A prayer guide in light of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

December 1, 2021

Collectively, we have served the pregnancy center movement for over four decades. We believe, unapologetically, that this is our life’s work. We are amazed that God has called both of us, separately, to serve women facing unplanned pregnancies in Middle and East Tennessee. We partner together with thousands of others across the country as we seek to see women served, babies saved, and abortion ended. 

The coming weeks are going to play a key role in determining where our country is headed on the issue of life and abortion, and it is essential that Christians go to God in prayer. 

Laura’s story 

But first, Laura wanted to share her own calling with you to help us get into the proper frame of mind. Almost 40 years ago I, Laura, was a 25-year-old mom who stayed at home with my first child. Abortion had never entered my world. I didn’t think about it, much less pray about it. That changed when I saw a news story about dumpsters full of late-term aborted babies in California. Grown men, sanitation workers who had been tasked with cleaning them out, were speechless and haunted by what they had seen. I was instantly overcome with grief, and I became vocal about it. My small group started praying about it. God led us to start a pregnancy support center in our community. We opened our doors 36 years ago this January.

Life went on, I had more babies and settled into raising my children. My husband and I continued to be active at the center as volunteers, board members, banquet directors, and donors. But I didn’t give much thought to the possibility of abortion ending. We were just working hard to offer an alternative.

Then, 14 years ago, I was asked to become the executive director of our center. Suddenly, I was involved in this “issue” full time. It became my passion and my life’s calling. My girls were grown, and my son was in high school. I poured myself into making sure our center was thriving and that our clients received the support and love they needed — and that we were telling them about the abundant life that Jesus wants to give them.

This story may sound familiar to some of you as you contemplate your own calling and involvement in the life issue. We know that many felt this same way back in 2019 when states around our country passed laws seeking to dehumanize babies in the womb or even, in the case of New York, actually lit up the night sky to celebrate a recent law paving the way for more abortions in their state. We took phone calls from supporters and volunteers seeking to help us serve at our centers as we had a front-row seat to a stirring and awakening of God’s people on this issue of life. This is what we want you to have in mind as you prepare to pray for the Dobbs case. 

How to pray in light of Dobbs

Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case out of Mississippi, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. You can find an explainer on the implications of this case here. Our goal in this piece is not to deliberate the intricacies of this case or to debate the legalese of Dobbs. Instead, as leaders in the pregnancy center movement, we want to encourage you to spend some time over the next few weeks and months in prayer for the justices, the attorneys, the organizations on the ground serving women, the unborn, and the women facing unplanned pregnancies who are walking through the doors of close to 3,000 pregnancy centers every single day. 

So, if you would allow us, we would like to point out ways you can be praying. This guide does not provide an exhaustive list of needs, but we believe that it is a great launching point for God’s people to come together in prayer as we seek the end of abortion in our country and around our globe. 

Justices: Please pray for the justices on the Court. Their job is one of ever-growing responsibility as they attempt to navigate the muddy waters of legislation, rights, public opinion, and the Constitution. It is easy for us to pile on when decisions don’t go our way, but it is far harder for us to realize that these men and women have families, friends, and normal life routines just like we do. Pray the nine justices will have courage, wisdom, and grace.

Attorneys: There are a number of attorneys and attorneys general who have prepared for this case. It is not lost on us that this case is a hinge point for our republic and for the rights of the unborn moving forward. We can’t imagine the pressure these men and women are feeling as they deliver arguments for which they have prepared and studied hard. Please pray for their peace, courage, and stamina. 

Pregnancy centers: God’s Word tells us in Romans 12:21, “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” There are thousands of pregnancy centers across the United States that are filled with people who work to overcome this evil with good. Pray for the staff and volunteers that populate these centers day in and day out. Pray for the nurses who view these precious lives via ultrasound. Pray for strength and stamina for these selfless men and women who choose to serve during these very trying times and face real spiritual warfare. 

The unborn: Pray for these unborn babies. These lives represent image-bearers deserving of love, life, and an opportunity. Pray that the images we see on the ultrasound scans prompt action and heart change. Pray that these lives are given the care they need and deserve.  

Women facing unplanned pregnancies: Pray for the women facing unplanned pregnancies. Pray that obstacles would be moved out of their way as they seek to choose life. Pray that abortion clinics close their doors and these women find their way to the door of a pregnancy center. Pray for healing, healthy relationships, and a desire to be an incredible mom. Pray for support from a church, friends, or family members. 

We take prayer seriously at Hope Resource Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, and at Portico in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. We start every day calling out to our God for his loving hand as we serve his image-bearers, both in and out of the womb. We don’t know how God is going to answer any of these prayers, but we believe that just as David boldly stepped up to confront Goliath in his day, we are called to boldly confront abortion in America in our day. God is calling us to pray courageous prayers. Will you join us in this call to action? We are grateful for your support and are honored to serve alongside you for the work of the gospel and for life. 

Andrew Wood

Andrew serves as the Executive Director of Hope Resource Center, one of the largest pregnancy centers in the Southeast, located in Knoxville, TN. When he is not discussing and promoting life issues he is at home with his wife, Erin, and their four kids. Read More by this Author

Laura Messick

Laura Messick is the executive director of Portico, a pregnancy resource center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Read More by this Author