Skip to comments.Welcome to 40 Days for Life: 40 Days for Life kicks off February 22 in 258 locations!
Posted on 02/21/2012 10:35:11 PM PST by Salvation
40 Days for Life kicks off February 22 in 258 locations!
On February 22, the next 40 Days for Life campaign begins in 258 locations in the United States, Canada, England, Australia and Spain. Sign up for campaign updates with the box at the upper right ... pray and fast for an end to abortion ... and see the list of locations to find -- and get involved -- in the campaign nearest you!
FIVE more abortion centers close following 40 Days for Life
On March 1, the Planned Parenthood abortion center in Storm Lake, Iowa will shut its doors. Just last fall, this location was the site of a 40 Days for Life vigil, coordinated by Sue Thayer who once cerved as manager of that very facility ... until she was fired! Be sure to see Sue's story.
Earlier, we received word from the Michigan attorney generals office that TWO abortion centers which have been sites of multiple 40 Days for Life campaigns in Lansing and Saginaw have been permanently CLOSED after they were found to be operating illegally. A judge ordered them shut down PERMANENTLY.
Then, it was announced that GYN Special Services Clinic, located in Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, would be closing its doors. Brian Gibson of Pro-Life Action Ministries, the 40 Days for Life coordinator in the Twin Cities area, describes the closure -- and the impact of 40 Days for Life -- in this short video. (on the site)
Finally, it was announced that an abortion center in Rockford, Illinois -- the site of three 40 Days for Life vigils as well as many years of constant prayer by faithful volunteers -- had closed its doors forever. In announcing the closure, the facility's owners said it was clear that the community no longer supported the abortion business.
With the closure of the Storm Lake Planned Parenthood center, this will now make 21 abortion centers that have shut down during or following 40 Days for Life campaigns outside their doors. To God be the glory, and congratulations to all the pro-life groups and individuals in these cities whose years of fervent prayers and faithful efforts have been rewarded!
What 40 Days for Life has witnessed (so far!)
There have now been nine coordinated 40 Days for Life campaigns since 2007, mobilizing people of faith and conscience in 422 cities across the United States and Canada, plus communities in Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belize, Denmark, England, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Puerto Rico and Spain.
During these unified efforts, participants witnessed countless blessings from God:
After so many years of legalized abortion, many people of faith are experiencing a renewed sense of HOPE!
Take the leap of faith and get involved with 40 Days for Life
Have you been to pray at a 40 Days for Life vigil yet? You may ask, What do I do? or What sign should I bring? The answer is simple; the only sign you really need to bring is yourself, for you represent Gods love.
Concern about going to pray at the abortion facility is common and normal. 40 Days for Life campaign director Shawn Carney shared some thoughts at the national Students for Life conference.
Day 14 - March 6
Pray for the mothers going into pregnancy help centers. The personal care, the free ultrasound, the ongoing practical help is designed to deliver them from those who profit in shedding innocent blood.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
-- Matthew 11:28
"You have twins. That will be another $350." She did not speak English. But she finally understood that they were telling her to go get more money and return for her abortion.
She had already given them her rent money. But they were not about to give her a two-for-one deal. They told her to get dressed and return with more cash. A couple, who was praying outside, comforted her. They brought her to their local pregnancy help center.
The staff quickly saw that her personal circumstances were so desperate, and immediate, that they would need direct and ongoing help from local Christians and churches. They started making calls.
Then they did the ultrasound. It showed there was only one baby, not two. This abandoned, immigrant, powerless mother was being exploited. She would do whatever she was told. Who would know? Who would care?
God calls us to "Rescue the weak and the needy; and deliver them from the hand of the wicked" (Psalm 82:4).
When you provide an alternative to abortion you are not only rescuing innocent babies, you are delivering mothers from the wicked: those who profit in the shedding of innocent blood. Pray for those who rescue and deliver daily at your local pregnancy help center.
Father, hear our prayer! Snatch desperate mothers from the fire. Bring them out of our abortion businesses and into our pregnancy help centers. Deliver them from evil. Use us to help them chose life and see your hand of provision.
Rev. John Ensor
Vice President, Heartbeat International
Children are at stake in every abortion. And children
remind our culture of what we are losing in every
abortion — our innocence and our future.
If you’re wondering about bringing the kids to the
40 Days for Life vigil — yes! Please do — based on
the location, of course; parents should use their
best judgment. But children always remind people of
what this is all about.
