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DAY 10: “I didn’t want to leave”

October 5th, 2012 by admin

I’m boarding a plane to visit the 40 Days for Life campaign in Rockland County, New York — and later tonight, I’m speaking at a pregnancy center event.

This location is a great example of collaboration because the pregnancy resource center is across the street from the Planned Parenthood abortion facility and they work closely with the 40 Days for Life volunteers to help women find loving alternatives.

This is the second location for 40 Days for Life in Rockland County — the first abortion facility CLOSED after a 40 Days for Life campaign a few years back!

Praying in front of an abortion center makes a difference — in New York or anywhere else. Like most people, I was a bit fearful the first time I did it. But that fear is no match for the peace and hope that prayer brings to what seems like a hopeless situation.

If you have never done it, now is the time! But don’t take my word for it — here are some personal prayer experiences that vigil participants shared on the 40 Days for Life blog.


One volunteer wrote about his first time as a 40 Days for Life participant at the Raleigh vigil. During his 90 minutes of prayer, he watched people come and go. “The thing that struck me the most was how everyone who went in and came out was trying very hard not to look at me,” he said.

He watched as a worker came out with letters to put in the mail. “She had to walk by me to get to the mailbox. The whole time to the mailbox and back … she walked with her head down and turned away.”

He said that workers and clients alike didn’t look angry, and didn’t look like they were trying to ignore him. No, he said, “they looked ashamed.”

He prayed that all these people would come to know Jesus, that they would “turn from the very thought” of aborting babies and become advocates for life. “I didn’t want to leave,” he said. “I hope to get back to pray … during this 40 Days for Life campaign.”


Another writer said that as she prayed during the 40 Days for Life vigil at a Long Beach Planned Parenthood location, she also handed out information about pro-life pregnancy resources in the area.

“Most took the info from me because I wore a smile,” she said, “and couldn’t look mean if I tried to!”

One woman in particular left a strong impression. “She got out of her car right in front of the front door, and she looked as if she had been crying, she was so distraught,” the volunteer said. “She wouldn’t talk to me or take my info — but went into the building.”

The woman was still inside two hours later when this vigil participant left. “The hopelessness and devastation on her face I will never forget. I prayed for her and her baby, that she would change her mind as God spoke to her heart.”


Two women were praying outside the abortion facility in Melbourne when a young couple drove up. They got out of their car quickly — and walked hurriedly towards the building.

As they reached the door, “the young woman looked back at us,” one of the volunteers said. “We lifted the intensity of our prayer. About 15-20 minutes later, they came out again.”

She said the man was very angry and spoke to the woman rather aggressively. They got into their car and drove off. It appeared the man was all in favor of abortion, but the woman was not.

“We have been praying for them ever since,” she said. “Please continue to pray for this young couple. May 40 Days for Life be successful in ending abortion around the world!”

The 40 Days for Life team in Melbourne has put together a short but powerful video about the local campaign. It’s sure to be impressive wherever you’re watching!

Here’s the link to today’s devotional.

For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: How is 40 Days for Life affecting your city? Please leave a comment below.

11 Responses to “DAY 10: “I didn’t want to leave””

  1. Michelle B Says:

    I also pray at the Vigil site in Raleigh. There is a feeling there that makes it hard to leave when your hour is up. I’ve noticed a sense of peace there, similar to being inside a Church. It’s kinda hard to say that about an area in front of an abortion clinic. It baffled me when I thought about it. Then I realize that I feel that way because of the number of people that have prayed out there through the years at each 40 Days Campaign. Our spiritual presence remains there. Even if you are there by yourself, you are truly not alone. You do feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.

  2. Marilyn Morse Says:

    Ottawa, ON — While i was praying in front of the abortion clinic last weekend, 2 male teen-agers walked by and one of them said “My son was aborted”. I had no time to respond as they were very fast, but i prayed for those young men for the rest of the week and they are still on my heart. This young person knew his child’s sex. Our presence reminded him of his child’s death. Maybe our prayers will help him convince the next girl to make a different choice.

  3. LIZ Says:

    I had an abortion in January of 2011. At planned parenthood. My boyfriend wanted me to take care of it. I wanted to keep it, bit the ultrasound showed no fetal pole or heartbeat, so I told myself it was ok to take the pills. But god loved me so much he gave me another chance, and I now have a 5 month old baby girl. If I had kept my first, I wouldn’t have my daughter that I have, so god worked in mysterious ways. But the guilt is terrible. I prayed in front of that planned parenthood last Friday, with my baby. I hope to go back again. I know what these women feel. The fear, shame, pain. I know they will regret their abortions, and I know I can offer them the truth. PRAY ON!!

  4. Jeanette Says:

    I live far from an abortion clinic. I choose to fast and pray each time. Every time I feel a hunger pain it helps me to keep praying the the baby’s in the womb. in 2000 I was pregnant with my first son. David James. At 17 weeks God called David home. I look at the picture of David and know 100% that baby’s do feel pain. He had a look of pain. I’ve been prolife my whole life and am more so because of David.

  5. Hillary Says:

    The closest abortion clinic to me is an hour’s drive away. There is a pro-life clinic in my town that does marvelous things. Even thought I haven’t been able to physically go and pray in front of an abortion clinic, I have been praying from home and keeping up with the blog. Prayer makes a difference. I can’t believe how much my own vision has changed just by taking part in focused prayer. Pray on, warriors!

