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DAY 25: What incredible teaching is going on

March 13th, 2010 by admin

Volunteers frequently ask if children should be brought to 40 Days for Life prayer vigils at abortion centers. People sometimes wonder if the horror of abortion is too much for children to handle. But it seems the presence of children is a blessing — to everyone.

A local pastor took his 8-year-old daughter to pray with her teacher and classmates at the 40 Days for Life vigil in Lake Havasu City, Arizona — then listened as she talked about her experience.

“What incredible teaching is going on,” he said.

Joe in Pensacola, Florida shared a similar story on his blog. It was a Saturday, and the abortion facility was packed when he and his 10-year-old son went to pray at the 40 Days for Life vigil.

“I try to use events like this to teach him, but I didn’t have to say too much,” he said. His son understood what was happening.

“He connected the abortions with his 2-year old sister, Anna. He said that our family would be a sad family if Anna had been aborted, because she brings so much joy,” Joe said. “All I could do was agree with him.”

Young adults are delivering a powerful message as well. In Canton, Ohio, a woman drove past the 40 Days for Life vigil with a sign that read, “What about the rape victims?”

Christian, who was praying at the vigil, thought to herself, “What about them?”

She, after all, should know.

“As an 18-year-old,” she said, “I was a victim of date rape. My life changed forever. A lot of what-ifs went through my head, and my first thought was abortion. I did not know what else to do.”

She soon rejected that option … and gave birth to her son in June 2008.

A year later, Christian thought she was pregnant again. Her fiance’s mother advised an abortion — or else “life as you know it will be over.” She went to Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test — with her fiance and one-year-old son. “And yet the first thing that the nurse asked me when we walked in was, ‘If you are pregnant, do you want an abortion?’”

Of course, the answer was “No!” She now has a daughter in addition to her son.

“I may have had two kids before the age of 20,” Christian said. “I may have started out as a teen mom and didn’t go to college. But I am now working and going back to school to broaden my career.”

Contrary to the advice she was given, her life is certainly not over. “And if you feel it would be, there are other options to provide your children with happy healthy lives,” she said. “With the power of God’s grace, you can make the right choices, and He will guide you every step of the way.”

As the pastor in Arizona said — what incredible teaching is going on!

Today’s devotional is from Carmen Pate, a member of the 40 Days for Life board of directors.


Pray that God will bless us with His gift of strength as we respond in obedience to His call.


Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.

If you say, “surely we did not know this,” does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?

And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?

– Proverbs 24:11-12

REFLECTION by Carmen Pate, 40 Days for Life

In this age of technologically advanced communication, ignorance of human rights abuses is no excuse.

We know there are persecuted Christians in China, there is genocide in Darfur, and there are babies aborted and women and families devastated right in our own communities.

“But I can’t save them all,” you say.

God isn’t asking you to. He has equipped each of us with time, talent, and treasure to do what we can when He provides the opportunity.

He has given us His Holy Spirit to empower us as we abide in Him. He is asking us to be on His side in speaking out and protecting those who can’t protect themselves.

When we are obedient to His calling to get in on the work He is doing, we will experience intimacy with Him in a whole new way.

Our faith will increase as we see God at work! You have responded to His call during this 40 Days for Life campaign.

Let your efforts be for His pleasure and His purposes. Pray without ceasing!


God Almighty, we pray for continued guidance and strength as we intercede on behalf of the young women and their babies who are stumbling to the slaughter.

Open the eyes of the mother’s heart to see her child as you do – a precious gift to be treasured.

Let her feel Your loving arms around her and may she be assured that you have a plan and a future for her and her child.

Give her reason not to enter the abortion clinic.

Give her wisdom and discernment to find life options through a local pregnancy care center and may she boldly choose life.

Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayer. Because of Your Son’s sacrifice we pray, Amen.


To download today’s devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:


Yours for Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

PS: How has your community been blessed during 40 Days for Life? Please let me know! You may share your reply below.