That’s the theme of a short story that Bethany in
North Carolina posted on the 40 Days for Life blog.
Here’s what she wrote:
After I packed up my children, ages 2-and-a-half and 5,
and began driving to the clinic for my morning prayer
hour, I wondered if I should have made some sort of sign
to hold. It was spitting rain, so I hoped to park as
close as possible to the vigil site, in case I needed
to keep the children in the car.
By the time I got there, it had cleared enough that I
felt comfortable putting my children in the double
stroller. There were two other prayer volunteers on
site, including one who is a year-round sidewalk
We greeted each other and I parked the children on the
sidewalk across the street from the clinic.
The children and I and began to pray by singing very
softly: a couple decades of the rosary, “Jesus Loves
the Little Children,” “He’s Got the Whole World In His
Hands,” etc. And then I noticed something unusual.
In the middle of the parking lot stood one of the
volunteer escorts, instead of keeping post on the steps
like normal. She was an older woman, and I could tell
by her stance and the way she kept looking at me that
she was not happy about our presence. We just kept
praying and singing.
I saw the woman go back to the steps and speak to one
of the other escorts, and I had the distinct impression
that I was being ridiculed. About 10 minutes later, the
woman removed her escort vest and went to her car,
shaking her head my direction. I steeled myself for
a confrontation and prayed for wisdom.
Sure enough, the woman paused at the parking lot exit
with her window rolled down. “As a grandma,” the woman
said, “it breaks my heart to see those children out
here like that.” And then she drove off, without
giving me a chance to respond.
As I exchanged thoughts with the other prayer
volunteers, I occurred to me that the sign I had
belatedly wondered about making for my prayer hour
had already been made — my little children. They were
all the sign needed to speak for life!
Please pray for that clinic escort, that her heart
would break, not for children singing happily in the
drizzling rain, but for the countless babies dying
inside the abortion clinic.
Pray that she will acknowledge them as the persons
they already are, children who lead us to sing on their
behalf because they will likely not be given the chance.
Day 15 - March 7
Pray that we will not become defeated by the enemy's attacks but rather call on the name of the Lord who is on our side and our help in time of trouble.
What if the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us? They would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger. Praise the Lord, who did not let their teeth tear us apart! Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
-- Psalm 124:2,3,6,8
The enemy attacks in many ways, but one of his favorites is to slander us with hopes of tarnishing our reputation and character, and ultimately to defeat our good work for the Lord. It is interesting to note however that it is usually not the slander that causes harm to our testimony, but our response to the slander. Proverbs 24:10 says, "If you faint in the day of adversity your strength is small."
So if we are applying God's truths to our lives moment by moment, we are not swayed by the lies of the enemy and we will be strong.
Standing on the front lines, armed with God's truth, places you in the battlefield for the mind. As you are prepared to present words of love, for the sake of the unborn and for the distraught and confused women and men who are entering the abortion facilities, know that the enemy has prepared his forces to attack your mind.
Unkind words from a protester, or vicious lies in the local paper about who you are and what your mission is, can indeed be hurtful. But rather than give in to defeat, that is the time to shine for the Lord, standing firm, as you call on Him to defeat the enemy.
Remember the words of Romans 8:31, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" Let's stand strong for those who need us most.
Dear Lord, help us to ignore the verbal attacks of the enemy and instead turn to You, our refuge and strength. Help us to find shelter in the blessed promises and provisions of Your Word. Thank you that no enemy can defeat us, and we praise You knowing that nothing can separate us from Your love. In the name of Jesus, we come to You, amen.
40 Days for Life board of directors
When I was 19 years old, I heard five courageous women
give testimonies about how their abortions hurt them.
Their testimonies had a HUGE impact on me then — and
they still do today.
Abortion brings emotional and spiritual suffering that
can last for years — decades, even. Through 40 Days
for Life campaigns, we are hearing about many people
who are seeking Christ’s healing after abortion.
“She was a beautiful woman with large dark eyes that
spoke of deep hurt,” Abigail said, of the woman who
approached her at the 40 Days for Life vigil. “She
had been forced to have an abortion and, though it
was more than 20 years ago, she had never received
help or healing for the pain and void it left in her
heart and body.”
Abigail assured her that in Christ, she could find
peace. “It’s beautiful to watch a woman take the
first step to healing by breaking the silence and
shame of abortion and asking for help,” she said.
