A Curious Thing Happened While Praying Outside an Abortion Clinic


by Scott Kaczorowski

There is an abortion clinic located a little more than five minutes from where we live in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.  It had previously been shut down for health code violations but had been reopened under a new name. The (intentionally?)nondescriptly named Northeast Ohio Women’s Center. After reading about its reopening, I prayerfully considered what my response should be. This was after all happening almost in my backyard. I began sensing the call of the Lord to go and pray outside of the clinic.

Over the weekend, I felt like the Lord told me that I needed to go over there on Monday. And I felt like He also impressed on my heart, “and you will see my power.” So that Monday, mid-morning, I drove down to the Northeast Ohio Women’s Center. I parked on a side street and walked to the sidewalk in front of the clinic where I began to pray.

I had to spend the first few minutes praying for courage and grace. Being there felt unnerving. The sidewalk is just several feet from a busy street and it can be difficult to focus prayers with cars whooshing by behind you, especially with cars carrying people who can see you and, of course, know what you are doing. The public testimony involved in this kind of thing is extraordinarily important so I didn’t want to just pray at home. But such a situation can leave one feeling very publicly exposed.

After I had collected myself, I prayed for several things. But one of the most important was that God would shut that clinic down. Exodus 15:3 has a powerful statement about who God is, and I will never forget the first time that I read these words in my Hebrew Bible and realized what it said: יְהוָ֖ה אִ֣ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֑ה –“Yahweh is a man of war.” I prayed that God would make war on that abortion facility. Now just to be entirely clear, I repudiate the use of violence by private citizens even in confronting an evil such as abortion. I will not stand with those who bomb abortion clinics or seek to do physical harm to doctors who preform abortions or to their staff. We are not the magistrate, and therefore, we do not bear the sword as they do (Rom. 13:4). Biblically speaking, it is actually the government’s role to step in and defend the innocent (Psa. 45:3-4; Psa. 72:2). This is part of the charter of human government given to it by God. But our government has abdicated that responsibility in this area, not only not defending the defenseless but siding with those who take their lives. But our God is a God who makes war on evil. And we can and should pray that he will step in and act. “It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken” (Psa. 119:126).

Another prayer that I prayed was that God would bring other people to pray with me. There are certain prayers that you may never know if they where answered or not. If I pray that God would place a perimeter of grace around that clinic so that girls entering the parking lot would have a change of heart, or that God would have mercy on the women who have had abortions at this facility by sending a Christian witness into their lives (all of which I did in fact pray), I may or may not know if those prayers have been answered. But if there are more people standing out on the sidewalk with me, then I know that the Lord has heard this prayer.
This is when the curious thing happened. Within minutes of praying this, a young man walked up to me on the sidewalk and asked if he could share a testimony with me. He had seen me praying while he was driving by and pulled off the road, parked his car, and came to talk to me. He said that while on a missions trip with YWAM, they had prayed outside one of the largest abortion providers in America and a week later it randomly shut down. I told him that that was what I was praying would happen to this clinic and how I had just asked the Lord to increase the number of people praying with me. Then there were two people praying outside of the Northeast Ohio Women’s Center. With the arrival of my new friend bearing testimony that the Lord had answered a prayer just like the one that I was praying, it felt like the Lord had given me an immediate token that He was listening.

This morning before I left, I was thinking about what would happen if believers by the thousands or tens of thousands would stand outside of abortion facilities all across America and simply pray that God would shut them down. Do we think that God would not listen to the prayers of His people? Jesus said in Luke 18:7-8: “And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.” But are we crying out to the Lord that he would come and do justice for the defenseless in this way? I don’t get the impression that many of us are. It is perhaps not a coincidence that immediately after this Jesus asked, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? ” (Luke 18:8).

I would like to join those who have gone before me and issue a call to the church in America to stand up and pray. One of the single greatest things that we can do to end abortion in America is to plead with the Lord to move His hand. The beauty of this strategy is its simplicity. It does not depend on being able to elect the right leaders, pass the right legislation, or arrive at the right moral consensus concerning abortion in this country (which are all good things that the pro-life movement should continue to strive for, of course). It simply depends on God hearing His people. If we courageously, consistently, and publicly ask God to move, I believe that He will answer and hear our prayers.

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