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DAY 23: Overcoming fear

March 7th, 2013 by admin


Can you imagine abortions dropping 23% in YOUR community? How many lives would that be? That’s what has happened in Jacksonville, Florida. But to make that possible, there was one thing that had to be overcome — fear.

Prayer is the foundation of a 40 Days for Life campaign and that prayer helps us overcome our natural hesitation to participate in the vigils — especially for the first time.

That’s what I talked about with volunteers in Jacksonville along with the unbelievable details about a mom who chose life for her handicapped baby.

I had the flu during this trip, but the folks in Florida took care of me and had a huge event … with 10 local pastors in attendance!

Find one of the 261 campaign locations near you … and remember that our Lord told us to “be not afraid.”


The Planned Parenthood staff in San Mateo keeps trying to find something to complain about. They have no legitimate issues, but that isn’t stopping them from trying to find fault with the peaceful 40 Days for Life vigil on the public right-of-way outside.

“The police have come out at least four times, mostly called by Planned Parenthood and their escorts,” said Jessica in San Mateo.

“The most recent time a vigil volunteer had our lawyer on the phone and asked the police officer if he wished to speak with her,” she said. “He declined. He also finally acknowledged that we were doing nothing wrong and then he left.”


One thing we hear from many people is the simple fact that abortion facilities are just not pleasant places. Sure, they try to dress themselves up as “health care centers.” But that doesn’t hide what they do.

Christine in Bridgeport got some good news – and some insight – from the 40 Days for Life vigil.

The vigil participants talked to a woman who’d had an abortion appointment – but changed her mind after she had gone inside the building.

Christine said, “She walked out of the Summit Women’s Center and told volunteers that she would never go there again because it was disgusting!”

Here’s the link to today’s devotional.

Yours for Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: If you have stories of how praying during this 40 Days for Life campaign has impacted your life, I’d love to hear your comments. Post them as a reply below.

12 Responses to “DAY 23: Overcoming fear”

  1. Barbara Borgal Says:

    Ash Wednesday Experience on February 13, 2013

    It’s been a week and one-half since I joined Tina and Wendy in a prayer vigil at Planned Parenthood on Ash Wednesday at 9:30 to 10:30 A. M. I’ve been thinking since then about the work God began to do in my heart that day.

    It started when Tina showed us her tootsie roll pop and a gospel of John and said that she had a practice of getting the attention of a person who was entering or leaving the Planned Parenthood building by asking them, “Would you like to take this candy?” If the person accepted the lollipop, Tina offered a gospel of John with her other hand and asked, “Would you like this, too?’ She reported that usually the person also took the booklet. Then, she concluded, “I think this prayer vigil gives us a great opportunity to give people the hope that Jesus gives. After all, He is the one they most need.” I looked at her, smiled my agreement and marveled to myself about this winsome way to give a witness to the love of Jesus. It was a new idea to me! Up until now, I had given out just one Human Life Services pamphlet that invited the person to visit the Crisis Pregnancy Center for assistance.

    Later, we found ourselves prayer walking around the building and praying around the theme of God helping us to show love to the people involved in any part of abortion. We concluded that the Church as a community of believers basically does not respond lovingly to people who are giving and receiving abortions, ourselves included. Wendy shared that she saw the people who came to the PP building as people with holes in their souls. They were broken people. If they chose abortion, the hole in their soul was even greater. Thus, broken people needed our love more than anything else. Then, Wendy sang the Coventry Carol with her very soft and compassionate voice

    Afterwards, the three of us stood hushed and solemn on the sidewalk in front of the PP building. Since then, I’ve heard in my memory Wendy’s tender, mother-voice singing so lovingly and sadly, and I feel God tweaking my heart – something soft is happening inside me. I think I came to the prayer vigil for the first time last fall with the idea that praying against abortion was a great cause and God could count on me to “stand in the gap” and intercede for the end of this cruel injustice. By being there and seeing the faces of people coming and going from the building and meeting fellow believers who are there when I come to pray, I am feeling more of the sorrow and pain, hope and faith all mixed together that are part of the abortion story.
    Changes that God’s Spirit is forming in my heart seemed to come into focus this morning when I stood with my church family in the morning Sunday worship service and sang this probing phrase, “Break my heart with what breaks Yours.” Also, for a part of his sermon, my pastor dipped his hands in a bucket full of water, brought up his dripping wet hands and asked, “What makes God cry?” Then, for a series of answers, he dipped his hands up and down in the water representing God’s tears and answered, “Brokenness, depression, heartache, addiction, broken vows and promises, lack of forgiveness and mercy, not extending God’s grace to others, hard hearts, failing to love as God loves.” I am deeply moved by all these experiences working together to change my heart to be more compassionate, more filled with tender mercies like His own.

