Prayer at 40 Days for Life Helps Women Seeking Abortions

Opinion   |   Shawn Carney   |   Mar 18, 2011   |   1:37PM   |   Washington, DC

Abortion thrives on despair. The despair of women often leads them to believe that abortion is their only solution. The despair of clinic workers helps convince them they are doing a good thing and trying to help women. Even the despair of the Christian may lead to the hopelessness of believing that abortion will never end.

Well, in 247 cities right now, your prayer presence is crushing despair and bringing hope! The constant theme of all the stories that I hear from local 40 Days for Life teams is that we should never, never, NEVER give up! Even if the situation appears hopeless, God is always listening.
Granite City, IL

A young woman got out of a car that had a Christian fish pin on it … determined to keep her abortion appointment at the facility where the 40 Days for Life vigil is taking place. A counselor tried to talk to her, but she just offered a crude gesture, hissed at the prayer volunteers and walked in.

“We didn’t give up,” said Angela, the local 40 Days for life coordinator. “We kept praying.”

An hour later, she came out to smoke a cigarette and saw members of a Bound 4 Life youth group who were praying at the vigil.

“What are they doing?” the young woman asked.

Angela answered, “They are praying for your baby.” The young woman flipped her cigarette towards Angela and went back inside.

Another hour passed — another hour of constant prayer, particularly for this young women. She then came out again and literally ran — weeping — into the arms of the youth group members.

“Thank you for being here!” she cried.

“I didn’t do it!”

Then the full story came out. Her father was pressuring her to abort — even though, she said, he claimed to be a Christian. Her mother said she would not help raise another baby as she already had a 3-year-old at home. The young woman feared her father would put her and her child out on the streets for not going through with the abortion.

“We told her of our resources and how we could help her to find shelter and get back on her feet,” Angela said. “She hugged us again and thanked the group for being there.”
Helena, MT

One of the Helena 40 Days for Life volunteers tells of a young woman considering abortion. Fortunately, this young woman’s co-worker realized there was an opportunity to minister to her. The co-worker invited her to the 40 Days for Life kickoff — which she attended. At the kick-off event, she picked up a card for a local clinic pregnancy resource center and gave the people there a call.

“We’re told that she received an ultrasound and made the decision to keep the baby,” said Ben in Helena. “We will continue to check in on her and provide assistance as needed.”
North Seattle, WA

Two people were praying at the 40 Days for Life vigil when they were politely interrupted by a woman who wanted to give them cookies — cookies that her daughter was selling for her scout group.

“I know you probably think you can’t make a difference, just standing on a street corner praying about abortion,” she said, “but I’m here to tell you, you can!”

Ten years ago, the woman had an abortion scheduled. But when she arrived, “two people just like you were praying quietly on the street corner outside. Because of them, I didn’t go through with it. Today I have a beautiful daughter who’s alive because of those people who chose to pray.”
Worcester, MA

One of the volunteers got involved in 40 Days for Life after his wife asked him to pray. He’d always been pro-life, he said, but “I have always kept my mouth shut.” After all, he’s a guy, and we’re always told that abortion is a “women’s issue.”

Then he visited the 40 Days for Life web site and did a lot of reading. “I cried more than once,” he said, “for the unborn, for their moms and for my inactivity in the past. I asked God to forgive me for being silent these last 40 years. I was wrong to keep quiet. I will not be quiet any longer.”

This volunteer now has a plan. “I am going to fast as often as I physically can,” he said. “I will pray every day. I will ask others to pray.” Thanks, he said, “to you all for standing up, speaking up and doing something positive for the little ones.”
Fort Collins, CO

This is the first 40 Days for Life campaign in Fort Collins, and new volunteers are excited to have the opportunity to pray for an end to abortion.

“No matter how many rude gestures and remarks we got, we also received waves of support, honks of approval, even a friendly hello from a mom who slowed down enough for her two toddlers to see us,” said Maria, one of the vigil participants.

“It was truly a rewarding evening, knowing we have made an impact.”

Speaking of men joining the campaign, a local Knights of Columbus council prayed together at the Fort Collins vigil. I can’t say enough about the Knights and the strong, faithful support they continue to show for 40 Days for Life.
Anchorage, AK

Haylee, the 40 Days for Life coordinator in Anchorage, says she has a couple of items guaranteed to motivate you even further. One young man stood and prayed at the vigil for seven hours. “And some of that time he was all alone,” she said. “That shows determination and commitment!”

Then there was a team of men who covered midnight to 7 a.m. “The temperature fell to -4 and yet they stayed out there praying to God and putting action to their beliefs,” Haylee said. “Praise the Lord!”