Today I went back to Planned Parenthood to retrieve an umbrella that I had left with a friend earlier in the day.
As I stood in front of the clinic chatting with a fellow pro lifer a group of teenage boys approached us on the sidewalk. We were so engrossed in our conversation that we weren't paying careful attention to the direction the "Pray to end abortion" sign was facing, which happened to be facing away from the teenagers. As the boys walked past us I noticed them looking backward to read the sign.
As my eyes met the last boy in the group I expected him to say something to impress his friends. I remember being a teenager and what can happen when a group of them get together. Peer pressure is a powerful influence.
I had just finished that thought when to my amazement the young man fell to his knees and began praying while his friends continued walking down the sidewalk.
"I've never seen anything like that before." I said to my friend who turned his gaze to the boy and his friends who were now all turning around facing their friend.
As the other four boys stared at their friend on his knees I was certain one of them would say something to discourage him. The approval of your friends is incredibly important as a teenager -- often more important than the approval of your parents and family. And just as I completed that thought another boy in the group fell to his knees and began praying.
"I can't believe my eyes." I said, as the remaining three boys looked on in dismay as their two friends knelt before the Planned Parenthood in prayer.
I wanted to run over and give them both a hug and tell them I was praying for their kind of courage. The courage to serve God even if it means the ridicule of those whose opinions matter most. I have to wonder what the world would be like if everyone were no longer afraid of what their friends and colleagues thought and simply served God when their hearts told them to do it.
The Bible says the prayer of the righteous man availeth much, so I am left to speculate about the effectiveness of my own prayers, but I know the the prayers of those two boys went straight to heaven and into the ears of God.
"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" - Matt. 19:14