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Archive for September, 2010

DAY 9: Steadfast in the face of persecution

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Every once in a while, people show up at a 40 Days for Life prayer vigil who wish YOU would just go home.

In some cases, they themselves are suffering as the result of an abortion experience. Or they may simply want to get under your skin.

Persecution is not suggested by Jesus; it is PROMISED if we follow Him. While seeking persecution is not the goal of 40 Days for Life, it does go along with standing against the evil of abortion.

If that ever happens to you, just remain peaceful — and pray harder! The fruit is worth it.

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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN
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On my recent visit to the 40 Days for Life vigil in Milwaukee, the abortion center put a sign in their window asking for contributions to “pledge to end harassment.”

This tired, ineffective tactic is attempted often, particularly by Planned Parenthood. But it doesn’t work. They do it because they don’t know how to react to peaceful opposition that speaks to their conscience and calls them to re-evaluate their work.

This childish reaction speaks to the effectiveness of the prayer that they view as “harassment.”

Here’s the sign in the window of the Milwaukee abortion center:

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SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA
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At their kickoff event recently, the 40 Days for Life team in Santa Cruz was “welcomed” by a local anarchist group that, to say the least, is rabidly pro-abortion.

Most of what they said and most of what they did at the prayer vigil … well, I’m just not going to repeat it. Suffice it to say, it was nasty.

One pastor advised the prayer volunteers to keep an air of serenity and ignore obnoxious behavior, but to not back down.

Please keep the Santa Cruz team in your prayers.

There is one picture I can show you from Santa Cruz, featuring a small group praying — along with a young man holding a sign that reads “Abort Jesus.”

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RENO, NEVADA
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Please keep Reno in your prayers as well.

When I was in there a few days ago, I witnessed what the volunteers there have to endure — an aggressive abortionist with a vulgar and confrontational attitude.

One sign that he had professionally made is so vulgar I cannot put it in an e-mail. But there are other signs, facing the street for all to see:

  • No trespassing
  • God is pro-choice
  • These protesters are terrorists

The abortionist also has a sprinkler system — but not for landscaping. The sprinklers are intentionally pointed towards the sidewalk … where the prayer volunteers stand.

He also installed a sound system that he often uses to blast out obscene music — hoping that the Christians praying on the sidewalk would be offended and leave.

Well, it isn’t working. It hasn’t worked — ever. But still he persists. As do the prayer volunteers!

Here are some photos of the Reno vigil site:



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LAWRENCEVILLE, GEORGIA
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If someone does give you a hard time, pray for them!

A woman drove into the parking lot near the 40 Days for Life vigil location in Lawrenceville and started yelling at one of the volunteers. She was described as very aggressive and angry, shouting things like, “Just WHAT are you people doing here?”

The volunteer quietly explained what the vigil was all about — and the angry woman started to calm down a bit. During the course of a 15-minute conversation, she shared some personal information (we’re not sure exactly what was discussed), and finally she had made a complete turnaround.

“She became very sweet and very supportive of what we were doing,” one of the volunteers reported.

Here’s a photo of 40 Days for Life participants in Lawrenceville:

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The long and the short of it is PRAYER WORKS! So please keep it up!

Here’s today’s devotional from Day Gardner, president of the National Black Pro-life Union…

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DAY 9 INTENTION
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May we grow in joy, knowing we serve a living God.

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SCRIPTURE
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And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

– John 1:14

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REFLECTION by Day Gardner
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The Word of God came to us in human form in Jesus Christ. Every time I contemplate this fact I get chills! And I think it is something that we, as Christians, tend to gloss over. I can only imagine how the first disciples felt when they were looking into the eyes of the one and only Almighty God who created them.

The first disciples developed a close relationship with Him as they daily walked and talked with Him. They ate with Him, prayed with Him and rested when He rested. As they listened to the Word of God, who was and is Jesus….they believed and “beheld His glory.”

Today, this is something we can still do because we serve a living God. Remember, Jesus died on the cross but rose from the dead in victory! Jesus is every bit as real and alive for all of us as He was to the first disciples. He wants us to develop a close relationship with Him in the very same way. Jesus wants us to know Him personally. He wants us to walk with Him and talk with Him on a daily basis.

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PRAYER
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Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your love and saving grace in Christ Jesus. Help us to realize every day the great blessing we have in our Savior.

I pray that we will rise every morning with excitement and zeal, looking forward to walking another day in your footsteps fully knowing that you continue to dwell among us. Amen.

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

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2010day09print.pdf

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For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: What’s going on with YOUR 40 Days for Life campaign? Please leave a comment below.

DAY 8: Abortion center closes!

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

“It’s official!” reads the message from Michael, the local 40 Days for Life coordinator in Severna Park, Maryland.

“We have confirmed that Gynecare is closed,” he wrote, “and will not reopen its doors. The office suite that Gynecare has operated in for years is already listed for rent, and we have confirmed with the listing agent that the current tenant will be completely out of the office soon!”

For the seventh time now, the Lord has responded to 40 Days for Life volunteers’ prayers by closing the doors of a place where countless numbers of innocent lives were lost!!!

