The opening remarks and prayer for Nebraska Right to Life’s Gala Banquet I presented last Friday evening in Lincoln:

Good evening. In the face of what’s been happening in our culture, particularly in the raging, repulsive reactions of the left to the overturning of Roe v Wade, way too many Christians are trying to ride out the storm by staying out of it as much as possible. Yes, they prefer right to triumph over wrong. But, for all practical purposes, what they prefer most is to stay comfortable and safe and not rock the boat any worse by making waves themselves. They want to be — at peace.

But we need (we most desperately need) another kind of Christian in times like these —  Christians who care enough about truth to speak it, Christians who love enough to sacrifice and serve those who are in dire straits, to work hard and to pray hard that they might please God by being courageous warriors, loyal ambassadors, and obedient sons and daughters of their heavenly King.

Abraham Kuyper, the Dutch statesman, journalist, theologian, and Prime Minister of the Netherlands between 1901 and 1905, once wrote, “When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin. You must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.”

So, in the service of He Who has called us to overcome the darkness (which, among other terrible wickedness in our day, has involved the massive shedding of innocent blood), let us humble ourselves before God, gratefully receive His gracious empowerment, and rededicate ourselves this night to, as our brother Kuyper urged us, “lay our convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of our faith.”

To that end, will you join me in letting Saint Patrick’s simple 5th Century prayer bring us before God. Our father in heaven, hear our prayer this night.

May the strength of God pilot us.

May the power of God preserve us.

May the wisdom of God instruct us.

May the hand of God protect us.

May the way of God direct us.

May the shield of God defend us.

May the hosts of God guard us against the snares of the evil one and the temptations of the world.

May Christ be with us. Christ before us. Christ in us. Christ over us.

May thy salvation, O Lord, be always ours this day and forevermore.

And Father, we also ask You now to bless our evening. Bless to our bodies this food we take with one another. Pour out Your grace upon those who have prepared the meal and so kindly serve it to us. Let Your Holy Spirit move mightily through each speaker and each part of the program. And may we all leave here more encouraged and better equipped to serve Your righteousness and truth. We pray in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

But be doers of the word,
and not hearers only.