Miscarriage, the great tragedy that can tear apart the heart, is a nightmare scenario for families. There is nothing more crippling to an excited, expectant mother than to find out her baby will not breathe fresh air or emit that adorable little cry of life. Miscarriage is a source of pain, an unthinkable loss of God’s greatest gift—a child.
It is a topic discussed in doctor’s offices and in hushed tones in private circles. It is the subject of a woman’s tears and groans as she reels from the news. It is found in the blank, grief-stricken stare of a man who has had a piece of him ripped away from this earth.
The ability to carry a pregnancy is one of the many wonders God has bestowed on women, often seen as a joy and part of an exciting plan in starting a family. Miscarriage, on the other hand, is one of the ultimate misfortunes in life. The physical and emotional scars it leaves never truly heal, not on this earth. It is a black hole of pain in what should have been a fresh celebration of life.
And to pray for a miscarriage is a sick wish and is in no way a prayer God desires.
So when Paula White, televangelist and spiritual adviser to President Trump, prayed for “all satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now” and wished that “anything conceived in satanic wombs, that it’ll miscarry” in a sermon at her church Jan. 5, critics all around the world fought to call her out on her poor choice of words.
She claims that her words were “taken out of context” and that she merely was encouraging God to block Satan’s plans and actions against Christians.
“I was praying Eph. 6:12 that we wrestle not against flesh and blood,” White wrote in a tweet. “Anything that has been conceived by demonic plans, for it to be cancelled and not prevail in your life. … That is, plans to hurt people.”
As a Christian, I understand the meaning of her prayer. She was just asking God to block any attempts from the devil to gain footing in her congregants’ lives, as was clearly seen in the rest of her prayer. However, the frantic way in which she declared it was problematic and hurtful. Even just the language of miscarriage and the sensitivity around it should never be used in such a perverted way—especially when mentioning Satan in the same phrase, associating metaphorical pregnancies and miscarriages with such an evil.
So, Paula White, even though you claimed to be speaking from Ephesians 6:12, I encourage you to instead ponder the book of James, specifically 1:26 and 3:1-12, and meditate on what the Word of God says about the power of the tongue. Learn that your sensational speech hurts real people experiencing real tragedy. Learn that what you say and what you pray to an almighty, caring God has real effects on people. Learn to tame your tongue and increase your stock of vocabulary without hurting other people and goading them away from the Church.
Learn that a simple, “Lord, stop the plans of Satan,” works just as well as demanding that “all satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now.”
God doesn’t want your empty speeches with colorful phrasing with big words said only to draw attention to yourself. God hears the prayer of the illiterate just as loudly as He hears yours. He desires words of praise from a humble spirit and “a broken, contrite heart” (Psalm 51:17, NIV).
As Christians who should support life from womb to the grave, to refer to any pregnancy as satanic, even in the use of a metaphor, is disrespectful. To pray for miscarriages, even again in the context of a metaphor, is extremely painful for those listening and extremely shameful on your part.
With your thoughtless speech you have discounted the pain of every parent watching who has ever experienced the ultimate heartbreak.
Think about who is in your audience. Think about the words you present in front of them as a spiritual leader. Think about the language you use when advising the President. As a televangelist, you should be used to this.
Your words have more of an impact than you know. Be wise with them. If God has given you the gift of teaching and speaking, be a good steward of that talent and use it in a way that will lead people to Him instead of driving them away in pain.