Many people think there can be nothing more depressing than praying in front of an abortion facility. I admit it. On the surface, it sounds glum — and we’ve talked about the darkness. But, because of prayer, there is also great peace and joy at a place that otherwise has no peace and has no joy.
Here are a few examples of how Christ’s light and peace are shining at 40 Days for Life vigils.
“A girl yelled at me for just standing there on the sidewalk, because she said I didn’t understand these women’s situations,” said Stefanie in Memphis. “I just smiled … and said I would love to talk to her.”
To Stefanie’s surprise, the girl got into a conversation with her.
“She told me it was not a baby at two weeks,” Stefanie said. “I explained to her the baby has distinct DNA like no other person. But if I had not just kept smiling and being sweet to her, she would have driven off.”
Later, a woman and two men showed up with a homemade sign that suggested God had no place in a discussion of abortion. Women could choose whatever they want, the woman said.
“So obviously we are bothering them by being out there,” Stefanie said. She tried to talk to them, but they just got angry and walked into Planned Parenthood. Stefanie just kept smiling.
She said one of the other prayer volunteers “feels that these people heard what they needed to hear — and we had planted a seed.”
Steve in Glendale says the 40 Days for Life campaign has had to deal with temperatures near 100 degrees. “But that has not stopped us from being present to stand for the preborn and the women that are harmed by abortion.”
He says there have been many blessings.
Business owners have brought cold water for the prayer volunteers. Then a woman stopped by and promised to be back later with something special. She returned with a 5-liter water bottle, a bag of ice, a pitcher and cups — which were most welcome.
At the vigil, Steve met nine women from a prayer group. “They met us at the unity rally,” he said, “and we were blessed by their powerful witness to the local community.”
Steve said, “I want you to experience these blessings as well. To do so, just come out and pray for an hour. It’s that simple.”
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
“If you have been out on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood,” said Michele in Colorado Springs, “you know what a beautiful and majestic sight the mountains are.” She could stand there for a very long time praising God in the wonders and beauty of His creation.
Sometimes, though, she wonders, “How can such peace and such horror live so close together? The horror of Planned Parenthood just attacks your very soul, trying to take away all peace and hope as it steals the peace and hope of those going in. So you vow never to give up.”
Someday, she said, “I know the view will be restored to what God’s creation should be. And I hope for that day!”
“This was a first for me — to pray aloud on a public sidewalk,” said Mike, one of the prayer volunteers in Marietta. But with other members of the Knights of Columbus present, “I found a peace in the unity we share in our common prayer.”
He quickly saw the value of prayer in front of the abortion center. “It brings our petitions in sharper focus and gives greater meaning to the charitable act of praying for others.”
At one point, a mother and son drove by and smiled at them — then turned around and came back. They told the volunteers they didn’t have time to stop, but they would pray — “right now!”
“Please prayerfully consider coming,” Mike asked, “and joining our peaceful effort. Together, we can help inspire a prayerful change in our community — one or two beating hearts at a time!”
FORT PIERCE, FLORIDA
About 30 people attended a 40 Days for Life event outside the abortion center in Fort Pierce. “The next morning,” said Jim in Fort Pierce, “one of the clients left without having an abortion.”
A week later, the clinic didn’t open as usual. “That rarely happens,” he said. “We attribute that to all of the prayer and fasting during 40 Days for Life.”
On a normal Saturday, there would have been between five and ten abortions. “But there were none,” said Jim. “Thank God!”
A young woman was on her way to the abortion center when one of the 40 Days for Life volunteers asked to talk to her. She doesn’t really know why this woman agreed to talk — but she did.
The young woman said she hadn’t decided on abortion — but she hadn’t ruled it out, either. She was at the facility that day for an ultrasound.
That gave the volunteer an opening. Why not go to a pro-life center for an ultrasound instead, she asked — and save the money?
The young woman responded, “Then what?”
The volunteer answered that they would then call one of the local Christian agencies “to discuss the options that will save the lives of you and your baby.”
The woman agreed — and called the adoption service to set up an appointment.
One of the workers in the adoptions office wrote back to the 40 Days for Life coordinator and said, “Prayer changes things!”
LifeNews.com Note: Shawn Carney is the campaign director for the 40 Days for Life pro-life prayer campaign against abortion. He is the director of the Coalition for Life.