40 Days for Life came to Severna Park in the fall of 2008, and the focus from the beginning had been this Gynecare abortion facility.

However, the campaign faced a significant hurdle. The center was located in a private development, and the closest the volunteers could get was several hundred yards away.

But they prayed … and they prayed … and they prayed, that God would end abortions at this facility.

“God has heard our prayers and has moved; but we still aren’t done yet,” said Michael. “We need to continue to sing to and praise God for the answers and grace that He has shown these past few months. Countless lives have been saved and will be saved because of the closing of Gynecare in Severna Park!”

Here are some of the members of the 40 Days for Life team in Severna Park:

There were MORE answered prayers this week in Texas.

A nurse walked out of the abortion center that is the site of one of the 40 Days for Life vigils in the El Paso area and gave her phone number to one of the prayer volunteers.

“Please help me find a new job,” she said. “I quit!”

When we pray at an abortion center, we’re praying for the mothers and babies, of course. But we’re also praying for the people who work at those facilities.

Some of them are determined advocates of “choice.” Others are simply people who need a job, and in these economic times, the options are often limited.

Still others don’t fully understand what they’re getting into when they sign up for work at one of these so-called reproductive healthcare centers.

That may be the case with a man who just recently took a job as a security guard at a facility where a 40 Days for Life vigil is in progress.

Over the weekend, he was approached by a young woman who had come for an abortion — and she’s pregnant with twins!

The abortion was her boyfriend’s idea — not hers. In fact, she didn’t want the abortion at all. But he was pressuring her, and she explained her situation to the guard.

His response: “Do what your heart tells you to do.”

That was amazing enough. But the guard then told the boyfriend that it was basically time to man-up and do the right thing. And, he added, if the boyfriend continued to threaten his girlfriend, she could press charges.

The young man broke down in tears and admitted he was wrong. The couple then left the abortion center.

Michael in Maryland sent a scripture verse with the story of the abortion center closing. It talks about faith. It’s worth repeating:

I tell you the truth; if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

— Mark 11:23

Please thank God for the miracles in Maryland and Texas — and please pray for His guidance for the security guard who provided unexpected support for a young mother. And BELIEVE!

Here’s today’s devotional from Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life…

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DAY 8 INTENTION
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May the spirit and example of the Good Samaritan fill the hearts and minds of all our citizens.

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SCRIPTURE
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Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So, too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.”

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’”

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

– Luke 10:30-37

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REFLECTION by Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
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Here Jesus commands us to show mercy to the victims of the culture of violence and death.

But why did the priest and Levite fail to show mercy? Perhaps they feared that the robbers were hiding just around the next corner to attack them. They asked themselves, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?”

The Samaritan, however, reversed the question, and asked, “If I don’t stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

In working to save the unborn, let’s not worry about what will happen to us if we act; let’s worry about what will happen to the unborn if we don’t.

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PRAYER
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Father, we are moved by the lesson of the Good Samaritan, who allowed compassion to influence him more than fear. Give us the same heart.

Grant that we may never count the cost of standing up and speaking out for the unborn. We pray through Christ our Lord, Amen.

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

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2010day08print.pdf

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For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: Please continue to share your own 40 Days for Life stories! You’re invited to leave a comment below.

DAY 7: God provides the miracles

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

I’ll be making more stops in California today — visiting 40 Days for Life vigil locations in Santa Cruz and San Jose.

Our national director, David Bereit, is in Michigan today, stopping at 40 Days for Life locations in Kalamazoo, Dearborn, Ann Arbor, Southfield, Sterling Heights, Clarkston, Flint and Saginaw.

40 Days for Life campaigns — 238 strong — are gaining momentum and the stories and pictures continue to pour in.

Take a quick tour and see what God has done in just the first week…

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BALTIMORE, MARYLAND
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In Baltimore, 40 Days for Life coordinators held a prayer procession from a local church to the abortion center — a distance of about 1/3 mile.

They hoped about 200 people would attend. But the evening of this candlelight event, they counted at least 350 people taking part.

“The police officer on the scene called for two additional backup cars to ensure our safety,” said one of the local leaders. “Our numbers stretched almost the entire distance from the church to the abortion facility.”

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PENSACOLA, FLORIDA
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The opening of a second abortion center has led to a second 40 Days for Life vigil in Pensacola.

As they prepared for this campaign, the Pensacola leadership team keep praying, “Lord, send laborers for your harvest.”

“Wow!” said Ernie, the local coordinator. “Has he indeed answered that prayer.” Both abortion facilities have been covered in prayer for a minimum of 12 hours a day, and more churches are taking entire days at the vigil.

In addition, two mothers have changed their minds and canceled their abortion appointments. “We do what God asks,” said Ernie, “and He provides the miracles!”

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COLLEGEVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA
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This is the SIXTH 40 Days for Life campaign for the folks in Collegeville. Once again, they are faithfully praying for an end to abortion outside the local Planned Parenthood facility.

The vigil itself helps recruit new people to stand and pray. Rita, the local coordinator, said a man with his young son drove past the vigil, saw what was going on — and got out to pray!

