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Day 40 - November 1, 2009

Intention:

Let us keep our eyes fixed on the New Jerusalem, where death will be no more.

Scripture:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!"

--Revelation 21:4-5

Reflection:

Every activity we undertake in defense of the sanctity of life is prophetic, inasmuch as it points to the day when "death will be no more." Every victory we have when an act of abortion is prevented is prophetic of that day when death itself will be definitively conquered. Every triumph of grace in this world, whereby someone is brought to see the value of life and given the strength to welcome it, is a breaking into our history of that definitive future in which the old order of things will have passed, and all things will be made new.

As pro-life warriors, we must keep our eyes fixed on heaven, and our hearts secure in the hope that the day is coming when all evil will be conquered. It is the future that shapes the present; it is victory that informs the battle; it is the destination that determines the journey.

Daily, we are called to reflect on heaven. When we weep, we are to think of the day when every tear will be wiped away. When we face the destructive power of death, we are to think of the day when death is swallowed up in victory. When we labor against abortion, we are to think of the day when we will have the rest and peace of the final triumph of life. Heaven is as real as earth, and its joys will be as real as our present sorrows.

Prayer:

Father, you are the God of hope. Your word fills us with the vision of the world to come, when every tear will be wiped away, and death will be no more. Father, how we need that hope, how we are strengthened by that vision! Keep our hearts focused on heaven, and diligent in the labors of earth. As we struggle against the culture of death, root our souls in the assurance of victory. We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life and President, National Pro-life Religious Council

Day 39 - October 31, 2009

Intention:

Pray that volunteers will replace exhaustion or discouragement with rejoicing over the miracles we have seen thus far, and enthusiastic service as God takes us on to victory!

Scripture:

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

-- 1 Peter 1:6-7

Reflection:

We have reason to rejoice when we consider the many babies whose lives have been saved during the 40 Days for Life campaign. Add to those lives, the women and men who have been spared from a devastating decision and now have opportunity to make a plan for their baby that is both life affirming and God honoring.

Whether directly, or indirectly, you have contributed to these testimonies of praise with your sacrificial service. Perhaps you have been grieved by various trials during your commitment to 40 days. The attacks of the enemy come in many forms -- difficulties in relationships, finances, health. Or maybe you are physically and mentally exhausted and have been marking off the days on your calendar, eagerly waiting for Day 40.

Consider these trials in light of God's plan for you. The Apostle Paul understood the big picture when he said in Romans 8:18, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." This is our Hope and our victory. Let us rejoice in the opportunity to give that Hope to others in our path.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, We sing to You a new song, for You have done marvelous things. Forgive us when we allow circumstances to defeat us. You give power to the faint and You increase strength in those who have no might. We rest in You dear Lord, and ask You to empower us again for Your service as You work out Your plan for us and through us. May You receive glory through our victory in Christ, in whose name we pray, amen.

Carmen Pate
Co-host, "Point of View" Talk Show

Day 38 - October 30, 2009

Intention:

Pray that we become vessels of hope to all around us, especially to those who minister in the pro-life movement.

Scripture:

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!"

-- Luke 24:1-5

Reflection:

This meditation, based on a sermon I once heard, is adapted for pro-life concerns.

It's Friday. Jesus is on the cross. He has been killed by his enemies; he is off the scene. But that's because it's Friday. Sunday's comin'!

It's Friday. Abortionists continue their work 3,300 times a day, tearing off the arms and legs of little babies and crushing their heads. But that's because it's Friday. Sunday's comin'! It's Friday. Pro-abortion groups receive blood money from billionaires who are as deceived as they are. But that's because it's Friday. Sunday's comin'!

It's Friday. Liars attempt to speak for all women and hide the pain of abortion, and ignore the evidence of how it harms women, and call abortion a blessing. But that's because it's Friday. Sunday's comin'! It's Friday. People of hardened hearts guard the clinics and usher desperate women in to have their abortions, while keeping them from the pro-life people who want to give them hope. But that's because it's Friday. Sunday's comin'!

Hope does not mean that we ignore or minimize the evils around us. It means, rather, that we see the whole picture, which is that evil is conquered because of what happened one Sunday morning. The power of sin and death has been broken by the Resurrection of Christ. We are called to proclaim, celebrate, and serve that victory, waiting in joyful hope for Christ's return and the full flowering of the Culture of Life! Indeed, Sunday's comin'!

Prayer:

Lord, fill your people with new hope. Make us vessels of hope to all around us, especially to those who minister in the pro-life movement, that as we engage in the difficult work ahead, we may experience the peace and joy that come only from you and that nobody can take away from us. We ask this through Christ our Lord, amen.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life and President, National Pro-life Religious Council

Day 37 - October 29, 2009

Intention:

Pray that we will each submit ourselves this day as a living sacrifice to God, giving all that we have in us for those being sacrificed on the altar of convenience.

