Friday, March 6, 2015

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 17: Ask everyone!

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
Praying at the places where abortions actually happen? That’s powerful!

Your presence creates an opportunity to save the life of an innocent child who is close to becoming a statistic. Your willingness to be on the sidewalk is the last sign of hope for the baby before the abortion – and the first sign of mercy for the woman if she has the abortion.

Some people are simply unable to go out and physically pray at the abortion centers. But anyone who prays – wherever you are – can still have a huge impact. Here’s an example of one leader who is exploring all options by simply asking for prayer ... and finding people eager to say “yes!”

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Earlier this year, Jim Ball in Green Bay decided to specifically court the prayers of individuals who can’t make it out to the vigil site.
For years, Jim has led two 24-hour-a-day campaigns each year in the “frozen tundra” of Green Bay—all without missing an hour of coverage! The blustery overnight hours are covered by a group of faithful men who refer to themselves as the Sleep No More team due to their willingness to forgo a good night’s rest in service to abortion-vulnerable mothers and their babies.

After Jim’s efforts helped close Green Bay’s only abortion center in 2013, Jim moved his campaign to the local Planned Parenthood abortion referral center.
Even with the success the Green Bay 40 Days for Life team has been blessed with, the long nights and cold winters take a toll. As a result, Jim decided to recruit off-site prayer warriors to bolster his effort. Jim successfully recruited the Carmelite nuns to pray from their cloister in nearby Denmark, Wisconsin. 

Not only that, but Jim writes, “One of our Sleep No More vets works closely with inmates in the Brown County jail.  He has offered these men the hope of praying for us, as we pray for them.”
No fewer than 15 men working to turn their lives around have adopted a prayer shift from a distance—praying in solidarity with specific individuals, churches and groups who will be at the vigil site.

Abuja, Nigeria

As part of their community outreach, the 40 Days for Life team in Abuja has been bringing their message to local schools, as a means of living out Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
After the group offered presentations for two classes of junior secondary students, the principals of both schools were so excited that they asked the team to come back every month and continue the program. “Students participated, welcomed the pro-life message and promised to invite their friends in the next meeting,” said Kelechi, the local leader.
“I am very much impressed about this,” said Fr. Peace Ike, who helped lead the classes. “I would like to state clearly that 40 Days for Life has come to stay in Nigeria. I will do my best to see that it will continue to flourish.”
Today’s devotional is from Dr. James I. Lamb, executive director of Lutherans for Life.  

Day 17 intention

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
Reflection by Dr. James I. Lamb

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.

Printable devotional

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For life,

 Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life