  6. Dave Mattozzi Says:

    Let us all pray for an end to abortion.

  7. Ellen Bryla Says:

    Last week I was praying at the 40 Days for Life vigil in Charlottesville when the Holy Spirit whispered in my heart a revelation so stunning that I thought surely I was the only one to ever have such a crazy thought….until I read the exact same words on the daily blog of the 40 Days team up in Calgary in Canada.

    As I was standing there praying, the Spirit said to my heart that “This is Holy Ground.” I began proclaiming that this was indeed holy ground–that this ground belongs to God who created it and it is His will to reclaim this land for His Kingdom. That this land, and even this very building, is to become a place where His glory will dwell, to become a place of healing, of hope, and of LIFE. Imagine my surprise when I later went to read the daily blog of the Calgary team and saw that Day 5 was entitled ‘Holy Ground”. And I read that the campaign director up there had initially been reluctant to go to 40 Days, but now it feels like “slipping into his favorite pew at church. He has met there with God too many times, and now it has become Holy Ground.”

    There are stories too numerous to tell from my own experiences and those of my fellow pro-lifers of encounters we will never forget, answers to prayer, strangers for whom we have literally wept tears of intercession. And other times when seemingly “nothing” happened–except that we have spent an hour or more in the most intense and intimate prayer with our Lord that we could ever imagine.

    And now I know what I meant in my discussions with a fellow vigiller last year as he used to pour out his frustrations because he couldn’t get his fellow believers to join in this service, and I would insist that “this isn’t service, it is worship.” It turns out we were both right; it starts out as sacrifice and service and becomes worship. And that is why we cannot stay away from here, why we all too often linger longer than we had intended. For to the natural eye, these abortion clinics are still a place of sorrow and death, but for those of us who have kept vigil it is for us Holy Ground, for it is the place where we meet with our Savior and He pours into our hearts His love for a lost, hurting and broken world.

    I sign off now with the invitation of our brothers and sisters up in Calgary to “Come, spend an hour – let yourself be changed.”

  8. Cat Hood Says:

    Without a doubt I know that God is moving mightily in Mankato, MN. Today, sitting in the cold grass, I saw the sun rise over the clinic, and felt the sun’s warm rays leave as it set behind me. It was a reminder of the beautiful truth that He is still LORD over all the earth. Of the many hours I’ve spent outside PP, I think that today’s hours were the most precious. I’ve never been sworn at, yelled at, and flicked off so much in my life. But today I saw Charismatics and Catholics join together in prayer. I got to speak truth to an atheist from my school who came by to “chat.” We also got to share about 40 Days For Life with a girl from my school who is pro-choice. She was very respectful and told us that she just wanted to hear our side of it (Pray for her!).

    A little after 7pm it was already dark out, and a lady stopped her car in front of us and got out. I was mentally preparing myself to hear a firestorm of questions from her. With a very serious look on her face she asked, “Are you guys for abortion or against it?” Of course, we replied that we’re against it. She didn’t say anything after that, just turned back towards her car and at first we figured she was just going to leave. Instead of going to the driver’s seat though, she opens the passenger door and starts getting something out (this may sound silly, but we all thought she was reaching for her gun or something). I almost started crying when I saw that what she had pulled out was cups of coffee from Starbucks. She said, “I bought 7 caramel macchiatos, I hope that’s enough.” Haha, we were NOT expecting that. She asked what group we were a part of, thanked us, and left.

    I understand that not everyone has the time to pray outside of abortion clinics, but it’s so encouraging when people drive by with a thumbs up, or simply say, “God Bless. I’m praying too.” One of the most interesting things I heard yelled from a car today was, “Get a life!!!” Oh if only they knew about the abundant life that they could have in Christ Jesus.

  9. Toni Malloy Says:

    I have been following the stories from this 40 Days for Life campaign and I am grateful to all the prayer vigil volunteers. I know lives will be saved and some hearts will be changed. There is no organized vigil in Tucson, AZ, this year. I’m not sure why, but I hope that fewer abortions are being done. I pray for the doctor who performs some of the abortions here. Twenty-one years ago, when he was a newly practicing OB/GYN, he delivered my beautiful baby girl in the middle of the night. He remarked that he had been awoken from a good dream to come to the hospital because I was ready to deliver. Several years later, I learned that he was now killing babies rather than helping to give them life. I wonder what he dreams about these nights. I pray for him everyday to stop aborting babies, as well as all the other men and women who are involved in this dreadful practice.

  10. Pam A. Says:

    I prayed in Mankato, MN, last week, and am still in awe of our awesome God. I had never been involved with this campaign before, and I didn’t know what to expect. I was overwhelmed with the presence of the Holy Spirit that morning, and wept in worship of the Lord. I sang praise songs and prayed quietly, as people driving by yelled negative remarks, and honked their horns in favor of Planned Parenthood supporters. I watched at least 15 people come and go in the time I was there. I don’t know what they were there for, but God does, and it was an honor to pray for each of them. I encourage anyone who can go, even for just one hour, to be a voice for the unborn. It will change your life.

  11. Katherine Says:

    Melbourne, I really like your video. Simple, powerful message. And I love the music in the background. Great video to share with your churches.

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