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SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA
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Vigil participants in Shreveport are praying that abortions will cease at a facility with a name that’s hard to believe: The Hope Medical Group for Women. It’s typical of the false image that the abortion industry presents.

This facility is currently under investigation by Louisiana health officials. Please pray that God may use that investigation to close this center.

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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA
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There’s one final picture I’d like you to see.

It shows 40 Days for Life in a different light — not with a tremendous group of people praying, but just one.

The Planned Parenthood building in Indianapolis looks huge, and the lone person praying looks small. But don’t forget Who is listening to that prayer!

With God, all things are possible — even something as daunting as bringing abortion to an end.

And now here’s today’s devotional from Fr. Terry Gensemer, the National Director of the Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life…

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DAY 7 INTENTION
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May we have a heart and a zeal to save the poor and release the oppressed.

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SCRIPTURE
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The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.

– Luke 4:18-19

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REFLECTION by Fr. Terry Gensemer
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This passage is a very familiar one. It has been preached on many occasions, even made popular in books and songs. Though the quote is about Jesus, all Christians take this commission seriously as a directive on how to reach the world with the gospel.

We, like our Savior, are to bring the good news to the poor, the brokenhearted, those in captivity, those who cannot see, and the oppressed.

The commission given to us in this passage is clearly a charge to care for those for whom God cares the most. I wonder though, whom do we look for to be touched by the Holy Spirit as we go out into the world?

Who are the poor, if not those unborn children who have been abandoned by their parents before they ever leave the womb?

Who are the brokenhearted, if not those unborn children whose only example of love is having their mother take them to an abortion clinic to be destroyed, or the mother of a child who has been deceived by everyone around her into believing that what she is doing is best for her and her child?

Who are the captives, if not those unborn children who are bound over to death by the “choice” of abortion?

Who is more blind than an unborn child in the darkness of a womb that has become a waiting room for their death?

And who is more oppressed than those unborn children whose oppression has been legitimized by their government, their church and even their family and loved ones?

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PRAYER
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Lord, You empower us with Your Spirit to do your will in the earth. Send us to the poorest, the most broken, the most captive, the most blind and the most oppressed in the world, the innocent pre-born children in their mother’s wombs that are scheduled for destruction. Help us to bring them healing, liberty, sight and justice through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

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

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2010day07print.pdf

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For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: What’s going on with 40 Days for Life in your community? Please leave a comment below to let me know!

DAY 6: 44 babies saved!

Monday, September 27th, 2010

I’m in California today, visiting the 40 Days for Life locations in Sacramento, Vallejo, Santa Rosa and Napa. Tomorrow, it’s on to Santa Cruz and San Jose.

I have a question for you: Will you be speaking at a 40 Days for Life kickoff event with the director of your local abortion facility at this time next year?

That’s what I just did!!! And I have the video for you.

This video was recorded in Fayetteville, Arkansas where former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson and I spoke outside of the Planned Parenthood facility there.

This time last year, we were both at the 40 Days for Life kickoff event in College Station, Texas — on opposite sides of the fence!

See our talks and learn how your peaceful presence led to her conversion. Enjoy this video and know that with God all things are possible:

The subject line of today’s message no doubt got your attention. It’s the one thing EVERYBODY always wants to know — “How many babies have been saved?”

As of the time I’m posting this, the total is indeed …

44 … that we know of.

We always add “that we know of” because no one other than God Himself knows exactly how many lives He has spared in response to your prayers and fasting.

With that in mind, here are some wonderfully encouraging reports from local 40 Days for Life campaign coordinators:

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EVERETT, WASHINGTON
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Friday is an abortion day at Planned Parenthood in Everett, the site of a 40 Days for Life vigil.

This past Friday, however, the abortion total at this facility was ZERO!

The place was CLOSED!!!

That was most unusual. No one really knows why. And no one knows for sure how many lives may have been saved. Women whose appointments were rescheduled now have more time to think — and reflect on what it is that they were about to do.

Keep praying!

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BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA
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TWO women rejected abortions on the first day of the campaign in Birmingham.

One young woman went into the Planned Parenthood center — and turned right around and left within 15 minutes. She spoke to one of the volunteers and followed her to the pro-life pregnancy center nearby, where she decided to keep her baby.

Later, a couple took information from a volunteer, but entered the Planned Parenthood building and stayed for hours. It didn’t look good. But finally they walked out — with huge smiles — and told the people praying they canceled the abortion.

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TOLEDO, OHIO
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While several people were praying at the 40 Days for Life vigil, a young woman drove out of the abortion center and pulled up to the volunteers. She rolled down her window and told them she had changed her mind.

“Our prayers and presence make a difference,” said one of the volunteers. “Christians of different faith backgrounds coming together for the same purpose! What a witness!”

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CHICO, CALIFORNIA
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Early one morning, several 40 Days for Life vigil participants watched — and prayed — as a woman entered Planned Parenthood.

They kept praying, hoping for a miracle.

After a while, the young woman exited the abortion center, turned towards the prayer volunteers … and gave them a big thumbs-up.

“Be encouraged,” said Mary in Chico. “We most often do not see the results, but know that each and every prayer is touching someone.”

