Wednesday, October 14, 2015

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 22: Should I bring the kids?

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
People often ask if the prayer vigil should indeed be a family activity – that is,should you bring the children?
Of course, there are places where the vigil is on a narrow sidewalk on a high-traffic road, so there’s always safety to consider.
But children show everyone what’s really at stake when it comes to abortion. The women arriving at the abortion center – and the people who work there – need this reminder.
Even more importantly, children bring joy to a cold place that calculates the value of a human life. Outside the abortion center, the joy of children is a powerful and needed weapon. 
No babies?
One of the local 40 Days for Life leaders was at the vigil when a police officer walked up to the group she was praying with.
She wasn’t too concerned, as the campaign team had a good working relationship with the local police.
However, it seemed the abortion center had phoned in a complaint that the peaceful vigil participants were “creating a disturbance” – that people were setting up chairs outside – and – there were babies out there!
It took the officer only a few seconds to conclude that the vigil was entirely peaceful and there was no disturbance whatsoever.
“I was thrilled that we had gotten the attention of this clinic owner,” the local leader said. As for “babies,” the only child present that day was an 11-year-old. But that was apparently enough to get the owner’s attention.
The presence of children of any age can be bad for business.
Columbia, Missouri
“When my children ask me why women have abortions,” said a 40 Days for Life vigil participant in Columbia, “I try to keep it simple and say because they are scared or need help.
When they ask why they pray at abortion facilities instead of just at home, “I explain we need to be there for those scared moms, so they know they aren't alone, to offer love and help.”
This mom prayed with her children outside Planned Parenthood, then sang the song “Jesus Loves the Little Children” a few times.
But one of her youngsters stopped her and said, “Mom, now we need to sing ‘Jesus Loves the Scared Mommies’ so they know not to be scared anymore.”
“And so I substituted the words and we sang it,” she said, “over and over. She gets it. She has a heart of gold.”
Pensacola, Florida
“We are often asked, ‘should I bring a sign with me when I go to pray?’” said one of the 40 Days for Life leaders in Pensacola. “There is no more perfect sign than mothers holding their babies. What better image is there than mothers helping mothers choose life?”
The team shared the story of a mom who prayed outside the abortion center with her children … and they were there when volunteers got the news that a mother had rejected abortion.
The woman walked up to one of the counselors and said, “I just can’t do it.”
She received words of encouragement and resource information. “Please keep this mother in your prayers” asked the Pensacola volunteer, “that God may give her the strength and courage to love and protect her baby.”

Here's today's devotional from Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life. 

Day 22 intention 

May those who hold life as trivial realize that we live because God wills it so.

Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. 

— Job 12:9-10
Reflection from Georgette Forney 

Job was a man acquainted with grief, trials and tribulation. He had everything taken from him, including his family. He endured sickness, ridicule and judgment from his friends. Everyone gave him advice about his situation, questioning his spirituality and his God. 

Job's circumstances were bad but he never loses faith. Why? Because "the hand of the Lord has made all life." Created by God, he knows his life has meaning and purpose, regardless of the circumstances. 

In our present culture, we've lost that basic truth; every life is made and allowed to live by God's sovereign authority. As people who pride ourselves on our independence, we have a hard time acknowledging our dependence on God. 

From our creation, when we were knit together in our mother's womb to our last breath, God's word is clear that "in His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." 

It's time for us as individuals, and as a society, to recognize that we exist by God's grace and turn back to Him, honoring His word and His teachings. Why? Because our world is full of Jobs, people who are dealing with trials and tribulations and hurting desperately. 

Job's response should be ours as well. Regardless of what we face (even an unplanned pregnancy) God in His wisdom and mercy will redeem it. 

How do I know? Job's friends who doubted God's sovereignty cry out to God asking for help, God instructs Job to pray for his friends and after he does, God restores all that Job had lost. 

In other words, because Job never lost faith and knew and trusted His Creator, the Lord blessed Job.

Thank you Father God for being the Creator of my life and every life. Please give me, and the society in which I live, an appreciation for your gift of life. Please help us set aside our pride and acknowledge that we need you. 

Show me how I can honor you today in response to all the blessings you bestow so freely. In the name of Jesus, 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