Saturday, March 26, 2011

DAY 18: Keep me safe, O God


Dear Deacon,

"Keep me safe, O God; in you I take refuge."

Those words come from Psalm 16, a prayer for God's

God is clearly blessing 40 Days for Life and has
protected all of us as we confront the evil of
abortion ...

... but we know that Satan doesn't take our efforts
lightly. Our prayers and peaceful actions are an
affront to one of his strongholds -- the abortion

And we've been blessed to have more than 400,000
people participate in more than 1,300 local 40 Days
for Life campaigns over the last three-and-a-half
years with VERY FEW problems.

Unfortunately, there have been a few recent incidents
at 40 Days for Life vigils -- and I'm convinced that
the Lord's protection kept these situations from
being much worse ...

... but it underscores the importance of our fervent
prayers for the safety and protection of EVERYONE
participating in 40 Days for Life campaigns.

Here's what happened ...


A passing driver threw an explosive device in a
plastic bottle toward the local 40 Days for Life
vigil. Fortunately no one was hurt as the device
exploded on the sidewalk.

Our amazing pro-life legal team -- at the Chicago-
based Thomas More Society -- immediately got involved
after the initial police response did not measure up
to the seriousness of the situation.

The elderly prayer volunteer who was nearest to the
explosion said she would not let this incident keep
her away from the 40 Days for Life vigil.


A young woman took issue with the 40 Days for Life
vigil's presence outside an abortion center and began
to angrily dismantle the group's 40 Days for Life

One of the vigil participants tried to recover the
banner -- and the woman punched him in the stomach,
knocking him down. He was more shocked than hurt,
and simply asked that we all pray for the young
woman and her companion.


A man with a handkerchief covering his face tried to
show pornographic pictures to 40 Days for Life vigil
participants, some of whom were praying with their

Police were called after the man mumbled something
about a bomb. There was no bomb, but officers arrived
and quickly got things under control.


You may have seen reports about these events on
pro-life news services or blogs, and we wanted to
assure you that we are aware of these challenges --
and we are continually working to ensure the ongoing
safety of ALL 40 Days for Life participants.

Though these incidents are very isolated and
incredibly rare, they provide an opportunity to
share some basic safety considerations ...

We strongly recommend that prayer teams have video
cameras at the vigil site for security. People are
much less likely to misbehave if they know they're
being recorded. And if they persist, there is a visual
record of their actions to share with authorities.

It is also advisable to have a cell phone with you.
If someone unruly shows up, or if you have any safety
concerns, do not hesitate to contact the police.

Additionally, we recommend that it is always better
to have at least two people present at the vigil.
It's easy to get so lost in prayer that you aren't
totally aware of circumstances going on around you.

It is not surprising that sometimes people get
upset when they see us praying peacefully on the
sidewalk. We regularly hear about drivers who yell
obscenities and wave rude gestures at vigil

Please pray for these people.

Some of them are angry because they've been
negatively impacted by abortion themselves.

Let's be steadfast, and remember the words of Jesus
in Matthew 5:11-12:

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute
you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you
because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great
is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they
persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Today's devotional is from Fr. Terry Gensemer, national
director of Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life.


May we absorb the truth that God is paying attention
to us, and to each human life, personally and


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

REFLECTION by Fr. Terry Gensemer

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

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

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.


To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:


Yours for Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: How has 40 Days for Life in your community
affected you? Please let us know by posting a
response to today's blog entry at:

 40 Days for Life

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Suite 102229
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