It’s been a week since the Center for Medical Progress released the fifth undercover video about Planned Parenthood. Even though the clownish antics of the Republican debate has come almost as a welcome relief from the sobering attention on abortion practices in our country, I can’t erase the feelings I had when I saw that fifth video, nor should I try.

I wasn’t prepared for the emotion I would feel when I saw the fifth video released about Planned Parenthood. The severed little hand, reaching out from the pinkish soup of other mutilated body parts, evoked in me more than a deep, sick feeling. The only word that comes to my mind is the sense of being crushed—crushed by the evil I was seeing.

As American citizens, we have the privilege and responsibility to take action against this evil by petitioning our government leaders to stem the flow of our tax money to Planned Parenthood. Even more, we can raise our voices against the evil of abortion itself.

But there is a higher power to whom we may raise our voices. Let us not forget to pray to our God.

In the face of this evil, when we are at a loss for how to put our prayers into sensible words, we can pray the words of Scripture. What better words can we bring to God than his very own?

  1. Look at this evil.

We know that God sees and knows all things. Yet in our prayers we bring to God’s attention in a special way the evil that so grieves us. In light of the evil he was facing, the psalmist prayed, “You have seen, O Lord; be not silent!” (Psalm 35:22).

  1. Forgive us.

It would be hypocritical for us to decry the sins of others without ever noticing that the same evil bent lurks within our hearts. And it would be tragic for us to use the sin of abortion to make us feel better about our “lesser” sins of greed, gossip, lust, laziness, bitterness, etc. The prophet Daniel was an example of a man who took responsibility for sins he had not personally committed: he represented his people before God when he prayed, “O Lord,… we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules” (Daniel 5:5; also Psalm 38:4; 90:8). The only hope we have for forgiveness is not that our sin has been less than anyone else’s, but that Jesus has died and risen again for us (Romans 4:25).

  1. Bring justice quickly.

We can be assured that the God who sees this evil is not neutral to it, for “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day” (Psalm 7:11). And while we know that God will mete out final justice in the very end (Ecclesiastes 3:17), it is also right for us to plead for justice now. Several times throughout the Psalms, the psalmist makes time-sensitive requests: “Make haste to help me” (38:22); “Make haste, O God, to deliver” (70:1);  “O Lord, do not delay!” (Psalm 70:5).

  1. Your kingdom come.

Jesus instructed his disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done.” The evil of abortion makes us long for the coming reign of Christ, who will judge every wrong and bring complete righteousness (2 Peter 3:13). In the meantime, we proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, seek to live as citizens of that coming kingdom, and pray that it would come soon.