By Evan Olsen
A little over a week ago, Sunshine State News reported that the abortion rate in Florida has dropped a staggering 19% from 2008 to 2011, and that downward trend is continuing this year. Though there are many dynamics attributed to this outcome, we believe this is an answer to an orchestrated effort of focused, unyielding intercession from thousands of believers in this state.
While this massive answer to prayer is God’s response to many believers who have not relented in their appeals to the courts of heaven, this post is a brief prophetic history of our efforts in praying and laboring for the ending of abortion in Florida capital city, Tallahassee.
In 2007, we started a Bound4LIFE chapter and began praying at the Florida Supreme Court. Around 7 months later in 2008, we participated in Bound4LIFE’s nation-wide prayer meeting called The Mercy Seat, where 6,200 gathered to pray at every Supreme Court in the nation simultaneously. Nearly 600 residents joined us throughout the 7 hour solemn assembly outside of the Florida Supreme Court, pleading Jesus’ blood and praying for God’s mercy to turn to our state.
We often don’t understand that the timeline of intercession is commonly answered in years. At the end of 2009, Gallup Poll released this shocking data: a majority of Americans identified themselves as pro-life for the first time in over a decade. This unprecedented shift in opinion began sometime after (or during) The Mercy Seat.
This isn’t coincidence. This is power through prayer.
Let’s fast forward. In 2010, Florida’s Governor Charlie Crist was presented with a pro-life bill that would require ultrasounds to be performed before obtaining an abortion. Gov. Crist said he would take 15 days to decide whether or not to sign this bill into law. We spent those days in fasting and prayer as we held silent prayer sieges inside of the State Capitol rotunda, directly facing Governor Crist’s office.
Gov. Crist ultimately decided to veto this bill, but again, our prayers were not in vain and our intercession would be answered a year later. Almost the exact same bill was signed into law in 2011, with four other pro-life bills. The 2011 session was a historic push towards righteousness. In contrast, before 2011, only one pro-life bill had passed the FL legislature in ten years.
Florida Legislature – 2011
In regards to the unborn, the year of 2011 in the Florida Legislature could be described as historic, unprecedented, and full of favor. God allowed our small team of intercessors favor to have some forty Representatives make the covenant of the Life band to pray, vote, and obey. There were even some pro-life legislators in the Democratic party (which is a pro-choice party platform) who wore life bands and vocally fought for the unborn.
Those pro-life praying Representatives and Senators passed five pro-life bills that were enacted this year. This led to the Sunshine State News article linked above, and the 19% drop in abortions in Florida. Though some credit can be given to state legislators for enacting tougher regulations and medical requirements, we know the true credit goes to God answering the prayers of Floridians.
“In 2008, Florida recorded 95,375 abortions. In 2011, that figure fell to 77,166. Nearly midway through this year, 28,023 abortions had been performed. […] The number of Florida abortion clinics has also dwindled. There reportedly are now some 70 abortion providers in the state — nearly 30 percent fewer than in 2005.“ [emphasis added]
And this trend in pro-life laws isn’t limited to Florida. Sunshine State News goes on to state:
“Along with Florida, legislators in 23 other states passed 92 anti-abortion provisions in 2011, shattering the previous record of 34 adopted in 2005, according to Guttmacher.”
This isn’t only a change in public opinion; these are real lives. Real babies are being saved because of your prayers. This should both excite, amaze, and humble you. God has proven that prayers are answered and that your intercession is never in vain. Prayer works.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds…” 2 Cor. 10:4
Evan Olsen is a full-time intercessory missionary at the International House of Prayer Tallahassee Missions Base. He also writes resources on biblical topics that include end times, intimacy with Christ, and life-management at evanolsen.org.