But that’s not the whole story. The woman told Abigail
that she had become pregnant again and was being
coerced into a second abortion. “But she knew she
couldn’t go through with it.”
She pointed to a young man and said, “That is my son”
— the child she did not abort. With him was his infant
daughter — her grandchild, who would have never been
born if shed had the second abortion.
“God continues to meet both the physical and spiritual
needs of His people,” Abigail said. “This is what HE
is doing in YOU when you sign up for a prayer slot!”
A volunteer tells of a man who went to pray at the
40 Days for Life vigil.
He shared a story with this volunteer about something
that had happened in his life many years ago. His
girlfriend had become pregnant — and he’d paid for
“He had kept his secret for years — until this very
day, when God called him to pray,” the volunteer said.
The man prayed at the vigil for several hours.
“Thanks be to God for the mercy and love he shows us
through his forgiveness,” the volunteer said. “The
grief this man poured out from his soul will always
be in my heart.”
A volunteer offered a “precious feet” pin to a woman
who was leaving Planned Parenthood. Her hands were
shaking, but she took it, asking what it was.
When the volunteer explained it’s what a baby’s feet
look like at 10 weeks into pregnancy, the woman began
She has five children, she explained. But she’d also
had an abortion and still suffers emotionally. Yet
here she was at Planned Parenthood, pondering another
Volunteers went into action. One offered information
about pro-life pregnancy and post-abortion resources,
while another assured the woman that choosing life for
her baby was God’s will.
“Later that day, she arrived at the pregnancy resource
center and got the help she needed,” said Lori in
Hayward. “We are humbled by the many blessings God has
given us this day. We pray God will continue to give us
the grace to accomplish all He expects of us.”
Day 16 - March 8
May the mystery of the Incarnation increase our zeal for defending life.
Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
-- Luke 1:30-33
"God has assumed Humanity, joining it with Divinity, and kindled in men's hearts new love of me." These words were written by a Roman poet in the Fourth Century. He spent his life finding ways to express the greatest mystery of the world: the incarnation, in which God became man.
Often the womb has been referred to as the "first home of the whole human race." It is the place where life begins, where our stories start. In the womb the great men and women of history began their magnificent march through life. In the womb Divinity met humanity, and God the Son was born into the world. As one of the Fathers of the early church, St. Leo the Great, declared, "Within her spotless womb Wisdom built itself a house and the Word became flesh."
Recently, I was at the hospital for the birth of my fourth grandchild. Looking through the nursery window at the rows of newly born babies, I began to think of the great stories that would be written about these tiny lives. During his visitation with the Virgin Mary, the angel prophesied to Mary about the life of her child. Here in this hospital, I pondered, what would he say about each of these? Would they meet the one who also came from His mother's womb to redeem the world and kindle our hearts afresh for God? I thanked God for each baby alive and prayed for each story yet to be written.
Heavenly Father, you have made the womb of each woman a very special place. Help us to hold fast to the sanctity of this first home of humanity, remembering the wonderful mystery, that God inhabited the womb of a young woman and came forth as the savior and deliverer of the world. We ask this in the Name of the one who came forth, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
National Pro-life Religious Council
Day 17 - March 9
May the Lord of Light and Life unite us, shine in us and through us to make a difference in the darkness.
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
— Ephesians 5:8-13
For centuries physicists debated the nature of light. Two theories surfaced. The “corpuscular theory” maintained that light consisted of particles emitted from a light source. This explained some properties of light, but not all. The “wave theory” stated that light emitted from its source as waves. Again, this explained some properties of light but not all. So, the debate continued. Did light consist of particles or waves?
In the early twentieth century, Albert Einstein answered the question-”Yes!” (And you thought Einstein was complicated!) He showed that light consists of “particles,” little bundles of energy called “photons.” However, when all of these photons zip along together, they behave as a wave.
Sometimes pro-life Christians can feel like a photon, a little particle of light, and we wonder if we can possibly make a difference in a world of darkness and death. The Bible, however, never talks about a “child of light” only “children of light.” When Jesus said in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world,” “You” is plural. When you and I shine in the darkness, others shine with us. We are pro-life “photons” that form a wave of light that can and does make a difference in the darkness.
We are compelled to do so. Jesus hung and suffered on the darkness of the cross and paid the bloody price for our sins. Now the light of His empty tomb shines upon us through His Spirit cleansing us and declaring us “children of light.” But we are called to be more than “glow in the dark” children of light. We are to “walk as children of light” and take no part in the “unfruitful works of darkness.” But it does not stop with passive restraint. We “photons” are called to action, to “expose” the works of darkness.