14 Responses to “DAY 25: What incredible teaching is going on”

  1. Dave Mattozzi Says:

    Let us all pray for an end to abortion in the world

  2. Sherry Guess Says:

    Volunteered yesterday at the Little Rock abortion mill – my first time to participate in a physical way as up until now I have been a prayer warrior only. A friend and I arrived and recognized our group as they were fervently praying the rosary. We stayed about 2 hours, prayed several rosaries, Father Eric arrived and we prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. There were some obstacles to overcome in concentration as a man nearby was yelling through a megaphone some pretty horrible things, but eventually he left. Near the end of our 2 hours, a car drove out of the abortion lot, a woman rolled down her passenger window and called to us: “We changed our minds. We couldn’t go through with it”. Deacon Richard, praying with us, asked them if they would like to go to the St. Joseph Center for some help, they agreed, and he directed them across the street for some real, positive help. We all rejoiced, praised God and said another Chaplet of Divine Mercy in celebration for the change that was wrought in the hearts and minds of two young people and for the new life that was affirmed. I will be going back to pray on site again next week!

  3. Michael Says:

    It is not against flesh that we fight but evil .The devil’s ultimate goal is to take an innocent child. I have prayed in front of clinics in Birmingham and felt that evil around them. Two girls were drawing pentagrams in the parking lot. i saw how easy it was to lose it by a loud talking pastor when cofronted by evil. He fell for the trap. I pray the rosary and queitly ask God to deliver the mother and the child.i also pray for those who had abortions. My own family members have had them and I have seen the horror of the aftermath.
    Thank you and Blessings for all everyone does.

  4. Margie Says:

    Yesterday, I returned to the Pregnancy Consultation Center at 53rd and F Street in Sacramento, CA for my 9am to 11 am shift. As I drove up, I saw a priest with a collar walking back and forth and praying the rosary on the sidewalk outside the clinic. A closer look revealed that it was our Bishop Jaime Soto.

    I walked up to him, kneeled, kissed his ring, and received his blessing. What joy! I was able to gift him with Joe Scheidler’s Prolife Pamphlet from the Prolife Action League of Chicago. I did learn that the Sacramento News and Review had been out just before I arrived and interviewed the Bishop on 40 Days for Life.

    Folks, if the Bishop of our Diocese makes the time to come out to pray for the women and children outside an abortion clinic, can we not spend some time in prayer outside these centers of despair bringing hope to the mothers and consulation at these Calvaries?

    Later, the storms began to pelt us with rain. It became near impossible to hold out a pamphlet which became soaked immediately. To me, it spoke of the need to pelt the site with prayer. Soaking prayer for the lives that were in danger. Come O Holy Spirit and saturate the hearts of the faithful who seek out the lost and bring mercy and hope through your people in 40 Days for Life throughout the land.

  5. mark rapp Says:

    I never thought I would visit an abortion mill. However, after reading an item in our church bulletin, I visited Northern Illinois Women’s Clinic in Rockford this past Monday. When I learned that the abortions are actually performed on Wed and Fri mornings, I returned yesterday (Fri). There were 10 abortions and 1 save. I plan to return each Fri in lent. It is difficult to explain how moving it is to stand outside a building where Satan is working inside. It is tragic to realize that the abortionists are the ones with the “law” on their side.

  6. Jeanie Says:

    Children are a blessing from God and a great witness to life! While praying recently at our vigil here in Syracuse, I was approached by a very angry pregnant young woman who was leaving ‘Planned Parenthood’. She yelled, “You shouldn’t bring children here,” referring to my four year old son. She continued, “he doesn’t even know what abortion is!” I responded as the Holy Spirit prompted, ” Your’re right, he doesn’t know what abortion is, but he knows what life is and he is here to be a witness to life!” She would not accept any help we offered her about the crisis pregnancy center right next door, but we pray that our love and witness to life that day caused her to pause and think before making a tragic decision. The young woman’s anger at the sight of a child shows that things are being stirred up within her and perhaps God is at work. Please hold this woman and her baby in your prayers.

