Thursday, February 11, 2016

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 2: What to expect at the vigil

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
There are many emotions involved when you pray at a peaceful 40 Days for Life vigil. So what are some of the realistic – and unrealistic – expectations when you go?

We address that topic head on – and highlight a surprise development about media stereotypes of pro-life Christians – in our newest 40 Days for Life podcast.

You can download the episode or subscribe to the podcast here.
If you’ve prayed at the vigil, you know it’s not a protest.

It is quiet. It is peaceful. And, more importantly, it is not about us or our experience while being out there. It is about being our Lord’s hands and feet at a place where many people arrive because they’ve simply lost hope.

That was the motivation that led one group of local leaders to overcome fear ... and courageously bring the first-ever 40 Days for Life campaign to the land of Robin Hood.
Nottingham, England

On my recent trip to Great Britain, I visited Nottingham, where John Edwards and Alan Horgan are leading a very promising first-time effort. The vigil takes place outside a hospital.
The local leaders noted there are more than 3,000 abortions annually in the Nottingham area, with the vast majority covered by the National Health Service. A study committee found that “sometimes care and treatment wasn’t delivered effectively,” and “not all patients were offered counseling.”
Bishop Patrick McKinney is supporting the campaign. “Pray always with compassion and gentleness to God for each person who enters and leaves the clinic,” he wrote, “and for all those who work there, that their hearts and outlook towards the aborting of babies might change.
Barranquilla, Colombia
Barranquilla is one of 12 locations where 40 Days for Life vigils are taking place in Colombia.
“The clock strikes 12:00 am!” one of the Barranquilla team members wrote on Facebook early yesterday morning. “From here on out, it’s 40 days of prayer to put an end to abortion in our country.”
The campaign began with prayer at a local church. “Thank you, Lord, as we worship you before we begin,” one volunteer prayed. “Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life. Thank you for instilling in our city this initiative.”
Leaders invited more people to get involved. “Join us and save moms and babies. You can be a hero!
Eureka, California
Eureka just kicked off the community’s fourth 40 Days for Life campaign. Leaders made sure that vigil participants let an important fact sink in – they’re praying in unity with believers in 273 cities around the world.
“There is power in prayer,” said one of the Eureka volunteers, “and that sounds like a lot of power! You don’t want to miss being a part of this powerful work of God!”
Speaking of 273 cities … here’s the link to find the 40 Days for Life vigil closest to you:

Today’s devotional is from Rev. Clenard Childress of  Life Education and Resources Network.

Day 2 intention

Let us pray that pastors may not be distracted from the priority of caring for human lives.


In those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.

— Acts 6:1
Reflection by Rev. Clenard Childress

More folks learning left some yearning.

It is the dawning of a new day. There is much excitement in Jerusalem. Many who dedicated themselves to the faith became disciples (the word disciple means learner).

The unprecedented church growth was miraculous and undoubtedly brought much satisfaction to the new leadership. The apostles, however, were about to experience growing pains in their master plan of evangelism.

Projects that engage the community, especially those that are evangelistic in nature, are high on the list of priorities for every duty-bound pastor.

Church attendance is a constant concern for every pastor and often his or her worth is measured by it. Unfortunately, just as the original twelve pastors in Acts, they can be so focused on getting people in that they inadvertently end up pushing some people out.

Murmuring is a deplorable deterrent to a harmonious fellowship, yet God used it to get the disciples attention. Those that needed daily attention due to their age and social status were being neglected.

This neglect of the Hellenist widows during the daily distribution of food was causing undue grief and needed to be corrected by the leadership. By God’s grace the problem was dealt with, but the lesson remains.

And during these 40 days, let us pray that today's church not make the same mistake of forgetting the contributions of our seniors, or the needs of the weakest among us, the unborn.


Father, in the Church’s desire to engage our communities with the Gospel let her not disengage from those who need their care and company the most.

Let us gain wisdom from those who have gone before us and cherish their experiences and perspectives. Help us to appreciate every soul in the body of Christ and minister properly to everybody. Amen.

Printable devotional

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