I have noticed that when I talk to my protestant/evangelical friends about marching for life or praying at abortion clinics they look at me with a concerned expression on their faces. They are worried that I’m yelling threats at women or showing grotesque signs of aborted babies. I write this to help the reader understand more about what 40 Days for Life does and what it does not.
How it Began
“40 Days for Life was started in 2004 by a young college student, named Shawn Carney, in Texas and its vision is to access God’s power through prayer, fasting, and a peaceful vigil to end abortion. Their mission statement is…”To bring together the Body of Christ in the spirit of unity during the focused 40 days campaign of prayer fasting and peaceful activism with a purpose of repentance to seek God’s favor to turn hearts an minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion.”
The Heart of 40 Days
They also make you sign a Peace Contract before you begin the campaign of prayer. We are not to heckle or yell at anyone going inside or outside of the abortion clinics. We are not allowed to harass the security guards or the workers either. We instead stand on their behalf and pray for mercy over their lives. And for no reason are we allowed to bring posters of mutilated and aborted baby bodies to Planned Parenthood while we pray. Beside it being abhorrent, we must show respect for the child in that image. Someone died in that picture and even though we don’t know who it is, we are to still show dignity and respect for that precious baby.
When 40Days forLife participants pray in front of an abortion clinic they want the mothers to change their mind and keep thier baby, but sadly that doesn’t always happen. So, we then stand in solidarity with the babies as the last sign of hope as their lives are being taken. There is something sacred about being there for these babies that don’t know what’s happening to them as they are aborted. There is no one there for them… so we are… to stand in union and pray for them as their lives are taken against their will. And afterwards we are there for the parents. We are there for the babies before and for the moms and dads afterwards, We also pray for the hearts of the workers to be softened and to understand that they are ending a life when an abortion occurs.
Peace not Anger
One day we believe the abortion clinics doors will be shut down because they will realize that they have believed a horrific lie and that at any stage, a baby is alive, has a heart beat, and is desiring more than anything to live.
Everything 40DL does is different from the things you may have been familiar with in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Hatred doesn’t win over hatred. Love does and peace does and that is what they do… offer love to both mother and baby.
So, I pray you no longer feel concerned about praying at the abortion clinics during a 40 Days for Life campaign. Moms and babies need our prayers, so please don’t let anything stop you from coming out. There is no need to be afraid. I have never run into any problems, in fact, we converse with the security guards regularly and smile at the workers going to lunch. It’s all about love, so come out and help the babies to be saved.