Wednesday, September 30, 2015

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 8: Fences can't stop prayer

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
Praying outside of abortion centers saves lives. Don't just take it from me – listen to former Planned Parenthood workers.

They report that the “no show” rate for abortion appointments goes as high as 75% when people are peacefully praying outside. If you needed motivation to go out and pray – that’s it!

This is why abortion businesses will often build fences along the sidewalk.

It happened in Boulder, Colorado … in Sacramento, California … and at the site of the first 40 Days for Life vigil in Bryan/College Station, Texas (the fence quickly came down when Planned Parenthood moved out and we moved in).

The bottom line is that abortion facility managers don’t want you to talk to – or even pray for – the women going in. It’s bad for business.

Your loving presence is too much for a fence – or a heart – to turn away. 

Las Vegas, Nevada

There’s a new black iron fence around the late-term abortion center where the 40 Days for Life vigil is held ... and it blocks access to an area where volunteers were accustomed to praying. But Ken, the local leader, had a simple response: “Prayer knows no boundaries.” 

The campaign kickoff event in Las Vegas drew more than 100 people, including ten pastors. But what impressed Ken the most was a 15-month-old boy. “It was only the second time in 25 years that I have been able to hold a child saved through pro-life efforts in which I was involved,” he said.

The boy’s mother had arrived at the abortion center and was met by one of the volunteers. But the mom spoke Spanish and the volunteer spoke English. They quickly found another vigil participant to serve as interpreter. The baby she was carrying was her family’s fifth child – and first son.

Volunteers are praying that this abortion center will shut its doors. “It would be the second to close where 40 Days for Life has prayed in Las Vegas,” Ken said.  “We pray it will close miraculously during this campaign!”

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Mark in Las Cruces shared the good news of two turnarounds – something they rarely find out about because of the logistics of the abortion center and where the prayer volunteers are allowed to stand.

“To have two in one day is unprecedented for us,” he said. Both women left the abortion facility to seek life-affirming support and guidance from the local pregnancy help center.

Mark also noted the participation of John, a Christian Native American who prayed to Jesus in his traditional Lakota language. John told him that “life and family are very sacred in his heritage.”

San Ramon, California

The San Ramon campaign had a very enthusiastic visitor. A young man pulled up and called out to the four Knights of Columbus on the sidewalk, “I love you guys! Because of you, my wife and I kept our baby! Keep it up!”

The same guy showed up the next day, thanking 40 Days for Life volunteers for making a difference in his life.

Just one day later, a mom stopped to share her story. She was given a distressing prenatal diagnosis and advised to have an abortion. But she just didn’t feel right about that, and said “no.”

She then pointed to the perfectly healthy little girl in the back seat of her car. She was excited to see the vigil and thanked the people for being there.

“With prayer, God can use our simple gesture and bring forth life, hope and joy,” said one of the San Ramon team members. “Trust that HE is at work in YOU!”

Here's today's devotional from Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.
Day 8 intention

May the spirit and example of the Good Samaritan fill the hearts and minds of all our citizens.

Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So, too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side."

"But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'"

"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

—Luke 10:30-37

Here Jesus commands us to show mercy to the victims of the culture of violence and death.

But why did the priest and Levite fail to show mercy? Perhaps they feared that the robbers were hiding just around the next corner to attack them. They asked themselves, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?"

The Samaritan, however, reversed the question, and asked, "If I don't stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"

In working to save the unborn, let's not worry about what will happen to us if we act; let's worry about what will happen to the unborn if we don't.

Father, we are moved by the lesson of the Good Samaritan, who allowed compassion to influence him more than fear. Give us the same heart.

Grant that we may never count the cost of standing up and speaking out for the unborn. We pray through Christ our Lord, 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