Prayers for a Culture of Life
The conversion of hearts and minds is an essential part and fundamental goal of the pro-life ministry. It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed and helpless at times before the evil in the world. However, we have a powerful tool at our disposal to bring about the end of abortion. Just as there are countless saints who intercede for specific causes, there are many different prayers to create a society that values life at every stage—from conception to natural death.
St. Michael Prayer Campaign
You are invited to participate in Human Life International’s prayer campaign to Saint Michael with Fr. Shenan J. Boquet. There, you can pledge to pray the St. Michael prayer in defense of life. You will be joined by thousands of others with a desire to protect and preserve life:
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits, who wander about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Traditionally, St. Michael the Archangel is known as a powerful intercessor before God and the leader of God’s army and all the angels. For this reason, he is often called upon to protect us from physical and spiritual harm. This prayer asks this mighty intercessor to convert the souls of those participating in the culture of death.
The rosary has been recognized by saints, martyrs, and popes as one of the most valuable and effective prayers for our salvation. In many ways, it is specifically designed for combat: as Bl. Pope Pius IX said, “Give me an army saying the rosary and I will conquer the world.” If you would like to devote more time to prayer, there are several versions of the pro-life rosary which combine the traditional Hail Mary prayer with pro-life meditations and intentions. You can find rosary meditations offered by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Priests for Life.
Meditations on a Culture of Life: Stations of the Cross
During Lent, we are given the opportunity to understand and give thanks for Christ’s love by meditating on the Stations of the Cross. We can use this liturgical time to learn how to value life in more concrete and specific ways.
The USCCB provides a series of thoughtful, challenging meditations and intentions to go along with the Stations of the Cross. These prayers allow us to better understand the meaning of Christ’s passion by focusing our attention on those affected by abortion, asking for the conversion of those carrying out and helping with abortions, and also praying for women seeking abortion and for their unborn children.
The pro-life ministry works to support families where a culture of life is affirmed. Many married couples who long for children grow their families through adoption. Yet children given in adoption are often born in the middle of struggle and conflict. It’s especially important to pray for mothers and fathers who are making this tough decision despite being told to seek abortion.
The most fitting saint for these intentions is St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus. The courage, humility, and faith demonstrated by St. Joseph is a source of inspiration for many families. Those who wish to pray for couples on the path of adoption or for those considering giving their child to adoption, might consider praying this novena to St. Joseph.
Pro-Life Blessings and Prayers
In 2012, the Vatican approved a pro-life blessing developed by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz. This blessing is available online in Spanish and English and may be given in or outside of Mass. Although the blessing does not directly reference abortion, it bears witness to the value and dignity of life. It serves not only as a blessing for the unborn child, but as a source of spiritual support for expectant mothers.
In 2012, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote a short prayer dedicated to the cultivation and defense of a culture of life, which asks God to help our society embrace life at all stages:
You who faithfully visit and fulfill with your Presence
the Church and the history of men;
You who in the miraculous Sacrament of your Body and Blood
render us participants in divine Life
and allow us a foretaste of the joy of eternal Life;
We adore and bless you.
Prostrated before You, source and lover of Life,
truly present and alive among us, we beg you.
Reawaken in us respect for every unborn life,
make us capable of seeing in the fruit of the maternal womb
the miraculous work of the Creator,
open our hearts to generously welcoming every child
that comes into life.
Bless all families,
sanctify the union of spouses,
render fruitful their love.
Accompany the choices of legislative assemblies
with the light of your Spirit,
so that peoples and nations may recognize and respect
the sacred nature of life, of every human life.
A litany is a prayer characterized by responsive repetition; it focuses our attention in a direct and brief manner. Litanies are popular in the Catholic Church and said out loud as a group or alone in silence. Most are able to be prayed in many different traditional Catholic settings and contexts. Fr. Frank Pavone, the National Director of Priests for Life, wrote the following pro-life litany, which offers the opportunity to pray for all those affected by abortion: courts and judges, parents, and abortionists, etc. while giving thanks for many answered prayers:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father, Creator of the world, RESPONSE: Have mercy on us!
God the Son, through whom all things were made,
God the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life,
Lord Jesus, the Beginning and the End,
Lord Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
Lord Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life,
Lord Jesus, Eternal Word of Life,
Lord Jesus, living in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
Lord Jesus, Lover of the poor and weak,
Lord Jesus, Defender of the helpless,
Lord Jesus, Bread of Life,
For every sin against life,
For the sin of abortion,
For the daily killing of innocent babies,
For the bloodshed throughout our land,
For the silent screams of Your children,
For the killing of Your future disciples,
For the exploitation of women by abortion,
For the silence of Your people,
For the apathy of Your people,
For the co-operation of Your people in this tragedy,
For our pre-born brothers and sisters killed by abortion, RESPONSE: Lord, hear our prayer.
For our pre-born brothers and sisters threatened by abortion,
For our brothers and sisters who have survived abortion,
For mothers who have had abortions,
For mothers tempted to have abortions,
For mothers pressured to have abortions,
For mothers who have refused to have abortions,
For the fathers of aborted babies,
For the families of aborted babies,
For the families of those tempted to have abortions
For all who assist and cooperate in abortions,
For doctors and nurses, that they may nurture life,
For government leaders, that they may defend life,
For the clergy, that they may speak up for life,
For the pro-life movement,
For those who speak, write, and work to end abortion,
For those who help provide alternatives to abortion…
For those who promote adoption,
For national and local pro-life groups,
For unity in the pro-life movement,
For courage and perseverance in pro-life work,
For those who suffer ridicule and rejection for their stand for life,
For those imprisoned for defending life,
For those who have been injured and mistreated for defending life,
For legal professionals,
For courts and judges,
For police officers,
For media professionals,
In thanksgiving for the babies saved from abortion,
In thanksgiving for the mothers saved and healed from abortion,
In thanksgiving for the former abortion providers who have become pro-life,
In thanksgiving for all those who take a stand against abortion,
In thanksgiving for the call to be part of the pro-life movement,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Let us pray:
Almighty and ever-living God,
You have created all things through Your Son Jesus Christ.
He trampled the power of death by His Paschal Mystery.
May all who acknowledge You
Promote the sacredness of life
And always serve You faithfully,
Through the same Christ our Lord.
I hope you find a prayer that you would like to recite and perhaps share with others. Individual and shared faith should allow us to ask for and obtain great things, such as the conversion of those involved in the culture of death. And there is nothing greater than the conversation of the human heart – a miracle, which God has shown time and again is possible through persistence, prayer, and faith.