Prayers from Prison

“Abortion thwarts the most basic of paternal impulses – a man’s instinct to protect his children.” Thomas W. Strahan

There is a Planned Parenthood facility in Montgomery County, Texas, that was the special focus of prisoners in the local jail during a recent 40 Days for Life campaign.

Forty Days for Life was meeting outside the PP at that location from 7 am to 7 pm daily during these 40 days.

But one of the participants also volunteered in the chaplaincy program at the local jail. He went to see whether the inmates of faith would be willing to cover the other 12 hours of each day in prayer.

A few days later he “returned to the Wynne unit and the offender heading up the unit prayer vigil gave me the sign-up list.  It turned out to be 12 pages full of names.  As I examined the list in semi-shock and asked several questions, I realized that each man on the list had agreed to pray for one hour each day for the whole 40 days. For example, 16 men are praying every day from 7 PM – 8 PM for the whole 40 days. Again, 16 different men from 8 PM – 9 PM.  15 men signed up for 3 AM – 4 AM and so it goes. Every hour is covered with at least 10 men who signed up to pray.”

I don’t know how abortion touched the lives of each of these inmates.

But Donna Gardner knows that abortion has touched the lives of many men incarcerated today. Gardner became involved in ministry to post-abortive, incarcerated men after an inmate spoke to a prison ministry about his guilt over participating in abortions.

“The inmate was feeling haunted because he had pressured three different women he had gotten pregnant into having abortions. Surprised that a man was talking about abortions, Lawlor invited Gardner to speak at the annual prison ministry meeting in 2011.”

Gardner believed many prisoners suffered from PTSD because of their involvement in abortions. Her research and instincts found support when “an anonymous survey issued to the inmates at both of the prisons [Martin and Okeechobee in Florida] indicated that 90 percent had been involved in an abortion experience that hurt them. . . .”

She says, ” “It’s not what you think about men in prison. They longed for their children and somehow recognized that life went wrong after their abortion experience.” 

It doesn’t seem like a natural progression of logic that men would find themselves in prison as a result of abortions in their lives.

After all, these men had histories before and after their abortion experiences that may also have contributed to their incarceration.

It didn’t seem like a logical connection to the men either–at first. “Many men are unaware that their emotions are the direct result of an abortion experience,” according to Gardner.

Emotional wounding comes from all sorts of trauma. But with nearly 62 million abortions happening in the US since Roe v. Wade in 1973, it’s time to acknowledge that the wounding is widespread.

Gardner’s program includes multiple classes. Men learn how to deal with the pain of the past. They find healing. They experience, she says, the healing power of God.”

The men are building “this beautiful brotherhood of life . . . behind the wall.”

  Only God can form such a brotherhood. Only God

Photo Credit: Unsplash, Tom Blackout

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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25 Replies to “Prayers from Prison”

  1. Once again, you show us all the damage caused by abortions to everyone involved. It brings such sadness and deep wounds. Thanks for keep s focused on the things that break God’s heart.

  2. I’ve said this in the past: thank you from the bottom of my heart for raising awareness about abortion’s effect on men. It is anything but the “my body, my choice” lie espoused by politicians and so- called women’s advocates. Thank you for speaking up for the men. What do you think the solution is? I don’t know that there’s is once, short of overturning Roe v Wade. Lord, hear our prayer.

    1. The solution involves confessing sin, prayer, and following the Lord’s leading. I’m so impressed by the effects of prayer through 40 Days of Prayer. They ministered to Abby Johnson when it looked like she would never leave Planned Parenthood–let alone become an advocate for life. Keep praying, Candice. Our nation needs Awakening. Keep praying. Thanks and God bless!

    1. That’s so true, Melissa. People around us have suffered this event and not spoken. We need to watch for wounds and be welcoming to anyone who wants to talk. Thanks and God bless!

  3. That so many pray from prison doesn’t surprise me. Our prisons are often full of people who found Christ in that place and who, more than the rest of us, understand God’s grace as a result. Thank you for continuing to share these awful facts with us about the impact of abortion on both women and men.

  4. Another powerful example of the far-reaching damage done by abortion. Praise God for these men who are using their faith to intercede for the lives of these little ones so far away. May we be challenged and inspired by their response in prayer.

  5. I have talked with a lot of men who have very strong anti-abortion feelings but felt helpless because they thought it was a women’s issue. I don’t think it IS a women’s issue… it’s a child issue. Great article, Nancy. Thank you.

    1. It’s a child issue–which makes it a people issue. Making the child the center of the argument would shift views remarkably. The people involved with that child would not suffer the wounds we see now. That’s what sonogram technology has helped many to avoid. Thanks, Jessica. God bless!

  6. Some of these men have the added guilt of “forcing” the women they impregnate to have the abortion. Without Christ they will carry that guilt. Imagine how many men must suffer with this. I was glad to hear you say (to Candice) that it requires confession and prayer. I fear the “PTSD” attached will take the focus off the sin and look only at the pain – because without repentance they are doomed to live with that guilt and pain. Praise God someone is working with these men.

    1. You make an important point, Beth. That’s what Bernard Nathanson struggled with as he was converting to Christianity. He needed–and knew he needed–a place to take his sin so he could get it resolved on this side of eternity. We shall see him again because he did. Thanks and God bless!

  7. Yes, abortion is not only affecting the lives of children who are not given the chance to live life, it’s is hurting the many who have had abortions and insisted on another to have one. Murder never fares well with anyone. To take a life also mars the life who took it.

  8. Thanks again, Nancy. For bringing awareness to yet another aspect of this atrocity called “abortion.” The Strahan quote is eye-opening. It is the innate part of a father to protect his children.

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