Scripture:

I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

-- Romans 12:1

Reflection:

Since all things are for His glory, we are to offer ourselves for that purpose. This of course is in sharp contrast to those who are being swayed by the enemy to sacrifice their babies on the altar of convenience, rather than choosing to surrender their all, including their unborn child, to the Lord for His purposes.

A career, education goals, or even a boyfriend can unknowingly become an idol for some young women. In their minds, abortion is a convenient way to "rid themselves" of an obstacle in the way of their "worship."

In light of the sacrifice Christ made on our behalf, and the fruit of God's mercies on our lives, we owe God our highest form of praise and worship. Presenting our bodies as living sacrifices is therefore reasonable service.

We were made to worship God and God alone. The enemy who seeks worship for himself distorts God's truth regarding worship, sacrifice, idols, and children.

As you have given of yourself to rescue those who are perishing -- the young woman and her child -- you are worshiping God in the truest sense of the word.

May your example lead an abortion minded client to turn from her idols to worship the one true God, sparing her child from the altar of convenience, and sparing herself from a lifetime of regret.

Prayer:

God Almighty, You alone are worthy of our praise and worship. Having accepted Your Son's sacrifice on my behalf, I in turn present my body to you as a living sacrifice. Thank you for deeming me holy and acceptable because of Christ's shed blood for me. I pray that you would use me as your vessel to rescue others who are perishing. Through Christ who is Our Glory, Amen.

Carmen Pate
Co-host, "Point of View" Talk Show

Day 36 - October 28, 2009

Intention:

We are the defenders of true freedom. May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.

Scripture:

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

--2 Corinthians 3:17

Reflection:

Norma McCorvey (the former Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade) used to work at an abortion mill named "A Choice for Women." She now realizes what a cruel irony that title was. She saw first hand, just as pregnancy resource center counselors see, that women don't get abortions because of freedom of choice, but rather because they feel they have no freedom and no choice. They feel trapped, abandoned, desperate and afraid, and have been led to believe that abortion is their only option.

As Frederica Mathewes-Green has written, no want wants an abortion like she wants a Porsche or an ice cream; rather, she wants it like an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg.

"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." That doesn't mean that the Spirit allows us to do whatever we want or to decide for ourselves what's right and wrong.

Rather, it means that the Spirit gives us the freedom to do what is right, the power to choose what is good, when we see it before us and yet feel pulled in the opposite direction. Liberty means that we no longer have to feel doomed to do what we know is wrong.

We are the people of the Spirit of the Lord, and when we take action on behalf of life, especially by being present at abortion mills, we are acting on behalf of true freedom, and imparting to those who are in bondage the power to do what is right.

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. You are the Spirit of freedom, the source of all that is good, the power to do what is right. Fill us, and fill those who are in bondage today, feeling doomed to do what is wrong. Set them free, and help us to hasten them on the road to freedom, where your grace overcomes every temptation. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life and President, National Pro-life Religious Council

Day 35 - October 27, 2009

Intention:

Pray for post-abortive women who cannot forgive themselves; may they understand that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Scripture:

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sin is covered. Blessed is the one to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.

-- Romans 4:7-8

Reflection:

In the passage above, the Apostle Paul making a point about justification by faith, refers back to David's words in Psalm 32:1-2. In spite of the enormity of David's sin -- adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of her husband -- and the utter absence of any personal merit, David in his brokenness, understood the imputed righteousness of God. David's response was not continued guilt over his sins, but praise for his freedom from guilt, and God's power to live life differently.

Once your relationship with God has been restored, your guilt has served its purpose and should no longer be given place in your life. This is true regardless of the sin, including the sin of abortion. As a post-abortive woman, I too struggled with this issue until I realized that punishing and hating myself after receiving God's forgiveness was an insult to God.

It was as though I were minimizing Christ's work on the cross as insufficient to cover my sin. I was denying Him the opportunity to bring glory to His name for the healing and restoration He wanted to do in my life. I was giving victory to the enemy who having lost the battle for my soul, was bent on destroying my testimony as I accepted the continual guilt he heaped on my mind.

It is my joy to continually sing of God's grace rather than give the devil a foothold in my life. Don't waste God's mercy! Accept His forgiveness and forgive yourself as testimony of His amazing grace.

Prayer:

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, thank you for your amazing grace that saved a wretch like me. I come against the enemy of my soul who would have me feel cast down and dejected. Lord, keep your children from falling prey to the accusations of the father of lies. Turn our mourning into dancing and may we bring praise to you as we give testimony of Your healing and restoration in our lives. For by His grace we are saved, amen.

