The first time I was invited to pray outside of an abortion facility, I didn’t really want to do it. Like me, many people’s initial reaction is to find the most heartfelt and sincere excuse. However, when we overcome that first natural hesitation and just do it, we don’t regret it. And it’s never what we thought it would be like.
When you pray outside an abortion facility at a 40 Days for Life vigil, you may affect women going into the building … the people driving by … the people who work there.
But there’s one other person your prayer experience can affect — YOU!
Here are just a few examples from the sidewalk.
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA
“Today I prayed for three hours in front of the Planned Parenthood in Chapel Hill,” a volunteer wrote on the 40 Days for Life blog. “The steady stream of people going in and out, the sometimes packed parking lot, other people walking in from nearby parking lots and streets, was heartbreaking.”
People outside the building generally ignored him, he said — except for two men holding babies. Whenever he looked their way, he could tell they had been looking at them. But they would quickly glance away, trying to avoid making eye contact. Why were they there? What were they thinking?
The volunteer just continued to pray. “I prayed for babies to be saved, for mothers and family members to have a change of heart and find real help elsewhere, for workers to be convicted and quit” — anything to stop what was going on inside.
“I prayed with a small stone cross in my hand, the word ‘hope’ written on it,” he said. “I pray that those considering abortion will find real hope, real help and real life in Christ.”
Another volunteer, praying at the 40 Days for Life vigil in Sacramento, was also seeking signs of hope.
“The clinic faces two streets,” she wrote in a 40 Days for Life blog posting. “One is a very busy — Alta Arden Way — with many cars whizzing by in both directions. The other is Wright Street, which is a far more quiet street. Our opportunity to witness is greater on the Wright Street.”
As she and others were praying together, they noticed the abortion center’s sign was in “utter disrepair. I hoped that it meant that as the clinic was losing business and … that this battered sign meant hope that soon no preborn babies would lose their lives at this location.”
“It was an abortion day in Kalamazoo,” a third prayer volunteer wrote. “I was new to the sidewalk.”
She had prayed at home during several campaigns, but she said the daily 40 Days for Life emails — plus God’s prompting — convinced her she had to do more.
As she and several others prayed outside Planned Parenthood, a large truck pulled up and a man got out. “He thanked us for being there and for praying,” she said. “He explained that his oldest child was aborted. All these years later he still carried that pain and loss. He lived the tragedy.”
He thanked the volunteers again, then drove away.
“If I had any doubts of my need to be there, they were instantly gone,” she wrote. “God sent the guy in the big truck to tell me that my presence mattered. God keeps showing me that our presence on the sidewalk matters.”
Here’s the link to today’s devotional.
As we begin the second week of this 40 Days for Life, let’s pray that God continues to pour out His rich blessings on everyone involved!
Yours for Life,
40 Days for Life
PS: If you have good news to report about 40 Days for Life in your community, please post a comment below.