40 Days for Life epitomizes this. Our prayer, witness, and truth spoken in love seeks to expose the darkness of death and bring others into the marvelous light of Jesus Christ. When we stand and pray, we never stand alone. The Light of the World is there and He joins you with your fellow “lights of the world.” The wave of light He produces shatters the darkness. It changes and saves lives. Shine on fellow photons!
Shine Jesus, shine in us and through us into the darkness and upon those struggling in the darkness that they might be drawn to the Light of Life. Amen.
May we absorb the truth that God is paying attention to us, and to each human life, personally and individually.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. -- Psalm 8:3-9
How often we ignore the phrase, "stop and smell the roses" and instead submit to the all too "urgent" task at hand. Is this tendency what keeps us, at least in part, from acknowledging that God's care for His sacred creation is paramount in His own mind?
The Psalmist speaks of God's handiwork: the heavens, the work of his "fingers," and then points to God's masterpiece - human life. He declares to us that God is mindful of us. God keeps His masterpiece in His thoughts.
God, the creator of the awe-inspiring heavens, is not distracted by the tasks before Him. He is not pulled away, as we might be, by thoughts of something "more important." God is paying attention to and attending to His crowning glory, His masterpiece of creation, which cannot be duplicated or replaced, which surpasses the beauty of all other created things - the human being.
There is no way to adequately describe how God feels about us as human beings. There are no words to fully portray His love, compassion or desire to be in communion with us. Perhaps, the closest we can come, is to contemplate the thoughts of a mother as she gazes for the first time at her newborn child. God cares for Life. We, as His followers, should take time to consider the life He has created and called upon us to love and protect.
Lord, you are the creator of all things. Guide my thoughts to consider your creation in all of its majesty, beauty and holiness. Guide my heart especially to your creation of precious human life. Help me to comprehend how essential life is in your own heart. Teach me to appreciate, love and protect all human life through your son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr. Terry Gensemer National Director, Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life
Day 19 - March 11
Pray that when those representing Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups see volunteers for 40 Days for Life, they see ambassadors of Christ, and may each volunteer be consciously aware at all times of Whom we represent.
I...beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness, and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.
— Ephesians 4:1b-2
When Carol Everett, a former abortionist and post-abortive woman, was asked what turned her heart from death to life in Christ, she said, “It was unconditional love,” shown by a man who prayed daily for her in front of the abortion clinic where she worked.
He told Carol that “God had sent him” because there was someone in there that God wanted out. She left 27 days later and now serves as Christ’s ambassador to help others. We too have been sent by Christ as an ambassador to love unconditionally those God seeks to “get out” of their bondage and sin. What a high calling it is — much higher than any presidential appointment to another country.
In his book, Fishers of Men, Dr. Sumner Wemp describes what it means to be an ambassador of Christ, the King of Kings:
God has chosen us (John 15:16)
We are sent into a world that is not our home (1 Peter 2:11)
Our walk must match our talk (1 Timothy 3:7)
We must abide in Him for daily instruction (John 15:5)
Know our purpose — to seek and to save that which is lost (Luke 19:10)
We are to reconcile others to God with His authority (Matthew 28:19-20)
Do not let kindness and truth leave you (Proverbs 3:3-4)
Our service is to be grounded and rooted in love (Ephesians 3:17)
Pray that we each will walk worthy of the calling with which we were called!
Dear Heavenly Father, we are humbled that you have called us and appointed us to be ambassadors of Christ in a world that is not our home. We pray that your Holy Spirit will empower us to walk worthy of the calling. We pray that Your unconditional love will flow through us onto those who desperately need Your saving grace. In the name of Christ who is worthy, amen.
Carmen Pate 40 Days for Life board of directors
For many of you participating in 40 Days for Life,
there are times when, in worldly terms, it seems like
a thankless activity.
When we speak of the 5,200+ babies God has spared from
abortion during 40 Days for Life vigils, we usually add,
“that we know of.” There are instances where no one but
God knows the rest of the story.
Did a woman indeed reject abortion? Or did she just
go home, only to return another day ... or perhaps to
another abortion center?
Did she drive by, see you praying and keep going?
You may have helped saves lives you’ll never know about.
All you can do is pray ... and have faith that God’s
voice will get through. Mother Teresa said, “We are not
called to be successful. We are called to be faithful.”
