Wednesday, October 22, 2014

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 29: Small towns and abortion

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
Abortions don’t happen in the White House or the Supreme Court ... but in cities and towns, large and small. In fact, the abortion industry has often grown by moving into smaller communities.
Cobleskill, New York is a small town. It has around 5,000 people … stores and businesses … a regional state university campus … and a Planned Parenthood abortion facility. It’s the sort of place you might drive through and say, “Why does a nice town like this have an abortion center?”
It’s often because the abortion industry doesn’t have to ask permission to come to a town — and many times, they don’t even announce they’re coming.
But there’s a prayerful response to Planned Parenthood in Cobleskill ... and it has been anything but small.
Cobleskill, New York

“Planned Parenthood moved to their current location almost exactly two years ago and the prayer coverage for this campaign continues to grow,” said Patrick, the local leader in Cobleskill. Some of those people pray there every day. “It is so encouraging to see men and women ... pray so humbly for God’s mercy and grace to fall on the community of Cobleskill.”
Patrick said he almost gave into some negative thinking a few years ago – the idea that he didn’t know enough people in Cobleskill to put together a 40 Days for Life campaign. He admits that it isn’t always easy to stand and pray in public, “but God is honoring our willingness to humble ourselves before Him and before man.”

During this fifth 40 Days for Life vigil, Patrick has been sensing some changes around town. “There has been a noticeable shift in response to our presence outside of Planned Parenthood,” he said. “The shift is positive and having an impact on the local residents.”

The reaction of people driving by is also changing, with more people waving and smiling … with negative reactions diminishing to only a handful. “Just in the past couple of weeks I have received encouragement from several residents who stopped to talk and say they appreciate our public prayer.”

Patrick also thanked the pastor of a nearby church for allowing vigil participants to park there. The church provides a place to store campaign materials when they’re not in use.

“About one week into the campaign I was praying in front of Planned Parenthood while also enjoying my hot cup of coffee and the first car pulled up and parked in the parking lot,” Patrick said. “I knew it was an employee so I kept praying for the Holy Spirit to come in power.”

He recognized the woman as someone he’d spoken to before, exchanging simple greetings of “Good morning!” or “Good night!”

“This time the Lord coordinated everything perfectly and I was able to introduce myself from across the street. She reciprocated with her name,” he said, “and we shook hands. God is moving in Cobleskill!

Here’s today’s devotional from Carmen Pate of Alliance Ministries.
Day 29 intention

Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgressions of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us; and will subdue our iniquities.

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.”

— Micah 7:18-19

Micah had been sent to declare God’s judgment and call the people of Judah to repentance. The people had become spiritually and ethically corrupt.

Prosperity had hardened the rich, the poor were oppressed and the heirs to David's throne were practicing abominations and idolatry.

Is it not easy to see the parallels of God's people in Micah’s day and God's people today in America?

Through Micah, God corrected His people by demanding justice, not burnt offerings and sacrifice. He told them to love mercy, and to walk humbly with their God.

In speaking of Old Testament stories of God’s people turning from God to sin and idolatry, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10: 11, "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come."

Many biblical scholars believe God has removed His hedge of protection around our nation in response to our sins of immorality and abortion. Let us cry out in repentance for His mercy once again. And may we honor His faithfulness by doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God.
Heavenly Father, eternal, changeless, and faithful Lord, we recognize that we are in need of forgiveness as a nation, for turning our hearts away from you. Hear our prayer of repentance Lord and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We praise you for your tender mercies and your compassion that never fails.

Lord, it is only by Your grace that we can live lives that are just, and merciful. May Your Holy Spirit enable us to walk humbly in Your presence and may You be pleased to restore America so that a generation not yet born may praise you. In the name of Christ Jesus, who has done great things for us, Amen.
Printable devotional

To download today’s devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:
For Life,
 Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life