Friday, October 30, 2015

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 38: Unsung heroes ... close by!

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,

Lives are saved from abortion when we pray – and work – together

40 Days for Life campaigns have seen this at the local level, as we work closely with pregnancy help centers that offer free medical services and materials to those considering abortion. 

Being ready with that information outside the abortion facility can make all the difference when women and men realize they do have a choice other than abortion. 

It doesn’t hurt that pregnancy centers outnumber abortion providers 5 to 1! 

We are thankful for all of them, as we have seen God use them to save babies who were scheduled to be aborted.

Cincinnati, Ohio

One of the prayer volunteers called out to a woman who was walking towards the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Cincinnati. “Please don’t go in there!” she pleaded, and invited the woman over to talk.

She stopped and turned around. She told the volunteer that she was there for a “consultation” appointment prior to an abortion.

After she and the volunteer talked for a while, the woman agreed to go to the pregnancy help center – it’s only a few blocks away.

As she continued to talk, the 40 Days for Life participants learned that she was a student and afraid of how her parents would react to her pregnancy. She thought she was about 17 weeks pregnant.

When the pregnancy center completed the ultrasound it turns out she was more like 31 weeks pregnant. At that stage, Planned Parenthood would not have done an abortion – but they would have likely referred her to another center that might.

But after counselors explained things – and showed her the ultrasound image – she changed her mind.

She then told her parents and her boyfriend – and they’re all being very supportive.

“Our advocate is in contact with the young woman and has already gathered clothing and other materials for her,” said Mary, the 40 Days for Life coordinator in Cincinnati. “When the baby is born, I’m hoping we’ll get to see a picture of him!”

Sarasota, Florida 

40 Days for Life volunteers outside Planned Parenthood in Sarasota spoke with a woman who said she had prayed that her daughter would not get an abortion but still, she accompanied the young woman inside.

When they came out a short time later, however, the daughter was holding an ultrasound image … telling the vigil participants she had changed her mind about having an abortion. 

One week later, another woman who was leaving Planned Parenthood stopped and talked to one of the volunteers, who asked her why she was there.

This woman told a very similar story. She was going to have an abortion butchanged her mind when she saw the ultrasound image of her baby.

Grand Rapids, Michigan 

The culture describes abortion as a “women’s issue.” But certainly, men often have an important role to play even if they have no legal standing whatsoever when it comes to “choice.”

While a young woman was inside the abortion center, 40 Days for Life vigil participants in Grand Rapids spoke to her husband outside. It didn’t take them long to learn that he desperately wanted to protect his wife and child. It was on the sidewalk that he received just the sort of encouragement he needed.

After speaking with the counselor, he went straight into the abortion center – and came back out with his wife and their unborn child. “God is so good!” said one volunteer.

Today’s devotional is from Carmen Pate of Alliance Ministries. 

Day 38 intention 

Pray that those standing in peaceful vigil will extend mercy and grace to others as they remember that Christ did not treat us as our sins deserve. 


“You have heard it was said, ‘you shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” 

— Matthew 5:43-44 

Reflection from Carmen Pate 

Perhaps it is obvious by now that not everyone thinks this campaign is a great idea! In fact, those on the front lines standing in peaceful vigil are perhaps being cursed and hated for what God has called you to do. 

Because we are all fallen creatures, our natural response may not be as Christ-like as we would hope it would be. 

So, how do we keep our natural response in check, while allowing the Holy Spirit to empower us to love, bless, do good, and pray for those who hate us or would do us harm? 

Consider first the Holiness of God. 

It seems that sin has clouded our ability to think clearly about God's nature. We simply don't have a clue of how outraged God is by our sin, what an insult sin is to His person, or how sin fires the flames of His wrath. 

Praise God that He didn't leave us in our depravity destined for His divine wrath! 

Ephesians 2:4-5 says, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sin, made us alive together with Christ; by grace you have been saved.” 

Because of God's mercy and grace towards us, we who receive Him receive eternal Hope

Those who curse you, hate you, spitefully mistreat you and persecute you need that same Hope. 

That is the only way we can ever expect them to behave differently. 

Ask the Holy Spirit to love them — through you — so they are drawn to the Hope that is in you, that is Christ Jesus. 


Heavenly Father, may we reflect your character of grace and kindness to those who hate us and curse us. 

Guard our hearts and our tongues as we respond in love to words and actions meant to rile us or cause us harm. 

Let others see the Hope that is Christ in all we say and do. In His precious name we pray, Amen. 

Printable devotional 

To download today’s devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share:

For life,
 Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life