One of the prayer volunteers in Michigan saw a couple
outside the abortion center one morning.
The man was loud and emotional, moving his arms as he
spoke. The woman was crying, wiping her eyes as she
tried to respond to him. The volunteer wondered if
perhaps the man was trying to talk the woman into
“something she was not in agreement with.”
The vigil participants — one of whom was kneeling —
prayed for the couple. Their animated discussion
continued for about 15 minutes. The couple got into a
car, kept talking for a while, and finally drove away.
No one knows what happened next — but at least this
day, the man and woman did not enter the abortion
facility. One of the volunteers did wonder if “praying
on our knees, in front of people going in for an
abortion, is the secret weapon that God wants us to use.”
As a volunteer arrived to pick up signs at the 40 Days
for Life vigil, a car with a young couple slowed down
as they approached the driveway.
“They looked at us,” said a vigil participant, “saw our
signs and continued past.” They turned around, drove by
again and then left without entering the abortion site.
“Please pray,” said the volunteer, “that if this was in
fact a couple considering abortion, that the Lord will
move their hearts to spare the life of their innocent
child, whom they will one day grow to love and cherish,
if they only give him or her a chance.”
Therese watched and prayed as a couple with a young
daughter entered Planned Parenthood — and stayed
inside for nearly an hour.
“We were praying for them and for all of the souls
entering the doors of Planned Parenthood,” she said.
As the family left the building, one of the counselors
offered them some literature, which they accepted.
“They seemed very interested and appreciative of what
he had to share,” Therese said. “It was evident to us
that the Holy Spirit was at work there on that sidewalk
right alongside us.”
Women have abortions because they have lost hope.
Abortion centers are hopeless places. They survive on
fear and despair. When you are there praying, you are
the last sign of hope for the baby as the woman enters
to have the abortion ... and the first sign of hope —
and first impression of mercy — as the woman exits
after the abortion.
This hope and mercy come from Christ, in whom all things
are possible. Thank you for bringing His hope and mercy
to the places they are so desperately needed.
It was cold and snowing outside Planned Parenthood in
Dover, and Darla and her two teenaged sons were thinking
about leaving early. They’re glad they didn’t.
A woman came up to talk. She told them she had six
children ... but aborted her seventh. At the time, she
thought she couldn’t handle another child. Now, she
considers that the worst mistake of her life. And she’s
worried that a friend is about to make the same mistake.
The friend is a teenager who is pregnant. Her family and
most of her friends are pressuring her to abort — all
except this woman, who knows abortion’s impact firsthand.
The teenager walked out of Planned Parenthood, met her
friend, and spoke briefly. The woman then returned to
talk to Darla and her sons.
“You ARE making a difference out here,” the woman said.
“My teenaged friend has decided, because of your presence,
that she cannot go through with an abortion.”
Darla said, “I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit
prompted us to stay, despite the bad weather.”
Laura left a note on the 40 Days for Life blog. She
brings a group of families to pray at a San Jose
abortion center every week — including a number
“It breaks my heart to see how some people do not even
respect life after birth,” she said, noting the escorts
that glare at them and the drivers who offer rude
gestures as they speed by. “But we get so many positive
responses from drivers too. They honk and wave, and
give us thumbs up.”
On a cold, windy day, a driver slowed down and shouted,
“Put your kids back in school!” The group just continued
to pray quietly, until a stranger walked up to shake
their hands and thank them for being there.
“Never lose hope,” Laura wrote, “and never stop fighting
for these precious babies, wounded mothers, boyfriends,
husbands, families, doctors, nurses, and everyone
involved in abortion. The tide is changing.”
“Did you know that our prayers at the vigil are just
the visible sign of 40 Days for Life?” asked Ann in
Richmond. “In the quiet places of our city, prayers
are being lifted to the Lord for an end to abortion.”
She listed just a few of those places:
* In the evening hours at a small chapel
* In the rooms of elderly residents
* In the cells of inmates at a nearby prison
* In the classrooms of students
* In the homes and cars and churches of the community
“We have great back-up at the vigil, great prayer cover,”
she said. “God sees all who join us and hears all of our
prayers. Thank you very much to everyone who prays for an
end to abortion, at the vigil and beyond.”
Day 20 - March 12
We pray for humility in our work for God's Kingdom.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
-- Philippians 2:5-8
There is no limit to what we can accomplish when we don't care who gets the credit.