I couldn’t have said it any better!

Here’s today’s devotional from Rev. Paul Stallsworth, president of Lifewatch (United Methodist Church)…

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DAY 6 INTENTION
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That knowing the shortness of life, all may value it more deeply.

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SCRIPTURE
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Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

– Ecclesiastes 12:6-7

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REFLECTION by Rev. Paul Stallsworth, Lifewatch
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God is giver of all life. Short lived or long lived human lives are lived out in this world. The metaphors for death are many. But their meaning is clear and singular: all will die. Even so, death is not the absolute end. It is not the end of the story. For as certainly as God gave life, at death the life or spirit that God gave returns to God.

By God, we are created. For God, we live our given days. To God, we return at the end of our earthly days. And with God, we live through eternity. Clearly, all along the way, this gracious, loving God is with us. No human life is random or alone. No human life was created without purpose. Not one human life is without destiny.

All human lives, acknowledged or not, are related to God — from beginning, to end, throughout eternity. Therefore, in this world, all human lives are to be respected and protected, for their lives are signs of God’s sovereignty.

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PRAYER
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O God, we too often try to live in ways that ignore our coming death. We forget that our days are numbered by You, that at the end of our days your judgment awaits, that You are the Lord of our destiny.

Help us to repent daily, and then to live each day in joyful obedience. Lead us to live in the light and promise of eternity. Prepare us to live fully and sacrificially. Prepare us to die faithfully and hopefully, so that we might live forever with You. Through Jesus Christ, who has gone before us, we trust and hope and love and pray, Amen.

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

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2010day06print.pdf

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For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: So what did you think of the video? Please leave your comments below.

DAY 5: A ray of light

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

We often receive stories that get straight to the heart of what 40 Days for Life is all about. This one comes from Steve in Charlottesville, Virginia:

40 Days for Life is upon us and sometimes it’s hard to muster the courage and energy to confront the dark cloud of abortion that hangs over this nation. However, occasionally a ray of light shines through the darkness to remind us that God is still there and His love is triumphant.

When I moved to Charlottesville this summer I met a couple men who had been standing outside of Planned Parenthood for years. In fact, one of them had been standing for so long that he was starting to question his service.

He said to me, “It’s very rare that I get any positive feedback.” I told him that it was a small town, but I knew from my experience in Houston that lives were being changed simply by the presence of men and women outside of the abortion clinic praying and handing out literature.

No sooner had he crossed the street than a woman pulled up into the Planned Parenthood parking lot and started yelling at me. At first I thought she angry with me. But then she told me she wanted to tell me something. She pointed to the back seat of her car and said she had a grandson in a car seat that was alive because people were standing outside of the clinic — and she wanted to say thank you.

I ran across the street to the parking lot where my friend was parked to tell him the good news. But God wasn’t done!

A week later a young woman pulled off the side of the road to tell me that she, too, had changed her mind because people were standing outside of the clinic.

This woman later sent Steve a note. Here’s what she said:

I’m not sure why I was so inclined to stop and speak to you but remember feeling like I needed to tell someone my story, someone who changed my thought process when I was trying to decide whether or not I should carry my child to term.

I cannot thank you and others like you enough for standing up for what you believe in, because had it not been for you all I may have made a horrible decision and terminated my pregnancy. My girl is my entire world, and everything I do now is so that I can create a better life for her.

Please, do not stop doing what you are doing. I know it may seem like your messages are falling on deaf eyes and blind eyes, but I can assure you that me and my daughter are proof of the power that you all have.

“So when your feet start to hurt and your back begins to ache,” said Steve, “just remember this baby is alive today because a group of people overcame their fears, anxieties, and personal plans to help others.”

Amen!

I’m in Reno, Nevada today … heading for California on Monday, with stops in Sacramento, Vallejo, Santa Rosa and Napa. Yes, that WILL be a busy day! But I’m truly blessed to witness God use this effort coast-to-coast.

Here’s today’s devotional from Rev. Ben Sheldon, president emeritus of Presbyterians Pro-Life…

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DAY 5 INTENTION
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May the truth of the final judgment shape our thoughts, priorities, and choices here on earth.

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SCRIPTURE
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The King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

– Matthew 25:31-46

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REFLECTION by Rev. Ben Sheldon
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Caring for others is not optional.

Jesus’ picture of the final judgment concludes with this sobering word: the wicked, who failed to care for others in their various needs (e.g., the hungry, the thirsty, the aliens, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned) will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous who did seek to meet those needs will end up with him, enjoying eternal life.

We know that this was no parable! Jesus has given us fair warning! Everything in God’s Word points to the truth that compassionate concern and practical care for all people, especially for the poor, the destitute, the weak and needy is required of us, if indeed we hope to escape the punishment of the fire of hell.

And who are the poor and needy, if not helpless, unborn babies, as well as the aged and infirm at the other end of life? Surely the “least of these” embraces not only those at both ends of the continuum of life, but all others in between.

Just how we, as Christ’s true followers, respond to his admonition “inasmuch as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me” will determine whether we enjoy eternal bliss in his presence or the bleak and dreadful reality of eternal punishment in hell. Nothing in God’s Word could be clearer!

