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DAY 12: Have you come out to pray yet?

October 6th, 2012 by admin

Many of the 316 cities participating in 40 Days for Life this fall are holding 24-hour vigils. That’s 960 total hours!

It is a very powerful witness to know that before any couples show up for an abortion and long after the last abortion worker leaves, there is someone there praying and bearing witness to the community.

For me, praying at the abortion facility in the middle of the night is very moving. It may sound a bit different at first, but it has been a time of peace, silence and solidarity for the thousands of volunteers who do it.

And as one of these 24-hour communities has found, you’re guaranteed to see a little bit of everything.


“It’s been an interesting week at Whitfield Street 40 Days for Life!” So said Claire, who’s leading one of three London-area campaigns.

Volunteers are praying outside a Marie Stopes abortion facility, which is directly across the street from a residence building for University College London students. “This leads to a variety of colourful meetings and incidents with the students,” she said.

[Note to US readers: Yes, there are some words that our British cousins spell differently. I've made no changes to the original text.]

One of the students has been putting up posters in residence hall windows. One sign simply announces, “Pro-choice.” This student was also moved to add a second sign telling vigil participants, “You can’t sing, either!”

Clare said one of the other signs wasn’t nearly as complimentary, so she chose not to post a photo of that one.

As this is a 24-hour vigil, there are many interesting discussions with students on Friday evenings who’ve been out for a night on the town. There have also been students who asked for prayer, that they might be able to keep their faith strong in the university environment.

“Saturday morning is a different matter,” Clare said. “It’s so quiet you would think no-one lived on Whitfield Street.” It was cool but sunny, and the peace and quiet continued until the students started to wake up and prepare breakfast — around midday.

“Early Tuesday morning, about 7:15 am, we were suddenly joined by a peaceful presence of about 200 students who had obviously been inspired to join the vigil,” Clare noted. “So keen were they that they had all come in their pyjamas.”

They all remained well-behaved, even as one of the vigil participants read aloud a prayer for purity.

“It didn’t take us long to realise that their presence had been inspired by the fire alarm going off and their good behaviour encouraged by the presence of the managers of the residence,” she said, but noted that she “didn’t have the heart to take a picture.”

Wednesday brought great encouragement — a turnaround on Whitfield Street, and word of another possible turnaround at the vigil at London’s Bedford Square. “Both need your prayers,” she said.

Daytime hours are busy but hassle-free, although there is the occasional critic who will shout things such as, “You idiots are putting the women’s rights movement back 25 years” … with a bit of cursing tossed in.

So, Clare said, “whether you like to pray in the quiet, in the dead of night, in the sunshine or the rain, in the face of abuse, or just in season or out of season, we have a time slot for you!”

She called 40 Days for Life a great opportunity. “It takes commitment and sacrifice though, so let’s give some commitment and get going on the prayer and fasting. Don’t let us waste this opportunity.”

Have you had a chance to take part in a peaceful 40 Days for Life prayer vigil yet? If not, here’s the link to the list of campaign locations.

Here’s the link to today’s devotional.

For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: What has 40 Days for Life meant to you thus far? Please share a comment below.

16 Responses to “DAY 12: Have you come out to pray yet?”

  1. Dave Mattozzi Says:

    God Bless the unborn child.

  2. ruth lehman Says:

    This is such a precious report. thank you,thank you! love it!
    God is working–even in the hearts of the critics who are the most vocal.
    and the devotional is straight from God’s heart!
    blessings to all!

  3. linda Says:

    Dear Shawn, we do not have a place to go this year, I love in Shoreham-by-Sea, who is the nearest contact please? I am praying and my fast is laying down my own will when I remember, I am praying the Litany of Life. Will you have a march like last year? There is not enough information this year, please put something up so that I can download it and put it up in the local churches and those I know please.

    Please pray for Spain, they are having a peaceful march tomorrow so that there will be no more abortions. It is the feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary today and they get a day of fiesta so Monday there is no work and they are marching for an end to abortion. I told my friend there about you and SPUC and Right to Life and Our Lady of Good Counsel and the group of politics in the UK Pro-life Alliance group led by Lord Alton. The Holy Spirit is moving amongst us, praise God.
    Ireland is asking for rosaries to be prayed as their government is trying to legalise abortion there. France needs prayers as their government this month is trying to make a law for same – sex marriage to be made legal and we in England need prayers as our government is also doing the same. Who is co-ordinating 40 DAYS FOR LIFE in England please? God bless you, and thank you. I have sent a petition to St Jude’s shrine in Wynaad for 40 DAYS FOR LIFE and other things and tomorrow there will be about 40,000 pilgrims there, they come to pray at the shrine every Monday, this is Wynaad in India. It is all very encouraging really. God bless you, love and prayers in Jesus and Mary, from Linda.+

  4. Christa Says:

    First time praying in Hackensack, NJ. I didn’t get there early enough to see the customers arriving, but I was there when they were exiting. Every woman was crying. Every one. I was not prepared for that. And this is “Women’s Rights??” Another profoundly sad realization I had was that every woman was brought in by a man. The parking lot was full of men pacing, smoking, or sitting in their cars. For every abortion, there is a man -a father – presiding over the death of his child. Many years ago, we saw images on TV of fathers pacing nervously in the hospital waiting room waiting for a nurse to come in saying, “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!” which was followed by rejoicing. What a contrast to this scene, where all these men were waiting to hear one thing: “It’s over,” which is followed by taking a weeping woman home. God have mercy.

