Every parent hopes that their children experience more blessings than bumps. As a dad, my father’s prayer has always been focused on the protection and well-being of my children. Each parent has their own testimony of trials and struggles and how God worked in their lives along the way.
Each person has their own journey, a journey that features both trials and triumphs. Some of us have more blessings than bumps in the road, whereas, for others, we wonder if life will ever get any better. From the loss and hurt experienced in my own journey, I extend a father’s prayer of hope, healing, and courage.
I met my birth mom when I was 20 years old, and through our visit, I had the opportunity to hear her story and how I came into being. When I discovered her journey and the challenges she faced to bring me into life, and the sacrifice she made to give me a family through the process of adoption, I promised God that I would do anything, anytime, anywhere for the cause of life. I owed it to Him, and I owed it to her.
Called and tested
Two years after meeting my birth mom and hearing her journey, God would call and put my promise to the test. I had found myself in a relationship that resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. I gave that blank stare of denial like most guys do when she declares, “I’m pregnant.”
For me, it was a blank stare of denial, but for her, it was a blank stare of rejection. She desperately wanted me to rise up and take the lead, maybe even responding with “We can do this.” I fell way short.
After dropping her off at her home, I drove to my place. I crawled up on the bed and began wrestling with God. Consciously, I said, “I know I am in this relationship for the wrong reasons because I am not even thinking about getting married.”
I drove back to my girlfriend’s place so that we could have the “talk.” She answered the door and said, “I’ve made up my mind. We’re going to get an abortion.” I knew it was wrong, but I knew the relationship wasn’t right either. The wrong decision seemed like an escape that might work.
I took her to the abortion clinic and paid to have our baby terminated through an abortion. It was a silent car ride after. Later, I crawled back up on that same bed, crying and weeping because I knew what I had just done was wrong. I promised God, again, that I would do anything, anytime, anywhere for the cause of life.
Ten years later, I was finishing up my Ph.D. and working for a Christian psychiatrist. A woman called me and shared that she was given my name as consideration for running a Christian helping to assist pregnancy resource centers.
I knew exactly what that meant, and inside I said, “You must be crazy.” But God was speaking, and I heard Him say, “You promised.” My prayer to the Father was that I could do this and then get back to my life and do what I wanted.
God has allowed me to serve the pro-life movement for around 25 years now. It’s not about me; it’s about Him. There is hope and healing available for those who have been hurt by abortion. I have been blessed by His Rapha healing hands emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. You can be as well.
Through my own personal counseling journey and the various ministry endeavors I have served, I know the power that abortion places over fathers. I have met many fathers who confess their participation in an abortion and the pain and brokenness it brought into their lives.
A parent issue
Abortion is not a woman’s issue. It’s a parent issue. It affects both men and women, often bringing emotional and psychological devastation to both parties. There are many times that I think back on what might have been.
I know that if I had stood up, even just a little, I would have a 34-year-old child to celebrate life with. I would have avoided some of the shame, hurt and loss that followed after the abortion.
My father’s prayer to other potential and pending dads is full of many hopes and desires. I so want them to avoid that pain and loss and encourage them to rise up. My prayer is also for fathers who have lost a child through an abortion to experience the forgiveness and healing available to them.
A father's prayer
If you are a man discovering that you are now part of an unplanned pregnancy, let me invite you into a father’s prayer with me now.
Dear Father in heaven,
I know you created me, and you are the author of all life. I know you even knew me before you formed me in my mother’s womb (Jer 1: 5). You already know my child as it grows in the womb. I pray that you will give me the courage to rise up and be the father you intended me to be. Help me have the courage of Daniel or David; help me rest in you.
With this pregnancy, I am a father. Father in heaven, please help me now be a father that reflects you. I pray, God, that I give her the confidence that we can do this. Whether we choose to parent or gift this baby to another family, we can do better than abortion. Would you please help me stand for life so that both she and I can avoid the loss, pain, and shame that most often accompanies an abortion?
Let me rise up and stand for life. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.
A father's prayer for previous abortion
If you are a man that feels the pain and loss from participation in a previous abortion, let me invite you into a father’s prayer with me now.
Dear Father in heaven,
I come to you and confess that I did not rise up to defend life and protect the baby I brought into this world. I did not fulfill my role and responsibility as a father that you bestowed upon me.
Your word, 1 John 1:9, tells me that if I confess my sins, you forgive, and that healing follows forgiveness.
Father, I confess my sin in my participation in abortion and ask for your forgiveness. Thank you for the gift of Jesus, whose sacrifice and blood on the cross pays my debt.
Father, extend your grace and mercy upon me and help me rise up and stand for the cause of life anytime and anywhere. Father, take my shame from me and use me to help others avoid this pain and loss. I am yours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Following my participation in an abortion, I was riddled with shame and hurt. I cried out to God to forgive me and turned to His word for comfort. In my pain, I promised that I would do anything, anytime, anywhere for the cause of life. God forgave me, He healed me, and He has used what was meant for evil for His good.
If you are struggling because of an abortion in your past, please look to Him. He has open arms and is ready to forgive and heal. He has a plan to use what was meant for evil for His good. That blessing is yours to receive. You just have to turn to Him, the Father of all grace and mercy. That’s our Heavenly Father’s Prayer.