  7. Judy Says:

    I was getting gas at Sam’s the other day and the young man who monitors the pumps came up to me and commented on my magnetic signs on my car. They were positive prolife signs, like Life is Precious and Pray for an end to Abortion. He said that it was terrible, how millions of babies were being killed each day. I told him to pray also for the women who have had these abortions, because they will suffer their entire life because of having caused the loss of their babies, sometimes because of pressure from other people like boyfriends or parents. We talked about the souls of the babies living forever with God, but the moms being here, suffering a loss that they didn’t know they would suffer. He said he had never thought about the women suffering in that way. We had a good discussion of the immortal soul and how a mother and baby really are part of each other from the moment of conception, something that no one wants to talk about. God bless that young man! He said, “I would probably get in trouble talking to you like this, being on the job and all.” What a wonderful way to start my morning!

  8. Anna Says:

    Matthew 25: 40
    ” The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

    God is SO good! I praise Him and give Him thanks for all the wonderful
    people that making sacrifices for the unborn (the least among us).
    We know that God listens to the cry of his children and
    He will hear our call for an end to abortion in our nation.

  9. Ted Kershaw Says:

    David: I find myself increasingly taken up with the thought that the Father providentially gave, and gives us humans what the theologians call secondary procreation; we do not procreate the way the Father does. Ours is a lesser form of it but it is still a gift unlike any other and we humans are necessary to it.

    If we do not follow His commandments we doom ourselves to a minor, truncated existence, battling at best things He would willingly help us fight. All the more reason to be obedient.

    I also find myself increasingly in the company of people who are unwilling victims of others’ abortions. The others thought they could get away with it but it returns, sometimes with a vengeance in later years, and haunts them, unmercifully if it does not drive them to death. They become victims of their own abortions, a double whammy as they say.

    I heard Joel Brind say “Abortion corrupts everything it touches.”

  10. Eugene Weber Says:

    Today, the heavy wind and cold rain almost kept me from going to my appointed vigil prayer time in front of the Hillcrest Woman’s Health Center, Harrisburg, PA. I am the only person assigned to my slot, so I was feeling a little sorry for myself. As I was tossing the thought of going or not going back and forth in my mind, the wind tossed off one of the doors of our garden shed. The sound of the door thudding against the back fence jolted the previous thought out of my head. The Holy Spirit must have been in that wind, because it seemed He would not allow me to feel comfortable about not going.

    After fixing the door I went after all, about a thirty minute drive from my home, arriving about ten minutes late. As I drove up to the clinic, I was greeted by the sight of a prayer group from one of the city’s parishes. Even though they were finishing up their vigil, you can imagine how foolish it felt for ever questioning whether I should go. So too was there, the couple that I usually see and pray a mystery of the Rosary with before they leave. When I finally walked up to them their first response was, “We thought you weren’t going to make it!” I felt all the more humbled.

    Today, a darkness fell over me as never experienced before, in this my third Forty Days. Three of the clinic’s escorts, or perhaps medical assistants, were gathered by the front entrance for a break, and they were laughing, not at me, but as though they might have been casually sitting in a park. It dawned on me how little affected they seemed by what was going on inside. It caused me to prayer with greater fervor for their sakes, along with the mother’s and the children inside their mothers whom may be inside this “health” center. This day, I prayed with tears of sadness and of despair; a sense despair for all who are involved in this most grave offense against God; and for our nation, because we have, for so long, lost our way.

  11. Carol Wright Says:

    I went down to pray at the Access Clinic in Downers Grove because they are doing the 40 Days for Life and are having a hard time filling their time slots. I was all alone just standing and praying on the sidewalk in front of the clinic. A young black women parked her car in the clinic lot and walked across the grass to where I was standing and literally fell into my arms sobbing. I held her for what seemed like a very long time as she wept like her heart would break. Finally I asked her if she was pregnant. She said no but when I asked if she had had an abortion she said she had. Two and a half years ago she and her husband were not getting along and they were in a bad financial situation. She went to Hinsdale and as soon as she got on the table she changed her mind. They told her it was too late, that they had already started the anesthesia. They strapped her down and went ahead with it.

