Taking up our position on the sidewalk I began quietly praying for all who are hurting in some way. I asked the Lord to touch them with His love and peace. Next, I simply began praying for the conversion of our nation. The Scripture passage from Luke 18:8 has been weighing heavily on my heart in recent months. "When the Son of Man returns, will he find any faith on earth?" In the midst of my prayer I was startled a number of times by profanities being hurled our direction. As cold as it was outside, some folks took the time to roll down their windows and stick their heads out the window to make sure we heard their verbal assaults. It still astounds me that standing quietly in prayer can draw such vile responses.
Snow flurries fell periodically as we maintained our vigil for the hour. The dampness of the air seemed to penetrate down to the bone and my fingers were numb by the time we finished our hour. Although I was physically cold, I couldn't help but think of the coldness that must be present within the confines of the Planned Parenthood facility right behind us. The darkness of despair and the gloom of death must surely permeate the atmosphere of an environment where hurting people make desperate choices that snuff out innocent human life and frequently brings a lifetime of regret. I was certain that the experience of coldness outside was minimal in comparison to the coldness inside. Luke 18:8 continued to reverberate in my mind.
The outstanding results of the 40 Days for Life prayer vigils held across the world are detailed on their website at www.40daysforlife.com. The current campaign is happening in 21 countries and 522 different cities. Society owes a huge debt of gratitude to all who coordinate these efforts and recruit people to participate. Over 600,000 people have participated in being a witness to the sanctity of life. The power of prayer is making a difference in a profound way.
If you have never been involved with 40 Days for Life I would encourage you to give it a try. Go to their website and find the location nearest you. Then join with others in your local community who are praying for an end to abortion. The Ash Wednesday ritual reminds us, "Repent, and believe in the Gospel." It is my hope and prayer that individually, and as a nation, we will heed that urgent call. May each of us do our part to stand up for the sanctity, dignity and value of each human life from conception through natural death!