God gave us many blessings during the fall 40 Days for Life campaign, the most amazing being that a baby was saved from abortion here in Colorado Springs!
The baby’s mom came out of Planned Parenthood, drove her car near the sidewalk where prayer volunteers were praying, and stopped to tell them that she canceled her abortion appointment. While we know this sometimes happens when we are praying at the sidewalk (that people see us and change their minds), we generally don’t know when it happens since women don’t usually stop to tell us. God gave us this blessing to let us know we are making a difference! We are making a difference along with our brothers and sisters praying around the world. Internationally, over 15,000 babies have been saved through 40 Days for Life efforts around the world since 2007!
During this 40 Days for Life effort, the faithful people of Colorado Springs prayed, fasted, and stood up for the preborn and their moms and dads in a big way! In our 24/7 prayer vigil at the sidewalk, 661 hours were filled out of 960 total vigil hours. That is almost 70 percent of the 24-hour, 40-day vigil covered in prayer!
There were 1,331 total prayer hours at the sidewalk that we know of. That is a lot of prayer! Two days were totally filled with prayer volunteers from midnight to midnight. Many other days were filled except for 2 or 3 empty hours. Over 70 brand new people who have never been out to pray at the sidewalk before signed up to pray there.
Why do the numbers matter? As we know, when people are out praying at the sidewalk, lives are saved, and hearts are touched by God. Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director, states that the no-show rate for abortions when people are praying near clinics is as high as 75 percent. The more hours are covered in prayer, the greater the chance that a life is being saved and a mother and father are being spared of the heartbreak of abortion. We trusted in God in making this a 24-hour, 40-day vigil, and he blessed us.
Many volunteers at the sidewalk had conversations with people who walked by or stopped to talk to them. Seeds were planted in hearts about the sanctity of every life. Brochures were handed out, letting people know about the free services at the Pregnancy Center. Thanks so much to all of you who prayed at the sidewalk and at home. Thank you to the moms and dads who brought their children out to pray. Thank you to my dear friend, Evelyn French, who at 100 years old, prayed from home this effort. Thank you to the Knights at Night who took on those cold, dark, lonely nighttime hours. You were all an inspiration to many!
While the words “pro-life” in our culture generally suggest standing up for pre-born babies, the call to be pro-life is a much larger commission to love and serve our brothers and sisters of all ages and walks of life: the young, the old, the poor, the outcast, and those who are difficult to love. Jesus calls on us to love them all. In reflecting on what it means to be pro-life, let us keep in mind that being pro-life encompasses all we are and all we do.
We can ask ourselves each day, how is God calling me to love and serve others today? How is he calling me to be pro-life? Is it in standing up for the preborn in some way? Is it by helping a pregnant woman in need? Is it by taking the children to visit the elderly? Is it by watching the children of an overworked mom to give her a break? Is it by speaking up against assisted suicide? Is it by serving the poor at Catholic Charities? Is it by spending time with my spouse? Is it by bringing a meal to someone who is sick? Is it by reaching out to help teens? These are just a few examples of how we can be pro-life. Let us continue our pro-life work, trusting in Jesus and listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as we respond when people are in need or are hurting.
The spring 40 Days for Life campaign will begin March, 2019.
(Michele Mason is leader of the Colorado Springs 40 Days for Life campaign.)