by Nicole Arnoldbik (Intercessors for America)


     A friend once asked me to come with her to an ultrasound exam. Her husband, a U.S. Air Force pilot serving in Afghanistan, wanted someone to sit beside his wife in an early-morning waiting room, and I groggily complied. This was my friend's first pregnancy and, (never having been pregnant myself), we both felt a little like pilots in training, stepping into the darkness of flight simulation for the first time and glimpsing the airspace of motherhood.

      A black monitor came alive with constellations of movement and light. Then a keyboard rattled as the technician's fingers captured the shimmering images on the screen. She typed "left foot," "right foot," accounting for each of the baby's limbs in a sort of sonogram-style, wand-to-womb Hokey Pokey.  As this sacred dance came to an end, I wiped tears from my face as my friend wiped sonogram gel from her blouse.

The Author of Life was monitoring that fragile womb. I was suddenly aware of it, and the beauty of Psalm 139 washed over me. It is one thing to 'Stand for Life,' but it is another thing to sit with life; to sit next to someone about to bring new life into the world meant feeling the terrifying G-forces of fear and the weight of every unknown. It meant trusting in the goodness and mystery of God's sovereign plan even with the rush of adrenaline.

      In John 18, the disciple, Peter, had a much more dramatic "waiting room" experience in the high priest's courtyard. Sitting just outside the door where Christ was on trial, Peter waited for the One who was about to bring new life into the world. And Peter, too, was given the choice to advocate for life or to deny it.

      Jesus must have cocked his ear in anticipation of two conversations playing out at once: The one he was having inside the temple with the priests, elders and scribes, and the one taking place outside  around a fire with the servants in the courtyard. He must have heard the rooster's crowing, knowing that it punctuated sentences in both scripts. At the same time that Peter denied his own identity, Jesus claimed his.

      I have heard this story of denial many times. But as I tagged along inside that waiting room and doctor's office, the beauty of that life on the screen cast my own denial in sharper resolution. How often had I been too preoccupied to endorse and lend volume to the Culture of Life? Had I let my own confusion or fear of the unknown derail my confidence and joy in the days ordained for me (Psalm 139:16)?

     The good news: Christ is my intercessor, and he alone can chart and pilot the course between my denial and pure devotion. His mercies are new every morning. When Christ appeared again to Peter it was while making breakfast for him around another campfire (read John 21). This time, three times, the voice of Jesus gently asked through the shifting campfire smoke: 

      Do you love me?

      Do you love me?

      Do you love me?

      It's an ongoing question because it doesn't end simply with a march or a hashtag or a pro-life bumper-sticker. Only a lifetime will tell, but from start to finish the Alpha and Omega is there to monitor what is fragile and make it strong.


  • Pray for radical, Spirit-led (Spirit-changed) advocates for the Culture of Life. Today, and for the remainder of this weekend, if possible, reflect on the story of Peter's life (John 18, John 21, 1 and 2 Peter). Have you seen a change in your own heart and character, from moderate to radical? Ask for the Spirit to embolden you in his timing.
  • Praise God for His faithfulness. Read 2 Timothy 2:11-13 and intercede for leaders in the pro-life movement to witness the Lord's trustworthiness this year as they continue to serve. Pray that they would feel affirmed and have confidence that their labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Thank you for joining Intercessors for America's seven-day fast for the unborn. We are so grateful for the way that so many of you have poured out your hearts before God this week, interceding day and night for this issue. In turn, we intercede for personal blessings upon each of you, your loved ones, and your community in the coming year as you pray without ceasing. May your lives be a living prayer.
PO Box 915, Purcellville, VA 20134