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PRAYER
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Gracious and merciful Father, we gladly embrace your Word that counsels us to care for the least of your children, and we renew our dedication to defending the unborn and all whose right to life is compromised by our godless society’s selfish lack of concern. Free us from our own failures and sins so that we will be truly pro-life in every area of our lives. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

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

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2010day05print.pdf

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Have a blessed Sunday!

For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: On my visit to Wisconsin last week, I was interviewed by Drew Mariani of the Relevant Radio network. Drew is a great supporter of 40 Days for Life and we really appreciate him!

Listen to this interview online (click arrow to start):

Download MP3 (right-click to save file to your computer):

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/audio/mariani.mp3

DAY 4: May God be glorified

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

I’m home — for a few hours, anyway — following a whirlwind trip to visit 40 Days for Life locations in Arkansas and Wisconsin.

Here are some photos from my trip:

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FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS

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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN

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GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN

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MADISON, WISCONSIN

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APPLETON, WISCONSIN

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I’ll be on the road again starting tomorrow, with stops in Nevada and California. David Bereit, our national director, is visiting Minnesota today. More pictures and stories will follow!

Today, of course, is Saturday — the busiest day for abortions at many of the facilities where 40 Days for Life vigils are being conducted. If that’s the case in your city, and you have an opportunity to join the prayer vigil, please do so.

Your prayers are needed — urgently!

We’re all human and we want to know if our prayers are being heard. I’d like to tell you a couple of stories that I hope will offer you proof that our merciful God is listening to every word.

It had been a long day for Eileen at the 40 Days for Life vigil in Beaumont, Texas. As she was about ready to go home, she looked up over the roof of the abortion center and noticed a rainbow beginning to form. “There was no rain anywhere,” she said.

Eileen and the other volunteers had been praying for the conversion of the abortion facility staff. “As we stood there in awe looking and beholding a sign from God that He would protect us,” she said, “another rainbow formed on top of that one.”

The rainbows remained for about five minutes, “and the color seemed to get darker instead of lighter.”

Here’s a photo of the rainbows:

40 Days for Life participants in Chandler, Arizona received a sign as well.

One of the local coordinators has a van with a “pray to end abortion” sign on the side. The owner watched from a distance as a woman drove up to the van, got out, scribbled a note, and stuck it on the windshield.

They wondered if the sign on the van had prompted a “nastygram,” but that was not the case at all. The message simply said, “Thank You! Never grow weary! May God be glorified in the excellence of your work.”

“That message was not just for us,” said Anita in Chandler. “That message is for everyone who is out there praying right now. It’s for every person who has taken the time to stand in the rain, the snow, the heat or on a very beautiful day, simply to peacefully pray for an end to abortion.”

The bottom line? Keep doing what you’re doing!

“You are making a difference,” Anita said, “even if you never see any results. God sees them, and that is what really matters!

Here’s today’s devotional from Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life…

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DAY 4 INTENTION
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We ask God that we may understand the concept of justice, as a gift he gives and as a responsibility that shapes our work.

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SCRIPTURE
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Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

– Amos 5:24

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REFLECTION by Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
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Justice, a key theme of the Scriptures, is something God does and that we too must do.

When God intervenes to save his people when they are helpless and in slavery in Egypt, he “does justice.” He manifested his justice in the plagues that were sent upon Egypt, whereby Pharaoh was convinced that he must let the people go. Justice is manifested as, in awe and wonder, God’s people see the Red Sea open before them, allow them to pass without even getting their feet wet, and then close again to drown their powerful enemies.

God is a God of Justice; he rescues us when we cannot save ourselves. His justice, above all, is seen in Jesus Christ, who, when we could not save ourselves, rescued us from the kingdom of sin, Satan, death, and hell. The mighty work of Christ on the cross and in the resurrection is the perfect manifestation of God as the God of justice.

We, then, are to be the people of justice; we are to “do justice” by intervening to save the helpless in the name and by the power of the God who saves us who are helpless ourselves. That’s why we have a pro-life movement; that’s why we have a 40 Days for Life Campaign; that’s why saving the unborn is our business.

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PRAYER
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God of Justice, you heard the cry of your people when they were being oppressed in Egypt, and you proved yourself to be the God of justice, who rescues the helpless. You likewise rescued us from the kingdom of darkness, and brought us into the Kingdom of your Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who saves us from the power of Satan, sin, death, and hell.

Make us people of justice, ready to intervene to save the helpless. Indeed, as your prophets have announced, let justice roll on like a mighty river, to save all who are in need, especially the unborn. We pray through Christ our Lord, Amen.

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

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2010day04print.pdf

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For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: How is 40 Days for Life touching lives in your community? Please leave a comment below.

DAY 3: See for yourself

Friday, September 24th, 2010

The local media in cities all over has been covering the launch of 40 Days for Life … and that is helping to spread the word!

It’s only Day 3, and we’re already seeing lots of positive coverage for 40 Days for Life in local newspaper and TV reports. Here are just a few examples.

