Thursday, March 5, 2015

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 16: More prayer ... fewer customers

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
Does praying on the sidewalk in front of an abortion business do any good?
“You bet!” said one of the volunteers at a 40 Days for Life vigil.
It seems the abortion center (we’re keeping the location confidential) hired a security guard … but the guard and the vigil participants have gotten to know each other and chat regularly.
“We’re told that the employees from the abortion clinic get ‘heated’ when the ‘old ladies’ show up to pray … because the clinic gets tons of no-shows,” said the volunteer.
God certainly uses those “old ladies” (and many others) ... and a friendly hello from them can go a long way on the sidewalk!

Colorado Springs, Colorado

“In spite of the brutal cold and snow,” said Michele in Colorado Springs, “Planned Parenthood was busy. It was very disappointing that there were many cars there.” Volunteers prayed, sang and read the Psalms. Two different passersby stopped to chat … and offer hot chocolate and coffee.

Conversations on the sidewalk often tell a lot … and people just seem to be drawn to the prayer volunteers when they have burdens to share.

One vigil participant spoke to a young man who had just dropped off his girlfriend. He did not know that the building was an abortion center, and he seemed quite upset about it.

Another volunteer watched as a woman pulled up to the stop sign at the corner, sobbing behind the wheel. The woman rolled down her window and said she’d lost her son a few weeks ago – she did not offer any details. The vigil participants said they would pray for her.

“We pray and hope and trust in God,” Michele said. “He is working on hearts.”

Marietta, Georgia

As volunteers prayed at the 40 Days for Life vigil in Marietta, they watched eight young couples arrive in one hour alone. Most of the time, the man was driving and the woman was the passenger – “and the women looked very sad,” one of the local leaders said.

“One couple began to argue with each other when they saw our signs,” she noted. “Their expressions seemed to indicate that they carry very heavy crosses in life, and this was brought home to me big time as we meditated on Jesus carrying the Cross. Please keep all these couples in your prayer.”

Eureka, California

The Eureka team sent some pictures that prove the weather isn’t so bad in some areas. “We've got it easy compared to those praying in snowy areas,” said one of the 40 Days for Life volunteers in Eureka, who’s been seeing all of the pictures we’ve sent showing frigid vigils.

The Eureka team noted that if you drive past an abortion center and see lots of cars … it’s most likely an abortion day. “When you are planning your schedule for next week, don't forget to plan some time to pray at the vigil. Not only will it be powerful, you may meet a new friend!”

Today’s devotional is from Randolph Sly of the National Pro-life Religious Council.

Day 16 intention

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

Reflection by Randolph Sly

“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.

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.”

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.

Printable devotional

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