40 Days for Life is in full swing! We are entering the home stretch with just 2 weeks left. In Meridian, Idaho we have some amazing and dedicated prayer warriors. We are so blessed to be part of a group committed to cooperating with God’s grace and changing lives. My husband and I do wonder, as all campaign leaders probably do, why don’t we have more prayer warriors?
Is it fear that holds people back? Stepping out of your comfort zone and praying in front of an abortion facility can be intimidating. I don’t think it is fear so much as a lack of faith in the power of prayer. Like me for so many years, I think people have bought into the lie that there isn’t anything one little person can do about the big problem of abortion. Do my prayers really make a difference? Do my sacrifices really matter?
Today is Saint John Paul the Great’s feast day (Oct 22nd). This is what he has to say about it,
“Prayer joined to sacrifice constitutes the most powerful force in human history.” ~ Pope St. John Paul II
Yes, your prayers and your sacrifices matter! How does fasting or giving up hot showers help my prayers? Fasting bolsters prayer in two ways. First off every time you’re tempted to have what you’re fasting from, you are repeatedly bringing that intention into your consciousness and sending up a prayer. I frequently give up sweets and I’d be embarrassed to tell you how many times a day I think about consuming chocolate in it’s various forms. Secondly, fasting is an instrument of amplification for your prayers. So, if you have a prayer intention you really want to pray for, you deliberately attach a fast for that intention which adds strength to the prayer. For example, skip a meal for a friend or relative that is having surgery. This is also a form of solidarity since the patient likely is required to skip all meals before anesthesia. Your ensuing hunger adds wings to your prayers.
Those of us in the 40 Days for Life movement are believers in the importance of prayer and fasting because we’ve seen how those prayers have been answered. Hearts and minds have been transformed resulting in 13,593 lives that have been saved from abortion, 156 clinic workers have quit, and 90 abortion facilities have shut down in the last 10 years. And those are just the people we know about! There are countless others that we don’t know about. There are women on their way to their abortion appointment asking God for a sign. They come across ordinary citizens peacefully praying and realize, this is my sign; and instead of turning in they drive on by. How do we know these “drive bys” happen? Because clinics like Planned Parenthood report a dramatic increase in clients missing their appointments on the days there is a peaceful pro-life presence outside their doors. Former Texas PP director Abby Johnson cites a no-show rate as high as 70%. The lives we save but never know about are just as valuable as the lives we save and know about. 40 Days for Life is NOT a protest, but a prayer campaign focusing prayers like a high intensity laser beam on the target of ending abortion.
There are still two weeks left of the fall prayer campaign, so please join me in praying and fasting for an end to abortion. It will take a powerful force to change hearts and minds about abortion, but we cannot underestimate the great spiritual weapon we wield in our persistent prayers and sacrifices! It may seem like conquering the culture of death is akin to moving a mountain. But we all know what faith can do! Maybe you’ve gone slack in your fasting or never started, renew your efforts for the last two weeks! Participate from home or better yet join us on the sidewalk. www.40Daysforlife.com
I’d like to end with the prayer that the Angel of Portugal (aka Angel of Peace) taught the three shepherd children at Fatima over 100 years ago:
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.”
Want more on prayer and fasting including seven examples from the Bible? Here’s a link “Why Should I Fast?“
Stephen SebergerOctober 22, 2017
I have been connecting sacrifice to prayer, to increase the power of the prayer, for quite some time without really thinking about the biblical or Pope John Paul II connection. I don’t personally go as far as to skip meals or take cold showers, but I admire people who do. As Emily points out, any sacrifice that makes you frequently think of what you gave up, and hence to renew your commitment to the intention, is worthwhile. One simple thing I do is to kneel when I say my rosary at the end of the day. I’m old enough that my knees hurt a little, and that is the sacrifice I offer to keep me focused and increase the power.
Another, related to the 40 Days For Life movement is to go out there to pray. That’s an hour drive each way for me, so it is the sacrifice of my time as well as being a little out of my comfort zone.