Carmen Pate
Co-host, "Point of View" Talk Show

Day 34 - October 26, 2009

Intention:

May we come to know that divine life, in relationship, creates human life.

Scripture:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

--John 1:1-3

Reflection:

"In the beginning" was God. Always, before all times, there was God. This particular God -- the God of the Bible, the God of St. John's Gospel -- is different from all other gods. This God is alive and full of life. This God is not the picture of deadness and death, aloneness and isolation. This God is the picture of life, relationship, and unity. For within this God, within this one God, there are three divine persons who live, who love, and who work -- together. This is the glorious mystery of the Trinity. The Trinity means divine life. The Trinity means three, living Persons -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- who relate to each other. The Trinity means mutual love and service among three Persons.

The Word was always with God the Father. This Word was, is, and will be the Trinity's second person. The Word is also the Son of God or, as revealed in time, Jesus Christ. God the Father and God the Son live, love, and work for each other. As one, they create "all things" together: the Father creates all things, including all human life, through the Son.

So the Father, through the Son, creates all human lives. The little one swimming in his mother's womb, the infant smiling in his father's arms, the child crying in pain in a hospital bed, the energetic teen running another mile, the old man gasping for his last breath -- all were created, at their beginning, by the Father through the Son. No exceptions. Divine life creates human life.

Prayer:

O God, may we always be quick to call you Father. And when we call you father, let your Spirit remind us that we, and all people, from their beginning to their last day, are your children. We praise you, Father, that you sent your Son to reveal to the world that all people are His brothers and sisters, that all people are your children. Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Rev. Paul Stallsworth
President, Lifewatch (United Methodist Church)

Day 33 - October 25, 2009

Intention:

May we absorb the truth that God is paying attention to us, and to each human life, personally and individually.

Scripture:

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.

-- Psalm 8:3-9

Reflection:

How often we ignore the phrase, "stop and smell the roses" and instead submit to the all too "urgent" task at hand. Is this tendency what keeps us, at least in part, from acknowledging that God's care for His sacred creation is paramount in His own mind?

The Psalmist speaks of God's handiwork: the heavens, the work of his "fingers," and then points to God's masterpiece - human life. He declares to us that God is mindful of us. God keeps His masterpiece in His thoughts.

God, the creator of the awe-inspiring heavens, is not distracted by the tasks before Him. He is not pulled away, as we might be, by thoughts of something "more important." God is paying attention to and attending to His crowning glory, His masterpiece of creation, which cannot be duplicated or replaced, which surpasses the beauty of all other created things - the human being.

There is no way to adequately describe how God feels about us as human beings. There are no words to fully portray His love, compassion or desire to be in communion with us. Perhaps, the closest we can come, is to contemplate the thoughts of a mother as she gazes for the first time at her newborn child. God cares for Life. We, as His followers, should take time to consider the life He has created and called upon us to love and protect.

Prayer:

Lord, you are the creator of all things. Guide my thoughts to consider your creation in all of its majesty, beauty and holiness. Guide my heart especially to your creation of precious human life. Help me to comprehend how essential life is in your own heart. Teach me to appreciate, love and protect all human life through your son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr. Terry Gensemer
National Director, Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life

Day 32 - October 24, 2009

Intention:

Pray that we display an attitude of humility as we stand in peaceful vigil, as we fast, as we knock on doors in our communities. Though we proudly proclaim Christ's truth, may our boasting be only in His grace.

Scripture:

These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.

-- Proverbs 6:16-19

Reflection:

The Lord who made us knows us well. I can't help but think that perhaps as He inspired these words, He knew that our tendency might be to make the judgment call on which sins should be labeled as detestable. He wants us to be absolutely clear, however, that the sinfulness of man encompasses much more than the external sins that we easily identify.

Lest we assign a particular sin as that of an abortionist, or a worker in an abortion facility, or an abortion activist, the Holy Spirit insured that our sin of pride would be listed first. In this passage that speaks of eyes, tongue, hands, heart, and feet we realize than every part of our being is subject to the curse of sin.

We all need Jesus Christ who saved us from the penalty of sin, saves us from the practice of sin as we abide in Him, and will one day remove us from the presence of sin. Praise His Holy name!

Proper self-esteem in a follower of Christ is a matter of recognizing and confronting yourself in your humanity, including the tendency to sin. It is also a matter of embracing Jesus' work on the cross --- His grace that covers a multitude of sins. The Apostle Paul sums it up best in 2 Corinthians 10:17-18: "But he who glories let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends."

Prayer:

Dear Father, Guard my heart. Prick my conscience and may I be receptive to your rebuke at any moment I drift towards pride. May I remember in fear and trembling that You cause the proud to fall, but the humble You raise up. Lord, may I never forget my true identity is in Christ and that apart from Him I am nothing. By His grace, I pray, amen.

