DAY 19: 24-hour vigils

Praying at a closed abortion facility in the middle of the night is powerful. But why do it?

It’s a question we’ve gotten since the very first 40 Days for Life campaign in 2004, when volunteers took turns standing vigil 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

“Why are you out there when they are not even open?”

It’s because the round-the-clock prayer presence does several good things.

For starters, such a committment places prayer at the center of the 40-day time period. It is literally a vigil that prays without ceasing – for 960 straight hours!

It also sends a powerful message to the community. Many people don’t know there’s an abortion center in their home towns – or maybe even in their neighborhoods. People who drive by after business hours may not realize what goes on in what may look like a simple, quiet office building.

And it’s a constant reminder to the abortion facility’s staff. We’re there when they show up for work. We’re there when they go out for lunch or to run errands. We’re there at the end of the day when they go home. We’re there when they drive past on nights and weekends.

As one former abortion worker realized, “I’m not as dedicated as they are.”