  5. Juliane Bertagne Says:

    May God give the prayer warriors in the UK and especially London fortitude! It takes a lot of courage to stand against the prevailing pro-choice culture and also a deeply-ingrained societal discouragement against speaking out (”mustn’t grumble!”) or making oneself into a spectacle. We in the US tend to take our right to freedom of speech completely for granted, but in other countries, this right does not exist and speaking out can, in fact, lead to many consequences including jail or prison. God bless the brave citizens of other countries who are participating in 40 Days for Life!!!

  6. Elle Says:

    Our Lady of Life, please ask your son Jesus to provide healing for mothers & fathers of aborted children…+++

  7. Elizabeth Says:

    God Bless you in London and also around the world for being “Out There in the trenches” It is difficult to be called names but The Father of Life will Bless you with many victories. I am praying for all of you. Isnt it significant that the places that perform abortions are in the neighborhoods where the students live and the poor also???? ;0

  8. Jacqueline Lark Says:

    My first prayerful vigil was in Louisiana this week. I was alone for the whole time. I did walk around the parking lot once and was greeted by a woman coming out of the building telling me to get off of their property and to stay on the sidewalk! Yikes! I apologized as I didn’t know the parking lot was off limits. At the end of my vigil a woman and her approximately 9 year old son came out of the building and drove out of the parking lot. When she reached the side street she slowed the car, rolled down her son’s window, and yelled, HEY at me a couple of times. In fear, I said HEY, and waved and kept walking and praying. Not sure if she was friendly , was a little fearful. My vigil was from 11a.m. – noon.


    I would so much like to be with you as you pray for our litle ones but at my age I do most of my praying or at morning Mass. I know God and Our
    Blessed Mother are with you.
    God Bless You and all those participating in the 40 Days for Life

  10. Cindy Ward Says:

    I have volunteered 3 times so far and it has been very interesting and challenging to say the least. I think God wants me there but at the same time the employees definitely don’t want us there. They just ignore us and avoid us. Sometimes neighborhood people will see us and cheer us on. Its ironic that I am also taking a bible study class on the book of James. In James 2:17 it says,”In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead”. You can’t just talk about it, you have to DO something about it. So I feel like I am actually doing God’s will when I stand in front of PP with my sign trying to end abortion. I hope it helps save lives.

  11. Aracely Shults Says:

    Today I came to my 1st Sunday vigil due to my cancellation last Sunday because I had a retreat, It was tough for me because I didn’t want to cancel & missing the kick off was very sad for me, finally driving to the 40 days for life late term in Dallas was weird when we almost got into an accident 3 cars behind us crash, I was surprise no one hit us, but once at the vigil police came & told us couldn’t seat on the side walk or stand or kneel, we had to walk all the time we were there the police stay for a couple off minutes watching us to see if we don’t stop walking. I think everything is been against us to not accomplish our vigil but even the cold didn’t stop us! Thank you Lord for the strength

  12. Ted Kershaw Says:

    The biblical phrase concerning persistence in prayer. I know this persistence pays off because I have fasted and prayed plenty, yet I barely scratch the surface. Let us persevere and fast for the conversion of Carhart and those surrounding him. Ted

  13. Carol Marie Says:

    Today we held a Life Chain and there were wonderful participants from churches who have never been involved in 40 Days for Life before this campaign! And we held the Life Chain near the University and I learned afterwards that exactly what I had hoped would happen did occur, there were a number of fruitful conversations with University Students. Let’s pray that these seeds germinate into ripe fruit!

  14. Kim Wilkinson Says:

    I have been out to two different abortion clinics in our area one a local abortion clinic run by a very aging husband (abortionist) and wife (office manager). We are also having a large turn out at the Sarasota Planned Parenthood. It is so refreshing to see the young faces and hear of the great support from the youth in London. We are starting to see more youth join us as well and this in an answered prayer. We had a difficult story shared with us last Tues. at the Pt. Charlotte abortion clinic. A very distraught woman said her “friends” daughter had been raped by the father who is now in jail and that she feels she must get an abortion to protect her daughter. We prayed with her for strength to hold on to Jesus and trust Him in this very difficult time, and not really knowing what else to say we said we would tell all the prayer chains and people we know of to help pray her through this. Her daughter is only 13 and she says many doctors as well as a pastor have said to get the abortion! We explained this would only further traumatize the young woman we gave her our numbers and we are praying for a miracle for her. God bless us all.

  15. Kathleen Marcella Says:

    We must cherish Jesus’ presence in every human life, the first to worship Jesus was John the unborn child!

  16. Mrs Hauser Says:

    I am with you all in spirit. Daily prayers and daily fasting for the safety of every sidewalk prayer warrior in every state and country and also for great success… for the babies, the moms and dads, the grandparents and friends and the great hope that Heaven can also reach the hearts of the employees and abortionists… for all the babies that are scheduled to die today, may God grant them the gift of Baptism.

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