Sanctity of Life
This week's focus: Sanctity and Dignity of Life
The phrase “sanctity of life” reflects the belief that, because people are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26–27), human life has an inherently sacred attribute that should be protected and respected at all times.
January 22nd, 2022 marks the 49th anniversary of the lamentable 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade. which legalized abortion. Over 63 million lives have been lost since that fateful decision.
Churches continue to recognize the third Sunday in January as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. This year, that date falls on January 16, but some will mark it on the 23rd because it's closer to the Roe v. Wade anniversary.
While Christians use the day to pray and mourn for the preborn who have been lost, many are not aware the annual church event originated in the White House. On the 10th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, President Ronald Reagan wrote an essay about abortion that was published in The Human Life Review and later issued as a book titled “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation,” the only book ever published by a sitting U.S. president. The essay is one of the most forceful defenses of life and the strongest denunciations of abortion ever issued by an American president.
A year later, Reagan issued “Proclamation 5147 — National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 1984 and proclaimed, “I call upon the citizens of this blessed land to gather on that day in homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life, and to reaffirm our commitment to the dignity of every human being and the sanctity of each human life.”
The sanctity of human life is not because we are such wonderful and good beings. The only reason the sanctity of life applies to humanity is the fact that God created us in His image and set us apart from all other forms of life. Although that image has indeed been marred by sin, His image is still present in humanity.
Psalm 139:13–14 (ESV)
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well."
- Continue to pray for the current Supreme Court justices as they make their decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. While they heard oral arguments in December, a decision is not expected until June.
- Use our pro-life prayer guide to help you as you pray for the sanctity of life this week. You can find other resources we’ve compiled to help you PRAY, THINK, and ACT for the sanctity of life here.
- In observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday today, we look to a prayer he gave in 1957: "God grant that right here in America and all over this world, we will choose the high way; a way in which men will live together as brothers. A way in which the nations of the world will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. A way in which every man will respect the dignity and worth of all human personality. A way in which every nation will allow justice to run down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. A way in which men will do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. A way in which men will be able to stand up, and in the midst of oppression, in the midst of darkness and agony, they will be able to stand there and love their enemies, bless those persons that curse them, pray for those individuals that despitefully use them. And this is the way that will bring us once more into that society which we think of as the brotherhood of man. This will be that day when white people, colored people, whether they are brown or whether they are yellow or whether they are black, will join together and stretch out with their arms and be able to cry out: 'Free at last! Free at last! Great God Almighty, we are free at last!'" (From Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech, “Some things we must do” delivered at Holt Street Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama December 5, 1957)
We want to see God honored in America, and we pray for an unprecedented spiritual awakening.
This devotion was produced in partnership with Every Home for Christ.
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