God of our Fathers, through many ages
Your Holy Spirit inspired prophets
To speak truth to power
And to challenge earthly Kings to obey you, the King of heaven.
In the days when King Ahab and Jezebel were promoting false worship,
And leading the people away from the Covenant,
And punishing the prophets of the Lord,
You raised up Elijah your prophet (cf. 1 Kg. 17).
Filled with the Spirit of the Lord,
He challenged Ahab, Jezebel, and the false prophets,
Boldly manifested the power of the true God,
And challenged the people to decide whom they would serve.
When the fullness of time had come,
You raised up John the Baptizer
Who pointed out to the world the Lamb of God, your Son Jesus Christ.
In the power of your Spirit,
John proclaimed a baptism of repentance,
Warning all the people urgently to turn away from their sins.
He also warned King Herod,
Who was committing adultery
By taking the wife of his brother.
When Herod became upset by this and punished John,
He did not apologize or water down his message,
But endured prison and martyrdom
By the power of the Spirit.
Today, Lord God, the world is full of public authorities
Who trample your law underfoot
And even try to change its meaning
To justify their pursuit of evil.
They defend and promote the killing of babies
Yet claim to be devout Catholics, Christians, or other believers in God.
Father, send your Holy Spirit.
Raise up prophets, preachers, and faithful witnesses
Who, like Elijah, like John the Baptist,
And like countless other prophets and saints
Have used “the sword of the Spirit,” the Word of God,
And challenged those in power to obey you, the Lord of every nation.
Raise up voices in our midst,
And enable each of us to raise our voices,
To declare that no earthly ruler
Can in any way authorize the killing of a baby,
And that any nation that permits abortion
Becomes a tyrant state,
Destructive of democracy and of the very foundations of civilization.
Grant, O Father, that nothing may silence your people,
But rather that the voice of your Spirit, the voice of Life,
May rise above all the discordant voices of falsehood,
And transform the culture of death into the eternal Kingdom of Life.
We ask this in Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen.
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life