Wednesday, September 23, 2015

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 1: It all starts today!

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
Today is the first day of the 17th coordinated international 40 Days for Life campaign ... as  40 days of prayer and fasting … peaceful vigil … and community outreach begins in 307 locations.
Find the nearest one and get involved!
If it’s the first time you’re joining us, welcome! Here's what you can expect:
  • God using the 40-day time period to bring about transformation in you and your community
  • Daily campaign updates showing you how God is at work ... including babies saved from abortion, workers experiencing a change of heart and many other inspiring results
  • A daily scripture and devotional to help guide you as you pray to end abortion where YOU live
Here’s a quick look at two events where 40 Days for Life headquarters team members helped get campaigns off to an enthusiastic start.
Manhattan, New York
Manhattan's first-ever 40 Days for Life campaign kicked off on Saturday night with a crowd of over 100 pro-life New Yorkers. The vigil will take place outside the Margaret Sanger Planned Parenthood Center in lower Manhattan. 
40 Days for Life’s national director, David Bereit, was the guest speaker, sharing the inspiring story of how 40 Days for Life started. Of the abortion center named after Planned Parenthood’s founder, David said, “This is where it began and this is where it must end.”
Campaign leader Jill Gadwood spoke about the need to bring 40 Days for Life to New York City, which is infamously known as the "abortion capital of America." 
“I'm so encouraged by the amount of email I've seen about our upcoming campaign,” Jill said. 
The videos exposing the Planned Parenthood baby parts scandal have helped build interest in Manhattan.
“I'm sure many of you have already seen some of these videos and are disgusted by them,” she said, “but you may not be sure what you can do about it.  Well, I have just the thing. Join Manhattan's first-ever 40 Days for Life campaign to pray and witness for an end to abortion.” 
Aurora, Illinois
Steve Karlen, the 40 Days for Life North American outreach director, helped launch the Aurora campaign. Being there brought back memories for Steve.
“My wife grew up in nearby Naperville,” he said, “and that is where we lived in 2007, when the Planned Parenthood abortion mega-center in Aurora was being finalized. That was our first exposure to 40 Days for Life – and a big reason why we got involved.”
Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, who organized that first 40 Days for Life effort in Aurora, recalled the massive response when Planned Parenthood was trying to open … and told the crowd of the need to bring back that same spirit.
One of the rally speakers told a truly remarkable story. His mom tried taking multiple drugs to have an abortion, but they did not work. She tried to schedule a surgical abortion, but the doctor refused to do it. He attributes his survival to prayer. He now wants to start a maternity safe house in Ghana.

Here's today's devotional from David Brandao, the communications director for 40 Days for Life.
Day 1 intention
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 the infants 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... Give me 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 bring condemnation; 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