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BRYAN/COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS
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Want to see how the local media portrays 40 Days for Life in the community where this mission began?

KBTX-TV reported on the kickoff rally there, and interviewed a good friend and pro-life hero of mine, Dr. Haywood Robinson. The newscast shows people quietly praying, contrasted with Planned Parenthood’s written statement complaining about “harassment”

Needless to say, the video proves there was not a single person being harassed.

Here’s the KBTX video (there’s a short commercial first):

Click here to read the KBTX report:

http://tinyurl.com/2czvvlb

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JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI
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WAPT-TV reported on the 40 Days for Life vigil at Mississippi’s only remaining abortion center, highlighting the comments of a kickoff speaker who talked about having an abortion at the age of 16.

“My baby would be 27 today, she said. “That’s a full-grown person who probably would’ve had a spouse and maybe children by now. It wasn’t just a blob of cells. It was a whole line of my family tree.”

Click here to read the WAPT report and see the video:

http://tinyurl.com/2afgtyl

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FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA
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The Fargo Forum carried an account of the 40 Days for Life vigil at North Dakota’s only abortion facility. “The truth is, babies are dying every week in this building,” said local coordinator Colleen Samson.

In greeting the women entering the abortion center, Marlene, one of the prayer volunteers, said “I don’t raise my voice. I offer them hope.”

Laura could not stay a full hour at the vigil, but felt she just had to stop. “I have 10 minutes between one job and the next. I wanted to support life.”

Click here to access the Fargo Forum story:

http://tinyurl.com/296e5wq

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PEORIA, ILLINOIS
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The Peoria Journal-Star reported on that city’s kickoff event, noting that 40 Days for Life in Peoria has “grown significantly.”

“We’re praying to God to end abortion,” said Karen, the local coordinator, “and we’re looking to continue growing to accomplish that.”

She said the key is the peaceful vigil at the abortion center. “Some people will hold signs, but I don’t think that’s the most important thing. Prayer is the most important thing.”

“It’s important for us to remind people what’s going on,” said Robert, one of the volunteers. “If we can remind them and pray with them, can stop this.”

Click here to access the Peoria Star-Journal story:

http://tinyurl.com/2c5jl3x

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Those are just a few of the many, many news stories being reported in local newspapers and TV stations.

God is greatly blessing this 40 Days for Life campaign already. I can’t wait to see what He does next!

Here’s today’s devotional from Dennis DiMauro of Lutherans for Life…

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DAY 3 INTENTION
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We pray for God’s gift of strength as we strive to protect human life during these 40 Days for Life.

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SCRIPTURE
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Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

– Matthew 6:25-26

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REFLECTION by Dennis DiMauro, Lutherans for Life
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Billions of dollars are spent each year on diet plans. But Jesus tells us to stop worrying so much about our bodies, and instead to trust in God’s care for our physical needs.

What would happen if the people who had started on a low-carb diet this year had instead gone on a diet of heavenly food? For non-believers that diet would include trusting in Christ for their salvation, and for believers it would include a renewed prayer life, a new Bible study, or even a spiritual fast. This diet doesn’t include giving up on certain kinds of foods. What this diet includes is giving up on anxiety by resting in the loving arms of Christ, trusting that He will provide.

Such a spiritual diet also frees us from our worries, and allows us to freely praise Him and serve others. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

This promised provision teaches us the inestimable worth of our lives. He will not allow us to go without. This intimate knowledge and care for human life on the part of our gracious God is what motivates us to seek for the preservation of human life in all its stages.

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PRAYER
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Loving heavenly Father, help us to see the worth of all human beings by the way in which you provide for us. We would ask that you provide also the faith, grace and courage to enable us to protect that which is so precious to you. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

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PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
—————————————————–

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

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2010day03print.pdf

For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

DAY 2: Off to a fabulous start

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

The reports from opening events at local 40 Days for Life campaigns are rolling in … WOW!

Not only is this the biggest campaign ever, but more and more people are getting involved in local efforts from the very start!

Here are just a few examples.

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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA
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One of the speakers at the Indianapolis kickoff talked about embracing the crosses that come with praying at an abortion center for 40 days.

The people attending the event had an opportunity to sacrifice their personal comfort almost immediately — a two-and-a-half mile walk to the local Planned Parenthood abortion center — in a rainstorm!

“The Holy Spirit must have been at work,” said Joseph, one of the coordinators.

“The best part of the experience was being led by the high schoolers,” said Mary, who took part in the walk. “I believe that the sight of our group marching in the pouring rain with our banner and signs was quite compelling as thousands of people drove past us. Let’s pray for the most successful 40 Days for Life ever!”

Here’s a photo of prayer volunteers in Indianapolis processing with their umbrellas:

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GLENDALE, ARIZONA
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It didn’t rain in Arizona; it was just HOT! By the time the candlelight vigil began at the 6 pm Glendale kickoff event, it had “cooled off” to 108 degrees.

Still, several dozen turned out for the first-ever 40 Days for Life vigil at the Planned Parenthood center in Glendale.

Here’s a photo of the candlelight event:

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FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA
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The team in Fairfax decided to try something new to get the word out about their local campaign. They set up a booth at a Christian music festival in their area — an opportunity to reach out to a huge crowd with the 40 Days for Life message.

