Last Saturday’s message dealt with the presence of children at 40 Days for Life prayer vigils, and how some people question the idea of having children pray outside the abortion centers. As always, the Holy Spirit has provided the final word: Bring the kids!
Ernie and Mary Beth are the coordinators of 40 Days for Life in Pensacola, Florida. And wherever you see Ernie and Mary Beth, you see their four children. And of course, they were at the abortion facility this past Saturday — the day that our e-mail message was about children praying at the vigils.
The first good sign on this very windy day in Pensacola was the fact that the abortion center’s parking lot was half empty. It’s usually jam-packed. So that means fewer abortion appointments.
Before the day was over, FIVE MOTHERS decided to reject abortion and spare their children!
In one instance, a group of women drove up in two cars. One got out, turned towards the vigil participants and asked, “Why do you have children out here?”
Ernie replied, “They are here praying for you and to remind everyone that children are a wonderful gift.” She stomped away.
Just a minute later, one of the women from this group drove away — very angry. The others from the first car came out the front door with a woman who had been inside the abortion facility. Ernie said that’s another good sign. “Anyone that comes out the front door has NOT had an abortion.”
The same woman who questioned the presence of the children did so again: “Why don’t you get these kids away from here?”
Ernie answered, “We love you! We are here praying for you and your friends.”
As they drove out, the young woman who had left the abortion facility gave a big thumbs-up outside her open window. She had indeed chosen life!
“This spring, my four children, who have been with us every day during all four 40 Days for Life campaigns in Pensacola, have begun to understand the importance of prayer in front of the abortion facility,” Ernie said. “My two oldest — 8 and 6 — have really been praying a lot this spring with us.”
It was Ernie’s children that the angry woman was complaining about. And it’s no wonder. The children’s prayers may have made a world of difference to that young mother who left the abortion center, determined to let her own child live.
“I believe my children were used by the Holy Spirit to change this woman’s mind,” he said. “Children do have a tremendous impact on the mothers and fathers that enter abortion facilities. Thank you, God, for the wonderful gifts you have given me in my life — my wonderful children and wife. I am so proud of them all!”
Today’s devotional is from Rev. Clenard Childress of Life Education and Resources Network.
DAY 30 INTENTION
Let us pray that pastors may not be distracted from the priority of caring for human lives.
In those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
– Acts 6:1
More folks learning left some yearning.
It is the dawning of a new day. There is much excitement in Jerusalem. Many who dedicated themselves to the faith became disciples (the word disciple means “learner”).
The unprecedented church growth was miraculous and undoubtedly brought much satisfaction to the new leadership. The apostles, however, were about to experience growing pains in their master plan of evangelism.
Projects that engage the community, especially those that are evangelistic in nature, are high on the list of priorities for every duty-bound pastor.
Church attendance is a constant concern for every pastor and often his or her worth is measured by it. Unfortunately, just as the original twelve pastors in Acts, they can be so focused on getting people in that they inadvertently end up pushing some people out.
Murmuring is a deplorable deterrent to a harmonious fellowship, yet God used it to get the disciples attention. Those that needed daily attention due to their age and social status were being neglected.
This neglect of the Hellenist widows during the daily distribution of food was causing undue grief and needed to be corrected by the leadership. By God’s grace the problem was dealt with, but the lesson remains.
And during these 40 days, let us pray that today’s church not make the same mistake of forgetting the contributions of our seniors, or the needs of the weakest among us, the unborn.
Father, in the Church’s desire to engage our communities with the Gospel let her not disengage from those who need their care and company the most.
Let us gain wisdom from those who have gone before us and cherish their experiences and perspectives. Help us to appreciate every soul in the body of Christ and minister properly to everybody. Amen.
To download today’s devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:
Yours for Life,
40 Days for Life
PS: Have children made an impact at 40 Days for Life in your community? Please share your story by replying below.