  2. mary Says:

    May my home state of Connecticut be abortion free.You are such a tonic for me I’m home bond due to illness but offering all for lives to be saved everyday .In my small way I do my part give all no matter what to end this evil .mary t

  3. Dennis Powell Says:

    I John 4:18a “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” Shawn, your emphasis on the problem of fear seemed directed by God to me personally. I struggled with fear on Day 23. I gave in to fear and lost the opportunity to witness to the truth that might have saved several lives. I believe we have to combat fear with a greater love, the way our Savior did. May our love for Christ and others give us power over fear! Lord, may your love overcome any fear we may have in being faithful.

  4. Nora Allred Says:

    Thank you Shawn for your tireless work to end aboritions, God Bless you! I live in the Holland Michigan area, I would like to pray at a planned parenthood location, but I don’t know if there are any in my area. If you could help me, I’d go, because I do have the time. Thanks.

  5. Victoria Saindon Says:

    I couldn’t believe that my country (Canada) would stoop so low as to pass a law allowing abortions. I have been praying daily for an end to abortion since then and I’m happy to see that my prayers are not in vain. I will continue to pray constantly for an and to abortioin and euthanasia until they are no more.

  6. Cecilia Tombelli Says:

    At our midpoint rally 50 people came to pray and to hear an especially poignant story, illustrating the reason why we’re all doing this: An adoptive mother, Kathleen, who brought two 6-week-old twin brothers home in August, told her story revealing the power of 40 Days for Life witnessing and prayer.

    Kathleen was praying at a 40 Days for Life vigil site which is now closed (WomansChoice abortion clinic 6500 Centurion Drive). Before the clinic shut down in November of 2011 she had prayed there during a spring campaign with her husband and children following a miscarriage. She said she felt drawn to the place and prayed many more times than her sign up time. Her children experienced a miraculous view of the sun swirling in the sky. “Maybe God has shown us a sign that a baby has been saved,” she told the kids.

    Four months later, she received a phone call from a local foster care agency asking her if she would like to bring home a set of twin brothers, six weeks old, whose mother had set up an appointment to abort, but had changed her mind. Within two hours her husband and she decided to keep the babies.

    The adoption later, took place on the Feast of the Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, October 13th.

    “The most important thing is that, even though I can’t get out here as often as I’d like because I have five children that require a lot of attention, we pray every day for 40 Days for Life to be successful.

    But, I feel like these two (her twin sons she adopted) are a tangible thing to look at that this is successful.

    And this is just one incident. We don’t know how many of these different lives that we’re interconnected with.

    Their biological mother has been blessed because of the different connections and the prayers that have been said here, and we can still pray for her and she’s okay. I can tell that she is doing really well, she is doing better.

    So don’t ever get discouraged.

    If you’re here when they’re closed I’m telling you these prayers matter. They make a difference. It has changed my life and it has brought me a blessing in abundance. I never, ever dreamed I’d be able to have two babies at the same time.

    So God bless you and never stop praying, we’re doing something really, really good here.” (Her name is Kathleen Smith)

    To see little ones walking on the sidewalk, holding their mother’s hand and also walking nearby the clinic door where some of the women scheduled yesterday for abortions were standing to smoke a cigarette, that was the greatest witness to those women. They could see the beauty of little babies. At least we know it planted a seed in their mind that life is beautiful.

  7. Barbara Lacey Says:

    Babies are so precious and so many people need to adopt. These girls need to
    understand how much they could help others by delivering their precious blessing and giving someone else a wonderful gifts.

  8. Gale Ware Says:

    It’s wonderful what you are doing! Keep up the good work!

    I am sending you a donation by separate mail. It’s the only way I can help
    because of my age (97 years old).

  9. Jenny Pozniak Says:

    Hello Nora, please check out the Sterling Heights, Michigan website to get info about other prayer vigils going on in Michigan.

  10. Linda Says:

    Dear Victoria Saindon, I also live in Canada. The abortion law was struck down 25 years ago. There is no law in Canada to protect the unborn. Any woman at any stage of pregancy — including the day before she is 9 months pregnant– can request an abortion. We must pray for a law and we need to keep praying for hearts and minds to change. We must encourage those that are afraid to speak up for life. Thank goodness 40 Days for Life reminds us there is much work to be done and helps us to do it! Linda

  11. Susan McGuinness Getzinger Says:

    Legally if the fetus (young one) had the rights
    of a person (or some of them, as corporations do, ie: speech, property
    and intellectual property), then Roe vs Wade would still
    be law but a law that had “no teeth” due to the
    protected rights of the fetus (and elderly in euthanasia situations, where
    people typically abuse the rights of the elderly, as has happened
    where euthanasia is legal).

  12. Annie Says:

    You are in my prayers!

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