It worked! At least 100 people signed up to pray at the Fairfax 40 Days for Life vigil.

“This project was part of our mission to saturate our culture with the pro-life message,” said Jonathan, the Fairfax coordinator.

“It pays to go around and ask people to sign up for 40 Days for Life,” he said. “It pays to be bold and tell people the truth.”

Here’s a photo of the Fairfax 40 Days for Life booth at the Awakening Festival:

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Those are just a few of the many, many encouraging stories that are flooding in already. I’ll have more to share tomorrow.

THANK YOU to everyone who’s answering the call to pray and fast!

We had a GREAT kickoff event Tuesday in Fayetteville, Arkansas … and I met a lot of wonderful people on Wednesday at three stops in Wisconsin. Today, I’ll be making another Wisconsin visit, as I’m heading to the 40 Days for Life vigil site in Milwaukee.

David Bereit, our national 40 Days for Life director, reports great turnouts of enthusiastic volunteers at kickoff events where he’s spoken in Orlando, Florida, as well as Dallas and Conroe, Texas, Next he’s heading to Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota where he’ll visit the local 40 Days for Life site.

Where will you be praying today? Here’s the link to the list, just in case you haven’t signed up yet:

http://40daysforlife.com/location.cfm

Here’s today’s devotional from Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life…

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DAY 2 INTENTION
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Pray for those who work in the abortion industry, and for those who have repented of committing abortions and have resolved to defend life.

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SCRIPTURE
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Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.”

– Luke 23:46-47

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REFLECTION by Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
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“Those of us who have participated in the killing of unborn children are the Centurions of today. We have dropped our swords against the unborn child. Now we must recognize the depth of our guilt and deal with the ramifications… To revitalize our humanity we need to forgive and be forgiven, to reconcile and be healed.”

These words come from a brochure of the Society of Centurions, an organization for former abortion providers. These words convey in a beautiful and moving way what is happening across the nation as hundreds of abortionists and their staff members experience repentance, conversion, and healing.

How does this conversion begin? Dr. Philip Ney writes, “The factors that changed their opinion on performing abortions, in the following order of frequency, were: evidence of the infant’s humanity, a spiritual experience, personal distress, evidence of the mother’s distress, scientific articles, being accepted as a person, a personal relationship with a pro-lifer, pro-life pickets.” (The Centurion’s Pathway, p. 77).

The journey is not easy. But the Jesus who heals us calls us to face the truth of what we’ve done, make restitution where possible, and engage in the hard work of mending relationships. Let’s pray for the Centurions; may their numbers increase!

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PRAYER
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Lord, we thank you for those who have repented of committing abortions and have resolved to defend life. We too repent and resolve.

We repent of every instance in which fear has made us silent when we should have spoken. We repent of the ongoing bloodshed in our land, and for thinking that we can deprive the unborn of protection but keep it for ourselves.

We resolve that we will advance the cause of righteous candidates for public office, and that we will be more afraid of offending you by our silence than of offending others by our speech. We resolve that we will proclaim your name to the nations, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

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PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
—————————————————–

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

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2010day02print.pdf

For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

DAY 1: 40 days and 40 nights

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Today we begin a 40-day journey of prayer, fasting, vigil and outreach in 238 locations around North America — and beyond.

As we start, I recall the first 40 Days for Life effort six years ago in Bryan/College Station, Texas. As we prayed for God’s guidance on what to do about the evil of abortion in our community, we were reminded of how God has used 40-day periods of time in order to bring about transformation and conversion.

We were reminded of Noah and 40 days in the flood, of Moses on the mountain, of Jesus and in the desert. When God repeats himself, He does so for a reason.

The message of 40 days is simple, yet profound.

I’d like to share some of the online comments I’ve read — from people just like you — who are speaking from their hearts about the mission that begins today:

  • “I got involved in the movement last fall, following the example of an online friend. I had heard about it before but was uncertain, and a little scared… However, as I discovered it is a beautiful way to do something positive, and help save lives.”
  • “I have committed to standing in front of our local Planned Parenthood office for one hour each week for the 40 days… I will ask you, my friends, to pray for the end of abortion, and for me, as I step out of my comfort zone, and get involved in a cause I believe in, the end of abortion.”
  • “Please consider helping out with this effort. It is an amazing ministry that has produced real results in our community and across the country.”

If you have a few minutes, listen to this audio clip from our local leaders. It will remind you of what’s at stake and why it’s important for YOU to pray and act.

It features local campaign leaders, representing these 40 Days for Life locations:

  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Adelaide, Australia
  • Columbia, Missouri
  • Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Indianapolis, Indiana

Listen to the audio report online (click arrow to start):

Download MP3 (right-click to save file to your computer):

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/audio/leaders.mp3

Be sure to listen to the entire 13 minutes. You’ll be rewarded by hearing the story of the “wrong number” phone call that saved a baby’s life!

As we begin this 40 Days for Life, I’ll be stopping today in Green Bay, Appleton and Madison, Wisconsin.

