Sunday, October 11, 2015

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 19: 24 hours a day ... worldwide!

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
The Holy Spirit has grown 40 Days for Life from a single one-city effort with 1,000 participants ... to 579 cities in 30 countries ... with more than 650,000 people taking part since 2007.

As a result, prayers are being offered for an end to abortion 24 hours a day around the world from San Diego to London to Adelaide. In all, there are 307 communities in 16 countries taking part right now … so find one near you!

A few of those cities are doing their first-ever campaigns – like Christchurch, New Zealand for instance. It may be autumn across North America and Europe, but the volunteers in Christchurch are enjoying early spring weather!
Christchurch, New Zealand
The 40 Days for Life vigil in Christchurch takes place across the road from the main entrance to a hospital.
“We had an encouraging conversation with a group of longboarders,” wrote Daniel, the local coordinator. “It was an assuring sign that our presence is being felt. Although they left not in full agreement, it was a chance to witness to Christ and his love on behalf of the unborn and in support of their mothers and families.”
The volunteers spoke to a young nurse, who was quite excited about 40 Days for Life. She said a group of nurses pray every day inside the hospital and they really wish they could join the vigil. “It was a huge blessing and source of encouragement,” Daniel said.
One lady stopped on her bicycle and shouted, “What about helping people in poverty?” The group pointed out how ministries such as the John Paul II Centre help all those who come through their doors, including those who say another child would be a financial burden. The prayer continued and the lady moved off on her bike with food for thought.
“We’ve been getting good little comments here and there,” he said, “and although these little things might seems like drops in the ocean, they are all signs of light in our community and the more we bring our prayers into places of darkness, the more that darkness will be dispelled and all things can be revealed for what they really are.”
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
The 40 Days for Life volunteers in Romania also find some of their greatest joys in being able to talk to passersby on the street – especially those who don’t agree with the vigil’s message. “Some even approach us with indignation,” said one of the team members.
But after a bit of discussion, the indignation can go away. Conversations often end with a smile and a handshake. “I had that happen twice today,” he said.
In one particular instance, three young men who were stopped at the ATM were saying that the prayer vigil makes no difference. But after hearing what the vigil was all about, their attitudes changed. “They said they admire what we do,” said the volunteer.
Cape Town, South Africa
40 Days for Life is back in Cape Town for the sixth time. And part of the story here is an increase in media outreach opportunities for the campaign.
In addition to several interviews in Christian media, the team has been running daily radio announcements featuring scripture and a brief reflection, encouraging prayer for an end to abortion … and participation in the local campaign.
Want to hear a sample? Click here to listen!


Today’s devotional is from Rev. Rob Schenck, president of Faith and Action.

Day 19 intention

We pray for a renewal of our zeal to offer generous help to the unborn and their families.


If I have despised the cause of my male or female servant when they complained against me, what then shall I do when God rises up? When He punishes, how shall I answer Him? Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?

— Job 31:13-15

Reflection from Rev. Rob Schenck

The ground is level as we stand before God.

Job lived with an awe provoking sense of God's expectation of him, particularly regarding his obligation to care for the weak and needy.

He knew that in God's economy everyone stands on level ground when it comes to our status as God's creatures. Because of that central truth, we must take care of each other.

Job also knew that he didn't deserve any of the good things God gave to him. Instead, those blessings came to Job from God's benevolent heart.

As an extension of that knowledge, Job instinctively linked his obligation to be generous to others to God's kindness toward him.

As in Jesus’ parable of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:23-35), Job knew that it is an egregious sin to deny to others what we enjoy ourselves.

He actually calls down on his own head severe condemnation and even punishment should he fail to share with others out of his own abundance (see verses 16-23).

Proverbs 3:27 reads, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” Some things are so obvious that we don't even need to pray except to ask of God forgiveness and the power to do what so obviously needs doing.


God, forgive us when we try to explain away the obligation we have to help others who need help.

Enable us to not devalue them because they are in the circumstance that they are in, but to see them for what they are, those, who like us, were formed by your hand in their mother's womb. Amen.

Printable devotional

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For life,

 Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life