Jesus Christ's life on earth exemplifies a total submission to the will of the Father. His humility, compassion, gentleness and thoughtfulness are reflected over and over again in the New Testament. He was God incarnate, yet He chose to be born to a humble, working class home.
How absurd it must have seemed to the rich and powerful that the Son of God, the Messiah, the one foretold by the prophets, the 'King of the Jews' was born and raised as a simple peasant.
During His thirty-three years on earth, He sought no riches, claimed no secular power and gathered no possessions. Yet, His short time on earth changed more lives, softened more hearts, and gave hope to more people, than all the rich and powerful human 'kings' combined. And, at the end of His life on earth, by dying on the cross, He opened the door to eternal life for those who heed his words and follow in his footsteps.
O Lord, help us follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Let us humbly and diligently work to restore legal protection for the unborn, the disabled, the medically dependent and all innocent children of God whose lives are threatened. Let us remember the old adage that "He can never lead who has not first learned to obey." And, Lord, grant us a peaceful heart as we labor in your name. Amen.
Outreach Director, National Right to Life
Day 21 - March 13
We pray for the conversion of all those who refuse to acknowledge that human life belongs only to God.
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations."
-- Jeremiah 1:4-5
To be or not to be? There is no question!
The question of "being" is something philosophers have long pondered. What is the meaning of being and what is the source? In the passage before us, we have our answer. We have being because we are known by God.
For God to declare that he knows and sets apart the prophet Jeremiah even before he is conceived indicates that our being rests in God's own being. Because He is and because He wills we, therefore, are and do. The Apostle Paul says as much when he declares before the philosophers of his day, "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
One of the tragedies of the abortion culture is that life in the womb has been so heartbreakingly devalued. To embrace the arguments of the "pro-choice" crowd one must conclude that the child in the womb doesn't exist, isn't there, has no being. But nothing could be further from the truth. That child is known by God and, as such, has being.
Lord God, we confess that in You we live and move and have our being. Because You are, we are. May we find grace from You to affirm the being of every human and may we labor to make this truth known to the world around us. Amen.
Rev. J. Kirk van der Swaagh
Pastor, Conservative Congregational Christian Conference
We start the second half of this 40 Days for Life
campaign with HUGE news — and amazing proof that God
is at work through your efforts!
Just watch this new video at:
This short video documents the historic closure of a
Planned Parenthood center on the very day it went out
of business following the first — and ONLY — local
40 Days for Life campaign held outside its doors.
It gets better — this local 40 Days for Life campaign
was led by the woman who managed that Planned Parenthood
center for more than 17 years!
You will hear from her in this short video. You’ll
also learn about ANOTHER Planned Parenthood facility
that closed the same day — following a local 40 Days
for Life campaign in the public right-of-way outside.
Watch the inspiring video now at:
Marie in Stafford says the 40 Days for Life vigil there
takes place outside a small Planned Parenthood office.
“We have no opportunity to interact with clients unless
they come up to us, which never happens,” she said.
“I’m sure some of our volunteers wonder if we are
making a difference.”
But Marie knows that isn’t the case at all. A woman —
she thinks it was the centers director — came out at
the end of the day. As she drove past the volunteers
who were praying, she rolled down her car window and
called out, “GO HOME!”
“Thank you, Lord, for the evidence that we are making
an impact,” Marie said. “They do feel our presence
inside that clinic!”
As Beth and James were ending their prayer time at the
40 Days for Life vigil in Tempe, a young woman drove up
and spoke with them.
“Thank you for what you are doing,” she said. “The
mother of my baby was a victim of incest.”
There were tears in her eyes, and her voice was
shaking. “If she had listened to people,” she said,
“I would not have my beautiful son. To think that
his life and the lives of other babies are not of value
— that’s just wrong.”
“She thanked us again,” Beth said, and they prayed for
God’s blessings for the woman and her son.
Day 22 - March 14
Pray for fathers who participated in the decision to abort their child, and for those who did not have a voice, that they would find freedom and healing in Christ.
If indeed you have heard Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
-- Ephesians 4: 21-23
According to the Guttmacher Institute, one-third of American women will have had an abortion by age 45. Seldom reported however is the fact that an equally significant number of men have played a role in terminating a pregnancy. Some have participated through persuasion, or by providing the financial means for the abortion. Still others were against an abortion, but had no sway in the decision to terminate their child.
