Standing in prayer with 40 Days for Life

by Rachel Lipovsky, Volunteer

Publically talking about and praying for the sanctity of life inside the womb is courageous. Generally, vocal supporters of life are viewed as aggressive protestors, and peaceful activists are likened to violent demonstrators. I have been asked, “Are you one of those people that stands outside of abortion clinics and protests?” This question is provoked by destructive pro-life groups that devalue the quality of love that envelops the work of places like AWPC. Love and peace are the qualities that make pregnancy centers succeed, and it works for activists, too!

prayer

The 40 Days for Life campaign hosts prayer vigils outside of abortion clinics, and its mode of operation is peaceful prayer. It is radical to be peaceful, and prayer is a powerful weapon for change. Hebrews 4:16 says that God asks us to boldly come before the throne and ask for help in our time of need. Two times a year, for 40 days, prayers are said around-the-clock at vigils around the world, asking for God’s help in the fight to conquer abortion. Our work for life is meant to be courageous, and our prayers are meant to be bold. It’s because of bold prayers that lives are being affected. I got the opportunity to witness the work at a local vigil, and the following passage is an anonymous testimony shared from the kick-off of the 40 Days for Life Campaign in West Bloomfield:

"It was a lovely morning as the snow fell today at 7:00am, while 8 members from our West Bloomfield team gathered to kickoff the 40 Days for Life campaign.  Many horns honked and several said 'God Bless You' as they witnessed our prayers for the sanctity of life just outside an abortion clinic on Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield.

During the 5:00-7:00 p.m. shift, I had the opportunity to witness to a young woman who was offended by our campaign. She stated that it brought back memories of her rape when she was 14 years old and her subsequent abortion, which she defended.  I continually told her how sorry I was for her horrible experience, and I let her know that we are all praying for the end of violence, disrespect for life, and manipulation—which is what leads some to a sense that there is 'no other way out' and causes them to choose to end a baby's life rather than defend it.

I offered her information about A Woman's Pregnancy Choice, a Christian Crisis Pregnancy Center that provides free counseling services to mothers and fathers who are considering abortion (teaching them about the dangers of abortion). Additionally, they offer free assistance with clothing, diapers and other baby needs for moms who choose LIFE and permit their miracle from God to come to fruition. I also showed the young woman what an 11-week old fetus looks like (not a "bunch of cells" as the anti-life media would like everyone to believe). After holding the life-like fetus model in her bare hands, the young woman was touched and said she didn't know if she could have aborted her unborn child after experiencing what a fetus truly is ... an unborn baby. Her precious heart was softened by God's grace. The young woman thanked me, we hugged, and we prayed for her healing." 

It is because of courageous prayer and peaceful interactions that Christians are changing and saving lives. Just this year, the 40 Days for Life campaign saved 482 lives, and only God knows how many more were influenced. Before I attended the vigils, I was sent the “Statement of Peace” of its participants, and one statement hit me in the heart. It says, “I will show compassion and reflect Christ’s love to all employees, volunteers, and customers.” You see, in that order, one begins to realize that it is not just moms we’re meant to care for. At the heart of abortion, there are lost people being the hands and feet of destruction. They are blind to God’s love, and working for the enemy. More than ever, our peaceful prayer should be directed toward the lost abortion providers, the volunteers, the mothers, and our own hearts to relay the compassion and love that God has for all of us.

The song “Amazing Grace” said it best: “I once was lost, but now I’m found. I was blind, but now I see.” Focus your heart on courageous and bold, peaceful and compassionate prayers for the lost. As we work for for the saving of the unborn, may our lives first reflect the gift of salvation that was perfectly pictured by Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:4-6: The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (NIV)