon its conscience, a wound created by a stark deviation from the course of our national journey. Contrary to the purpose of law, to the character of medicine, to the habit of charity, and to the spirit of our founding, abortion has become routinized in America. No one can mistake abortion for the gentle art of healing. Each day in our land the promise of life is stolen from thousands of the unborn, the first flower of their unique existence crushed forever. But, as many philosophers have pointed out, the effects of such acts of violence are just as profound on those who perform them as on those who undergo them.

“We are a people who thirst after justice and will give our all to achieve it and defend it. Most particularly, we are a people who will not settle for a national policy that each year condemns 1.5 million [in 2020 it is more than 61 million] unborn children to an early death and consigns their mothers to exploitation and emptiness. We must and we will answer abortion with loving alternatives like adoption, and we will ensure that our laws preserve and protect the innocent unborn from destruction. Let us gather in homes and places of worship during this sixth annual observance of National Sanctity of Human Life Day to offer reparation for the appalling tragedy of abortion and to rededicate ourselves to works of charity and justice in behalf of America’s unborn children and their mothers.” (President Ronald Reagan, January 9, 1989) 2

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20a; ESV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Thank the Lord that you live in a country with roots that honor life.
  • Ask the Lord to forgive this nation for opening the door to abortion enmasse through the Supreme Court decision, “Roe v. Wade”, in 1973.
  • Decide to be an abolitionist for the unborn in some way. It might be through intercession or through volunteer work at a local life center. You might provide diapers or other baby goods, or give financial gifts to life-giving organizations. You might provide support in some other way. 
  • Here is a good list to help you. Intercede for some of the organizations on the front lines of the fight for life and the ending of abortion in America. 
  • Pastors, if you are seeing this before church today, lead your congregation in a time of intercession for the ending of abortion in America during your services today.

A prayer you can pray:

Father, thank you for moving on the hearts of our founding fathers to establish our nation on principles that honor You. We have veered off the track a bit, and our decision to not honor life is one of those areas. We opened the door to sin and iniquity both in this nation and in others of the world. Forgive us, Father because we did not understand what we were doing. We want the door to abortion closed. We say, “We choose Life for the United States of America. We choose Life and that abundantly for all!” Our unborn are as important as our most vibrant millennial. They are our future and the hope of our nation. In them are portions of the nation You plan to build us into. How can we just cut them off with no remorse? God, forgive us and heal our land. 

I want to be one that works to end abortion in my generation. I am an abortion abolitionist. I will pray and act to end abortion. I will cry out for justice before You and show compassion to those in conflict over it, gently leading them to truth and to You, Jesus. Show me what my part is. I will pray. Should I write letters to my legislators? Should I provide goods and donations to the pregnancy center in my city? What else would You have me do, Lord? Lead me in Your way and guide me, so this travesty can end quickly in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today’s decree:

We are a people who thirst after justice and will give our all to end abortion in this nation!

1 Learn more about the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday here.

2 Read the entire Proclamation 5931 – National Sanctity of Human Life Say, 1989 here.

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