Joni Eareckson Tada is an internationally renowned advocate for compassion and justice for people with disabilities and their families. She has written the forward for the new The One Year Pray for Life Bible. Read her heart’s cry for why now more than ever we desperately need to be in God’s Word and on our knees praying for protection for the weak and vulnerable.
Taken from the foreword of The One Year Pray for Life Bible:
When I look across our broken land and consider the heartbreaking needs around the globe, I am invigorated as never before to pray—to discipline myself to pray for life over the next twelve months and to use the Bible as my prayer guide.
As an aging quadriplegic and a Christ follower for over sixty years, I have witnessed a gradual eroding of the precious safeguards that protect the weak and vulnerable. Whether in America or in the darkest corners of the least-developed nations, a ferocious battle is being waged against all life. Who are the casualties of this war? The baby in Africa left to starve to death because his disability is considered a curse on the family. The clinically depressed teenager in Europe who qualifies for state-sanctioned, doctor-assisted death. The elderly woman in an unlicensed nursing home who suffers from loneliness and abuse. The preborn little girl who is aborted for the simple reason that her mother preferred a son.
I am not being an alarmist, nor am I exaggerating facts. A culture of death is advancing throughout the earth and is threatening lives—young and old. Look across the world and you will find that wherever there exists a famine of God’s Word, all life is at risk.
You can see why I am so glad you have chosen to use The One Year Pray for Life Bible. We desperately need to pursue earnest worship of the Creator of life and sincere intercession on behalf of those who bear his image—every single human. Yes, works of mercy and justice are necessary, but prayer is the primary work in this battle. As Oswald Chambers wrote, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work” (My Utmost for His Highest: Classic Language Paperback, October 17 entry).
Will you be an Eleazar?
Let me tell you a Bible story. Eleazar was a great warrior who stood alongside the three mighty men of David. During a fierce battle against the Philistines, Israel’s army gave up and fled, but Eleazar “killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory” (2 Samuel 23:10).
The king was impressed that Eleazar kept his heroic grasp on his sword and bravely fought on while others ran away. This exceptional warrior did not cower before the enemy; instead, he put his strength into his sword and rushed into battle with victory on his mind. Because of his noble courage and persistence, God smiled and gave his people a great victory—all because of one brave warrior.
I envision you as a modern-day Eleazar. Our land is teeming with strong and ruthless enemies that war against life. God is calling you to battle on behalf of preborn children in danger of being aborted; families who are breaking apart; depressed teenagers; at-risk children; the homeless; the elderly and medically fragile; and those struggling against addiction, disease, and loneliness.
These people have a target on their backs. Because they are also created in the image of God, they are in the adversary’s crosshairs—especially so because they are weak and vulnerable. These people are in need of earnest prayer support. They are being assaulted by overwhelming enemies such as euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, substance abuse, domestic violence, abortion, and suicide. Pandemic can now be added to the national woes that threaten to overwhelm the vulnerable in our society. Consider how the coronavirus festered and left serious mental health challenges in its wake, not to mention fear and debilitating anxiety.
You are a modern-day Eleazar who will battle against these foes in our land, using prayer as a powerful weapon. You are the mighty warrior who will grasp the Sword of the Spirit—that is, the Word of God—in your hand. And with God’s Word, you will not run away from the fray; you will overcome our enemy as you weave Scripture into your prayers by reading and praying through The One Year Pray for Life Bible.
This special edition of God’s Word is designed for prayer warriors who long to champion the cause for life. It is filled with hundreds of prayer prompts and other resources to help you pray as God would want you to pray, whether your prayers are for aging seniors, despairing teens, fractured families, people with disabilities, people with mental health issues, children at risk, or young ones still in the womb. The heart of God is turned toward these precious ones whose lives are at risk because of the dark forces rising against them.
The Bible is the best prayer book you will ever possess. When we pray using the Sword of the Spirit, our praises and intercessions carry weight before God’s throne. The Bible is full of language that you can infuse into your prayers, enriching each petition and intercession with an eternal perspective. The Bible is the key to finding God’s will when we pray against the enemies in our land. Great themes abound—God’s holiness, wisdom, faithfulness, sovereignty, love, and mercy—all of which beautify our praises, adorn our intercessions, embroider our petitions, and give bulk and significance to every supplication as we pray for life throughout our land. . . .
God has committed himself and his purposes to prayer. And the Word of God gives you great leverage as you pray for life. So be encouraged. Be blessed. Be invigorated. For Jesus Christ will delight to bring every intercession that has to do with life before his Father’s throne. After all, he is the Resurrection and the Life; the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and the Word of Life. God bless you for taking hold of your sword—The One Year Pray for Life Bible—and gaining victories for the Prince of Life and his people!
Look inside this Bible here.
Learn more about Joni and Friends here.