Only in recent years have we realized that men suffer from their loss, as more and more seek healing. Warren Williams, founder of Fathers and Brothers Ministries says he believes men are coming forward for help because God instilled in men a desire to be a protector of their lineage, a provider for their families, to be a husband and father.
Men are suffering and grieving the loss of their children, and though their grief may be expressed differently than that of a woman, it is grief nonetheless and they too need tender care and biblical counseling to experience forgiveness and healing.
Intervention at the appropriate time in the decision-making process may spare both the young man and woman from the lifelong pain and trauma of abortion. Biblical counseling for post-abortive men and women is essential for them to heal and begin their life anew in Christ.
Dear Heavenly Father, We pray for young men who participated in the termination of their child and are broken as You are over their loss. Forgive their sin, Lord, and bring opportunity for healing and renewal of their minds in Christ Jesus. For those suffering from an abortion they did not choose, restore their joy as they learn to forgive others and trust You with their future. In the name of Christ, who heals the brokenhearted, amen.
40 Days for Life board of directors
In the first half of a 40 Days for Life campaign
volunteers can be hesitant and some in the community
may be skeptical of the ongoing vigil ...
... BUT by the second half of the campaign, the focus
shifts to the reality of abortion in the community and
the campaign effort begins to rapidly snowball!
In fact, we are starting to get reports of clinic
workers on the brink of conversion (more on this in
a future e-mail) and the numbers at the vigils are
growing — and growing fast!
Here are a few examples.
Students at the Father Pierz School of Religion are
taking part in the St. Cloud campaign. The school
administrator says these 8th to 12th graders watched
a video on abortion, made pro-life posters, then
participated in 40 Days for Life events outside
“We talked about how women who are seeking abortions
need our love,” said the administrator. “Women who have
had abortions need our love more than ever — and the
love of Jesus.” Students were inspired to stand up for
what they believe in and to not be afraid to stand up
“The students held their posters with pride as cars
drove by and honked or waved. Every time a car would
honk, the students would cheer loudly,” she said. “It
was a beautiful site to witness.”
For pictures of the vigil in St. Cloud, please go to:
“As these days tick by and we stay out consistently,
we are starting to attract more attention and
reactions,” said Erin in Lancaster.
She said it’s especially gratifying to see teenagers
and young adults at the 40 Days for Life vigil in
Lancaster. “It is our age group that has the largest
percentage of abortions,” Erin said, “and we need to
represent what freedom God has blessed our generation:
freedom in truth, goodness, love and life.”
There have been some unfriendly reactions to the vigil,
Erin said, “but it seems that for every one bad gesture
or comment, there are maybe twenty affirming ones. That
is better than expected!”
To see some photos of the vigil in Lancaster, please
About 50 people gathered outside Planned Parenthood
recently for a special event during the Canton 40 Days
for Life campaign — the Day of Mourning for African-
American Babies and All the Unborn.
About 12 percent of the total U.S. population is black.
But an estimated one third of all abortions involve
black mothers. Other estimates suggest that as many
as half of all black pregnancies end in abortion.
“The event, conducted by Pastors Walter and Darleen
Moss, was an hour of prayer, praise, sermons and
testimonies,” said Linda in Canton. “Due to his stand
for all the unborn and his willingness to speak out
from the pulpit, his road has not been easy.”
She thanked them for speaking the truth and spreading
the Word of God with the love and compassion of Jesus
Christ. “We are so blessed to have both of them leading
us to building a Culture of Life,” she said.
For photos of some of the Canton events, please go to:
Day 23 - March 15
For the medical community, that the truth they know about the human body may become awe and wonder at the God who made it.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
Human beings -- God's tapestries.
Psalm 139 is a psalm that reveals the enormity and otherness of God. His divine attributes are on display: omniscience (2-4), omnipresence (7-12), loving-kindness (17-18), justice (19-20), righteousness (23-24), and omnipotence. Yet, when it came to express this last attribute, what example did the psalmist use - God's creation of mountains, seas, or far-flung galaxies? No, he used none of these. To express the wonder of God's unparalleled creative power the writer mentions the fashioning of the human in the womb (14-16).
