Saturday, October 24, 2015

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 32: Prayer after Communism

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
The culture of death can be overwhelming – especially when you see it globally. Abortion is not limited by borders.

As 40 Days for Life has spread throughout the world, there has been one requirement local leaders have courageously met – being counter-cultural.

Going against the culture today isn’t complicated; it’s simple.

It requires prayer, faith and a willingness to defend those whose lives are seen as a mere “choice” by the culture of death.

No matter where in the world, you are building a culture of life by being counter-cultural ... and you are not alone!
Today, we start with an inspirational report from a place that has come a long way to be able to stand and pray for the unborn.
Riga, Latvia
“There are many faithful Christians in the country,” said Robert Colquhoun, 40 Days for Life’s international outreach coordinator, “but pro-life activism is at a very early stage in Latvia’s post-communist era. Independence only came around 25 years ago.” He recently visited the 40 Days for Life campaign in Riga, Latvia’s capital.
Janis Lulle, the local coordinator, has pledged more public witness here for the future and recognizes where this campaign can grow. “For many,” Robert said, “the concept of public witness post-communism is a tricky one and certainly very counter cultural, against the national temperament.”
Latvia’s population is around 2 million, and there are around 5,000 abortions reported every year. “We had a prayer procession around the hospital,” Robert said, “and returned to the church where there is a memorial to unborn children outside.”
One volunteer spoke of her own abortion experience and desired to speak more about it publicly in future. “She said she wished she had known about our message,” he said, “as she was almost forced into abortion by doctors and family for medical reasons and wished she was stronger to reject their insistence. We prayed with her, and also recommended post-abortion healing and resources.”
Coyoacan, Mexico
Volunteers at the 40 Days for Life vigil in the Coyoacan area of Mexico’s federal district have noted definite changes at the abortion center.
Previously, the abortion business was open from 7 am to 7 pm daily. “Now they are closing for two and sometimes three days each week,” said Diana in Coyoacan. “They also have reduced their work hours to 9 am to 5 pm, which is four hours less per day.”
As part of their community outreach, the Coyoacan team hosted series of talks. “A doctor explained pregnancy, abortion and its consequences,” Diana said, “and another talk was about the history of abortion and the abortion agenda that governs its influence.”
After the talks, she said, “we regrouped to give testimonies outside the clinic and continue the vigil with all the volunteers, also continuing in reaching out to the community. “
One of the area pastors stressed the importance of life and the great love that God shows by creating us, noting that it is this same love that is the driving force of our humanity, and that dignifies us. Diana said “it was truly a beautiful celebration.”
Ottawa, Ontario
“We know we’re having an impact when counter-protesters show up at our vigil site,” said one of the team members in Canada’s capital. “A few did … with their tired old slogans. They were gone by the time their lunch hour was up.”
Another volunteer noted the lack of creativity shown by the pro-abortion demonstrators, saying the slogans they used were “already old back in my mother’s time.”

Today’s devotional is from Rev. John Ensor of PassionLife.
Day 32 intention

As we pray for the end of abortion, let us pray for the expansion of the pregnancy help center movement worldwide.

The dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne.

— Revelation 12:4-5

You don’t need to be a theological scholar to get the essential point of Revelation 12. Something big is afoot. It has something to do with the birth of Christ and the children of God.

It involves a war in heaven, with powers and principalities beyond our expertise. But the battles are fought here on earth.

The crux of the matter centers around the babe of Bethlehem and the cross of Calvary.

It continues to unfold down through the ages, through us, the children of God, who put their faith in Christ and take up their cross and follow him.

We are waging a war of love against all things that destroy body and soul.

The intensity waxes and wanes, but like labor pains, they grow and culminate in new life.

The unleashing of legal abortion nearly 40 years ago stirred up prayer (lamentation really). Many were then led to start pregnancy help centers and maternity homes.

Today there are over 3,000 such ministries that did not exist 40 years ago.

They reflect a movement of God on our watch: Christians driven to give their time and charity to end abortion one woman at a time.

Let’s pray this movement expands worldwide. Let's pray for thousands more Christians to start, serve and support pregnancy help centers.

O God, from generation to generation, you have called your people to be the very aroma of life amidst a culture of death. Now it is our turn. Prepare me. Send me. Use me. I am eager to do my part. Stir your people everywhere to take up this great work.
Printable devotional

To download today’s devotional as a printable PDF to share with friends:
For life,
 Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life