If you’re able to come out to the vigil today — in Wisconsin or WHEREVER you are — you’ll be blessed abundantly.

Here’s today’s devotional from David Brandao, the communications director for 40 Days for Life…

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DAY 1 INTENTION
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That we may use these 40 Days for Life to plead for God’s mercy and grace upon all those involved in the sin of abortion.

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SCRIPTURE
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Blow the trumpet in Zion! Proclaim a fast, call an assembly. Gather the people, notify the congregation. Assemble the elders; gather the children and the infants at the breast… Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, “Spare, O Lord, your people.”

– Joel 2:15-17

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REFLECTION by David Brandao, 40 Days for Life
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The toll of abortion cannot be measured. We hear estimates of almost 50 million innocent victims, but that’s only one aspect of the harm that has unfolded in abortion’s wake. There are also the mothers and fathers of these millions, as well as the grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins. Unborn lives destroyed. Lives of the living shattered.

It’s overwhelming and depressing, but even in the midst of such unfathomable darkness, the church teaches us to have hope. Yes, it was indeed Calvary that followed Christ’s 40 days in the desert, but without Calvary there would have been no Resurrection — His victory over death that opened the gates of heaven to those who believe in and follow Him.

The psalmist encourages us to go humbly before God as we seek His will: “A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me… Give me back the joy of your salvation and a willing spirit sustain in me… O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise” (Psalm 51:12, 14, 17).

We are called to be God’s messengers; or as the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians: “We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ: be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).

That is the true message to all we encounter at the abortion centers and in our communities who have been deceived by the Culture of Death. We don’t bring condemnation; we bring God’s good news.

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PRAYER
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Lord, we ask for the strength, courage, wisdom, determination and stamina to carry out this mission according to Your will.

Guide us, we pray, as we go forth and proclaim Your truth, always doing so with a spirit of love and compassion, as was demonstrated to us by Your Son, Jesus Christ. In His name we pray, Amen.

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PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
—————————————————–

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

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2010day01print.pdf

—————————————————–

For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

Are you ready?

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

It all starts tomorrow!

Our biggest 40 Days for Life campaign EVER kicks off in 238 locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Northern Ireland and Denmark.

I’m ready and I know you are, too.

Tonight, I go to Fayetteville, Arkansas to kick off the 40 Days for Life campaign there … and David Bereit, our national director, will be in Texas to help kick off 40 Days for Life campaigns there.

Be sure to look for 40 Days for Life events in your area by checking out the list of locations and clicking on the closest city to you:

http://40daysforlife.com/location.cfm

Just last Thursday, 40 Days for Life was featured on EWTN global television … and the feedback has been AMAZING!

Two local campaign leaders and I were guests on their weekly program, “Life on the Rock.” If you missed the program — or want to pass it along to others — here it is:

(You may skip the introductory part by going to the 10:45 mark where the interview segment begins.)

Following the program, I heard from countless people who’d never heard of 40 Days for Life before, but who now are eager to get started.

So let’s get ready!

This is the first of a series of daily e-mails that I will be sending you throughout the campaign. You’ll get news about lives saved, prayers answered … and many other blessings … as this campaign unfolds in those 238 locations.

Plus, you’ll get a daily devotional to help you focus your prayers on the 40 Days for Life mission. Enjoy these updates!

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

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PRE-KICKOFF INTENTION
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For God’s blessing upon all participating in the coming 40 Days for Life campaign.

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SCRIPTURE
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“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.”

– 2 Chronicles 7:14

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REFLECTION by Carmen Pate, 40 Days for Life
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Not unlike God’s chosen people of Israel, we must humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, if we expect God to hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land. The need for repentance has not been greater since the Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade in 1973.

The number one cause of death in America is the needless sacrifice of our children at the altar of convenience called abortion. Conservative estimates put the number of deaths at nearly 48 million.

And lest we think this is an issue outside the church walls, 43 percent of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 27 percent identify themselves as Catholic. One in four women has at least one abortion by the age of 45 — both non-Christian and Christian alike. Where was the voice of Truth — the church?

Mary Comm of In Our Midst Ministries, Inc. sums up the issue best as she writes, “We (the church) have been an unintentional accomplice to the millions of lives lost and to the multiplied millions of lives devastated by abortion. We didn’t want them to abort. We didn’t mean for them to abort. But, because of our lack of knowledge, because of our fear, we have continued to stand by and do nothing. We, God’s hands and feet in this dark and hurting world, have been unintentional, unknowledgeable accomplice, but an accomplice nonetheless.”

May today mark the beginning of change within the church, as God’s people, in unity, seek His forgiveness.

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PRAYER
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Heavenly Father, we have turned our backs on you and your principles in your Word. We have allowed man to usurp Your role as God over life and the number of our days. But we come to you in brokenness and repentance over our sin.

We cry out for Your mercy and ask you to remove the scourge of abortion from our land.

Use us as your vessels, Lord, to bring the light of Your Truth to our nation once again. Because of Christ we pray, Amen.

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PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
—————————————————–

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

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2010day00print.pdf

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Let’s pray, fast, and shape history together starting tomorrow!

For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

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