Sunday, March 19, 2017

24-hour Vigils: 40 days for Life Sping 2017

Shawn D. Carney, President, 40 Days for Life: 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.”

St. Louis, Missouri
“Even on the one day during that week that Planned Parenthood's gates remained closed to the public,” said Brian, the 40 Days for Life leader in St. Louis, “still we prayerfully persist.”

But why be there even if they’re not open?

“One day soon, God willing, the abortion industry will fold – will close its doors and cease to take the lives of innocent children day in and day out,” he said. “But when this day comes, our work will be far from over. It will just be beginning.”

And so, Brian said, we must persist – “for the scared, pregnant teen whose boyfriend is pressuring her to abort; for the clinic worker who feels the weight of her job beginning to take its toll; for the general public who drive by, even on Sundays, without giving much thought to the reality of what happens inside that clinic; and for the God who has called us to take up our cross daily and follow Him.”

Every day during the campaign, it’s inspiring to know that someone is out on the sidewalk, praying for God’s intervention, even on Sundays.

“Thank you,” Brian said, “to every one of you who continues to make this much needed presence possible.”

Plattsburgh, New York
It’s often the conversations with passersby that make a big impression. Nancy in Plattsburgh shared accounts of two women who recently decided to engage the prayer volunteers.

Nancy in Plattsburgh shared accounts of two women who recently decided to engage the prayer volunteers.

While a small group was praying outside of Planned Parenthood at the 40 Days for Life vigil, a young woman jogging down the sidewalk stopped to speak with them.

Jogger: “Are you for Planned Parenthood?”

Volunteers: “We are for life.”

Jogger: “Planned Parenthood really helps teens, you know, with preventing pregnancy.”

Volunteers: “Planned Parenthood promotes promiscuity.”

Jogger: “No, I don’t think so. (Pauses a moment to think.) Well, are you going to take all those kids in and take care of them?”

Volunteers: “Yes! Bring them to us!”

Jogger: “Well! I’ve got better things to do than that!”

And with that, off she ran – full steam ahead! The jogger knew all the talking points and didn’t seem to be on the brink of any sudden attitude changes … but who knows? There was a moment when she stopped to think. Maybe a seed was planted!

The volunteers met another woman who got quite upset with the people praying. But later, she came back to apologize.

“With tears in her eyes,” Nancy said, “she said she was forced by her mother to have an abortion at 16. She thinks of that child every day – the child who would be 42 years old this June.

She thanked the vigil participants for being there to pray. Her reaction was because of the pain she has carried for all those years.

“Please rouse yourself and care,” Nancy said. “Women are not empowered by living with the knowledge they killed their child. They are lied to and victimized by Planned Parenthood. There are alternatives.”

Tags: Shawn D. Carney, 24-hour Vigils, why, 40 days for Life, Sping 2017 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

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