The Hebrew word used to express God's forming of us in the womb, raqam, is the same term for needlework or embroidery. In other words, we are a tapestry that displays God's artistic mastery. And, like the artist who knows his creation down to the last detail, God intimately knows us. This reality provokes the writer to awe and wonder. He proclaims, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
What is true for this psalmist is true for each human being. Each is fashioned by God and known by him and we can proclaim on behalf of each, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
Gracious God, help us to appreciate the wonder and beauty of Your creation. Help us proclaim on behalf of every one of our fellow human beings, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." May the knowledge that we are intimately known by You shape our lives and actions. Amen.
Rev. J. Kirk van der Swaagh
Pastor, Conservative Congregational Christian Conference
just got back from visiting the Roanoke, Virginia
campaign, where 40 Days for Life is having a huge
impact in the exact spot where lives are changed —
the public right of way outside the abortion center.
The changes that can be experienced there are profound
— and sometimes unexpected. Here are three examples.
A dad wrote to say he and his teenage son were praying
outside the Planned Parenthood abortion center as part
of the 40 Days for Life vigil.
“We parked the car, crossed the street and walked up
to the black iron fence that surrounded the facility,”
he said. “Almost instantly, tears began to flow from
my eyes and would not stop; my heart felt like it was
being wrenched in my chest.”
His son only had one comment the entire time they were
there: “It feels so sad.” He later told this father he
did not want to speak, “out of fear that he would be
reduced to a sobbing mess on the concrete sidewalk.”
On the drive back home, the teen pulled out his phone
and started calling friends. His dad heard him tell one
friend after another such things as, “I don’t care what
they’re telling you in school. That’s a life inside a
woman, not just a blob of flesh or a tumor! Don’t ever
get an abortion! Don’t encourage someone to do it! Don’t!
“I was taken aback,” the dad said. “I had never seen him
exhibit such a conviction. The vigil changed him. I
think it changed both of us in ways we could not have
For pictures of the vigil in Cincinnati, please go to:
Debbie left a note on the 40 Days for Life blog about
her conversation with a man outside the abortion
center in Haverhill, where she was taking part in
the peaceful vigil.
She spoke to the man, and he told her his daughter was
inside. Debbie asked him, “Is there any way you can
change her mind? That’s your grandchild!”
As he walked toward the building, Debbie told him the
group would be praying. “He turned and gave me thumbs-up.”
About 10 minutes later, the man and his teenage
daughter walked out. “I asked is she going to keep
the baby — and he said we’re still talking about it,”
Debbie said. She then gave them information about the
local pregnancy care center — and the teen smiled.
“I’m still praying for them,” she said, noting there
are so many influences in the world that will tell
them there’s nothing wrong with abortion.
Carolyn and several others were standing in prayer
outside the abortion center in Fairfax when a woman
got out of her car and walked over to the volunteers.
This young woman explained that a year ago, she was
pregnant — and had scheduled an appointment there for
an abortion. When she drove past the building beforehand,
she saw people praying — and she changed her mind.
She then showed the volunteers a picture of her
She had wanted to stop by and tell her story, Carolyn
said, “and to thank us for what we were doing. It was
an amazing ‘God moment,’ and a very encouraging one
that I wanted to pass along.”
Day 24 - March 16
That we may realize the generational impact of abortion.
Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said," If it is thus, why do I live?" So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples, born of you, shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger."
-- Genesis 25:21-23
Human beings -- God's tapestries.
What an answer to prayer!
Who dares to say that the unborn are not human, with distinct personality and character right from the moment of conception? This account emphasizes the vitality and uniqueness of the twins who, because of Isaac's prayer for his wife, were conceived in Rebekah's womb.
When Rebekah was told by the Lord that the older would serve the younger twin, God already knew that Jacob and Esau would lead turbulent and conflicted lives. God knows us and knows all about us, including our personality and disposition long before we are actually born, indeed, from the moment we are conceived in our mother's womb.
What a tragedy of gargantuan proportions that babies, planned and endowed by the Creator, with distinct and unique personalities and with, perhaps, a future and destiny intended for greatness, have their lives snuffed out by cruel abortionists before they ever see the light of day! May our prayers that the dreadful scourge of abortion in our land may vanish be as fervent as Isaac's were for Rebekah.
O, God, you formed us in our mother's womb and planned a unique and special life and purpose for each of us, and we do thank you. Grant that we may pray and work for an end to abortion, especially in these 40 Days, so that no unborn baby you have made may fail to achieve your divine intention for him or her because of intentional abortion. We pray this for the sake of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Rev. Ben Sheldon
President Emeritus, Presbyterians Pro-life and National Pro-life Religious Council
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