Wednesday, February 18, 2015

40 Days For Life: DAY 1: Starting in a blizzard

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,

You know, it’s cold in many of the places where 40 Days for Life vigils start today!

Even so, the weather certainly hasn’t deterred the many volunteers who will kick off 40 days of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion in 252 cities in 19 countries! 

The weather will be unpredictable from now until the campaign ends on March 29, but one thing is certain – you will have the opportunity to stand in peaceful, prayerful witness as the last sign of hope for babies scheduled to be abortedand the first sign of mercy to moms leaving after an abortion. 

What will you do over these next 40 days? 

Will you join in prayer? Fasting? If you’ve never done so before, will you go out for the first time to pray at the local abortion facility?

Metro Phoenix, Arizona 

While many of the campaign locations I’ll visit soon will be cold, I started the campaign in Arizona – where no one seemed to be complaining about the weather. I spoke at an event that launched four vigils led by amazing women – in Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler and Glendale.

While I was there, I was able to spend time with Bishop Thomas Olmsted – an excellent shepherd who is generous with his support for 40 Days for Life.

It may be fun to talk about the weather, but when it comes to 40 Days for Life, it’s clear that faith, joy and courage are not determined by climate.

Augusta, Maine

What was the 40 Days for Life kickoff event like in Augusta?

“It was cold!” said Janet, the local leader. Augusta’s kickoff was moved to a different day – on short notice – because a blizzard was in the forecast for the original date. As it was, the team there faced a combination of temperatures that were well below freezing and “massive cold winds.”
That frigid weather did not prevent an enthusiastic group of volunteers from venturing out to get Augusta’s eighth 40 Days for Life vigil off to an energetic start. Besides, they were well-prepared with their winter attire! 

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Amie, the local leader in Fayetteville, said more than 50 people took part in what she called the “putting-your-heart-in-it Valentine kickoff” on Saturday, Valentine’s Day.

She noted the determination of several of the volunteers who will be taking part in this year’s vigil. “There was a man recovering from double knee replacements. One speaker was toting an oxygen tank since changes in the weather had triggered breathing difficulties. We had a young female student on crutches recovering from a recent surgery and a young man in a wheelchair. Nothing was going to stop them!

Because this campaign encompasses a wide geographic area, “we were fortunate to meet, face to face, the individuals from surrounding churches who will assist,” Amie said.

“God’s generosity will never be outdone!” she said. “We put our campaign in God’s hands.”

Today’s devotional is from David Brandao, the national communications director of 40 Days for Life.


That we may use these 40 Days for Life to plead for God's mercy and grace upon all those involved in the sin of abortion. 


Blow the trumpet in Zion! Proclaim a fast, call an assembly. Gather the people, notify the congregation. Assemble the elders; gather the children and theinfants at the breast... Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, "Spare, O Lord, your people." 

— Joel 2:15-17 


The toll of abortion cannot be measured. We hear estimates of almost 50 million innocent victims, but that's only one aspect of the harm that has unfolded in abortion’s wake. There are also the mothers and fathers of these millions, as well as the grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles,cousins. Unborn lives destroyed. Lives of the living shattered. 

It’s overwhelming and depressing, but even in the midst of such unfathomable darkness, the church teaches us to have hope. Yes, it was indeed Calvary that followed Christ’s 40 days in the desert, but without Calvary there would have been no Resurrection — His victory over death that opened the gates of heaven to those who believe in and follow Him. 

The psalmist encourages us to go humbly before God as we seek His will: “A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me... Giveme back the joy of your salvation and a willing spirit sustain in me... O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise” (Psalm 51:12, 14, 17). 

We are called to be God’s messengers; or as the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians: “We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ: be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). 

That is the true message to all we encounter at the abortion centers and in our communities who have been deceived by the Culture of Death. We don't bringcondemnation; we bring God’s good news. 


Lord, we ask for the strength, courage, wisdom, determination and stamina to carry out this mission according to Your will. 

Guide us, we pray, as we go forth and proclaim Your truth, always doing so with a spirit of love and compassion, as was demonstrated to us by Your Son, Jesus Christ. In His name we pray, 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