    She kept saying that she wants her baby back. She had had a nervous breakdown and had tried to commit suicide. I tried to comfort her as best I could. She’s a Christian so I told her that God would forgive her but that she had to also forgive herself. I tried to encourage her to go back to Hinsdale and talk to the people at Woman Choice Services. I told her that there are millions of women who are walking around who regret their abortions and are wounded in their very soul. I told her I’d pray for her. Her name is Diane. She has other children but she said it doesn’t matter, she just wants her baby back. Just one of the many sad stories out there. I can’t think of a better place I could have been yesterday afternoon than at that clinic.

  12. Marc D'Arcangelis Says:

    Coincidentally, I did some research earlier today that may help us respond to the common question many struggle with, as does the woman who drove past the vigil folks in Canton with a sign reading, “What about the rape victims?”

    According to the Priest for Life website, abortions in cases of rape, incest, and to preserve the life of the mother constitute a tiny fraction, perhaps 1%, of all abortions. All other legal abortions, 99%, allow unregulated access to abortion, for any reason, in the first trimester and state regulated access in the second and third trimesters.

    Our nation and those we influence in the world have been taken down the wrong path by the NAF and Planned Parenthood. On Oct. 21, 2008, Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop William Murphy, Chairmen of both the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, made the following joint statement: “The law is a teacher, and Roe taught many women, physicians and others that abortion is an acceptable answer to a wide range of problems” ( ).

    This was never an individual’s rights issue, as pro-abortion supporters suggest, nor is it just an issue of faith, but one that is key to our survival as a nation. Our “One Nation Under God” has separated itself from Him, in my opinion, and we are seeing evidence of this every day. This is why Respect for Life issues, especially abortion, are so important.

  13. Debbie Fisher Says:

    Last Saturday I went to pray at the 40 Days for Life site in Toronto Canada. The ‘death-scorts’ began showing up at 8am with their signs that read pro-child, pro-woman, pro-choice so I went to them and said good morning and then proceeded to describe the trauma I experienced at the hands of an abortionist 23 years ago. Their first response was that they were sorry for my loss but they refused to take the Silent No More Awareness pamphlets I offered so they could hand them out to the women leaving after their abortions. In fact one man said, “I’m not going to bother the girls leaving here. They’ve been through enough already. Exactly I said, and if you were truly pro-woman you wouldn’t be escorting them in. This must have upset him very much for the next thing I knew he went into the building and one of the clinic workers came out. I told her I knew what she was doing in there and proceeded to tell her my abortion story. At first she told me I couldn’t be there and then she said, “I’m sorry for your loss, but that was your choice”. I asked her what she was doing to help the women who were undergoing abortions at that moment and she said, “They’ve made their choice”. I realized in that instant that not only did she despise me for not remaining silent, but she also despised every woman who went into the clinic because she hated doing what she was doing. I decided then that I would offer up prays and sacrifices for the conversion of this worker that she might be freed from the institution she hated so miserably to be able to come to the light of Christ. They know the lie and they are mastered by it.

  14. Sharon Horn Says:

    Reading today’s entry of the lady who was pregnant by rape, reminded me why I am involved in the pro-life cause. I too was raped, by my 1st husband. In an abusive situation, I was in the process of leaving him. Finding myself pregnant, I comptemplated abortion for 3 hours. A faithful friend reminded my of the scripture,,,,”Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything.” I immediately felt everything would somehow work out for me and my babies good. Twenty years later, my daughter is a nursing student, and my new husband and I have a heart of the pre-born!! Standing for life at the planned parenthood abortion center in Des Moines, IA, Sat March 12. I had the priviledge to interceed for a woman who was at the facility. It was odvious the woman who was with her was trying to convince her to go ahead with the abortion. She was in termoil. You could feel the spiritual battle between life and death. After intense interceeding, holding the sign, “Pray for an end to abortion, ” she drove by me with a big smile waving, as she chose life!! I now realized I was soaking and shaking as it had been raining for about an hour, hearing the words, “That was the one for today.” My husband said it was now time to go, we had done what we were to do. He indeed does work all things together for those who love Him. I know being in a crisis pregnancy can be overwhelming, but our God is bigger! He has a plan for us all!! No matter our beginnning! To God to the Glory!

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