Sunday, October 4, 2009

DAY 12: Praying in the rain

Dear Mike,

It wouldn't be 40 Days for Life without reports of
wet weather. But a bit of rain hasn't discouraged
people from coming out to pray. In fact, not even a
LOT of rain has dampened the desire to go to the
sidewalks outside abortion centers to ask for God's
grace and mercy.

It was before 6 in the morning -- well before sunrise
-- when people gathered to pray at a 40 Days for Life
prayer vigil outside a Nashville abortion center. And
it was pouring.

"Advocates braved torrential rains and a dark night
sky to speak for the helpless and vulnerable," said
Jane. "Of special encouragement was the enormous
courage of a pregnant mom who refused to be forced
into an abortion she did not want."

Clearly the sight of people praying in the rain
helped inspire her courage. To see what the people
approaching that clinic saw on a stormy day in
Nashville, go here:

The rain also didn't stop a group of sixth and eight
graders from St. Michael School from praying at the
40 Days for Life vigil in Dallas.

As the children prayed, a woman arrived for an
abortion appointment. Counselors met her and learned
she was 12 weeks pregnant. The counselor, Joanne,
asked one of the other volunteers to bring a fetal
model of a 12-week baby to show the young woman.

Milissa brought the model -- along with her 8-month
old baby. Joanne told the woman, "The only difference
between your baby and Milissa's baby is time."

The woman who had arrived for an abortion began to
cry. She had seen the truth.

The volunteers walked with her to the pro-life
pregnancy center across the street. And the school
children kept praying -- in the rain.

To see the children ... and their umbrellas, go here:

It's also been rainy in Denmark, where Susanne Westh
Larsen is coordinating that country's first 40 Days
for Life campaign outside a hospital where abortions
are performed.

Susanne reports "strong wind, some rain and dark
skies over the hospital. Sometimes I have had to hold
very strongly onto the signboard so not to have it
fly away from me. It illustrates the anger that is
obviously directed against the campaign both on inner
and outer planes."

Newspaper articles about 40 Days for Life in Denmark
are "not too positive," and many of the comments are
outright hostile. "But there have been positive
reactions also," Susanne added.

Susanne has put up 40 Days for Life posters -- and a
cross-shaped display of photos of unborn babies that
her husband put together. You can see the display at:

The poster says "Let me live!" Below the image of an
unborn child, there's scripture: "Harden not your

A 4-year-old boy took great interest, so Susanne
asked his mother if the child could have a copy of
the picture. His mom agreed. Six teenagers also took
the pictures. "It certainly makes my day when small
children and teenagers see and recognize and love
these little unborn babies," Susanne said.

If you've followed any 40 Days for Life campaign
before, you may expect this report about rainy
weather to end with a rainbow. It does! Go here to
see it:

Prior to their kickoff event, Amy in St. Petersburg,
Florida said it rained for two hours. "I was
receiving phone calls inquiring if the prayer vigil
would be canceled!" Right on schedule, the rain
stopped. "As the people began to arrive," Amy said,
"we were blessed with a beautiful sign from God!"

Yes, the rainbow is a sign; but so are God's people,
who faithfully answer His call.

Here's today's devotional from Kevin Burke,
Executive Director of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries...


May the King of the Universe, who entered this world
as a helpless infant, give us the humility to be


My power is made perfect in weakness.

--2 Corinthians 12:9

REFLECTION by Kevin Burke, Rachel's Vineyard

The great mystery of the Humility of God is very near
and dear to the mission of those serving in pro life
and in a special way, post abortion ministries across
this nation.

For those wounded by their participation in abortion,
the door to healing often feels like crossing an
abyss of great fear: fear of judgment, fear of being
torn apart by the pain, by self hatred and rage at
those who hurt and abandoned you, and manipulated you
in your time of temptation.

For men in particular, entering the unknown waters of
emotional vulnerability, so necessary to healing
calls for a different kind of courage that feels
deceptively like weakness.

The door to healing is humility. It is born in the
inability to no longer control the pain, to live with
the consequences of that tragic decision to reject
life. The hearts cries out, "I have committed a grave
offense against my Creator and I am consumed by
regret, grief and sorrow!"

During these forty days let us pray for all who have
participated in abortion and with love call them to
healing and reconciliation. With healing these women
and men can become as John Paul II proclaimed in the
Gospel of Life, "the most eloquent defenders of
everyone's right to life."

Jesus proclaimed, "I am the Vine, you are the
branches" (John 15:5). To bear the greatest fruit,
the branches must be pruned. Each level of pruning of
the vine requires a deeper level of humility so that
we can abandon ourselves to His will.

This is not a lofty theological concept as much as it
is an earthy experience of pulling weeds, tilling
rocky soil, pruning and healing the vines. "If a man
wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self,
take up his cross, and begin to follow in my
footsteps" (Matthew 16:24).


Lord, during these forty days, we ask that with each
day of this sacred vigil, everything in us that
separates us from your perfect will would be pruned
from our hearts and souls.

In this blessed freedom may we experience a powerful
anointing of your Holy Spirit. Filled with confidence
and trust may we proclaim with the mother of Jesus,
"Let it be done to me, according to your Word."


To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:


For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

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