Carmen Pate
Co-host, "Point of View" Talk Show

Day 31 - October 23, 2009

Intention:

For the medical community, that the truth they know about the human body may become awe and wonder at the God who made it.

Scripture:

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.

--Psalm 139:16

Reflection:

Human beings -- God's tapestries.

Psalm 139 is a psalm that reveals the enormity and otherness of God. His divine attributes are on display: omniscience (2-4), omnipresence (7-12), loving-kindness (17-18), justice (19-20), righteousness (23-24), and omnipotence. Yet, when it came to express this last attribute, what example did the psalmist use - God's creation of mountains, seas, or far-flung galaxies? No, he used none of these. To express the wonder of God's unparalleled creative power the writer mentions the fashioning of the human in the womb (14-16).

The Hebrew word used to express God's forming of us in the womb, raqam, is the same term for needlework or embroidery. In other words, we are a tapestry that displays God's artistic mastery. And, like the artist who knows his creation down to the last detail, God intimately knows us. This reality provokes the writer to awe and wonder. He proclaims, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

What is true for this psalmist is true for each human being. Each is fashioned by God and known by him and we can proclaim on behalf of each, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

Prayer:

Gracious God, help us to appreciate the wonder and beauty of Your creation. Help us proclaim on behalf of every one of our fellow human beings, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." May the knowledge that we are intimately known by You shape our lives and actions. Amen.

Rev. J. Kirk van der Swaagh
Pastor, Conservative Congregational Christian Conference

Day 30 - October 22, 2009

Intention:

That those tempted to abort may understand that their child is already present, and already a real person.

Scripture:

And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

-- Luke 1:41-44

Reflection:

Jesus not only loves unborn children -- He was one himself!

Think about this for a moment.

We often hear people speak of a pregnant mother by saying, "She's expecting a child." Now if one is expecting a package, the package is not yet there. As reflected in our verse for today, however, this is not the case with the mother. Her gift is already there. The pregnant woman, a mother already, does not have a child "on the way," but has a child, already present and in full possession of his or her human rights, starting with the right to life.

Prayer:

Jesus, open my eyes to your presence in the life of every child. Open my heart to joy in the birth of every child, a birth that reflects the joy of your own birth in Bethlehem. As you shared life in the womb of Mary, so now send your protection upon every child still in the womb, and grant to their mothers the strength and joy that comes from welcoming the gift of life. We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Day 29 - October 21, 2009

Intention:

Praise God for His compassion in pardoning our sins and forgiving our transgressions. Give praise that He delights in showing mercy.

Scripture:

Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgressions of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us; and will subdue our iniquities.

-- Micah 7:18-19

Reflection:

Micah had been sent to declare God's judgment and call the people of Judah to repentance. The people had become spiritually and ethically corrupt. Prosperity had hardened the rich, the poor were oppressed and the heirs to David's throne were practicing abominations and idolatry. Is it not easy to see the parallels of God's people in Micah's day and God's people today in America?

Through Micah, God corrected His people by demanding justice, not burnt offerings and sacrifice. He told them to love mercy, and to walk humbly with their God.

In speaking of Old Testament stories of God's people turning from God to sin and idolatry, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10: 11, "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come."

Many biblical scholars believe God has removed His hedge of protection around our nation in response to our sins of immorality and abortion. Let us cry out in repentance for His mercy once again. And may we honor His faithfulness by doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, eternal, changeless, and faithful Lord, we recognize that we are in need of forgiveness as a nation, for turning our hearts away from you. Hear our prayer of repentance Lord and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We praise you for your tender mercies and your compassion that never fails.

Lord, it is only by Your grace that we can live lives that are just, and merciful. May Your Holy Spirit enable us to walk humbly in Your presence and may You be pleased to restore America so that a generation not yet born may praise you. In the name of Christ Jesus, who has done great things for us, amen.

Carmen Pate
Co-host, "Point of View" Talk Show

Day 28 - October 20, 2009

Intention:

We pray for the conversion of abortionists and all abortion advocates.

Scripture:

"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow."

-- Isaiah 1:16-17

Reflection:

God is just.

Inscribed around the inside of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC, are the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just." If the deist, Jefferson, knew in the depths of his being that God is just, how much more ought we Christians to reflect on this profound truth? The justice of God, like his holiness and his purity, encourages us to seek justice for all people. It is the evil deeds and wrong, selfish attitudes of our modern society that have led to the cavalier acceptance of abortion and euthanasia. But, as Jefferson also said, "his justice will not sleep forever."

God is calling us today to seek justice, to encourage the oppressed, and to defend the orphans and widows of our society. It is a noble calling! It is one which every true believer, every God-fearing man and woman, should heed with no hesitation and no reluctance. To follow the God of justice and truth is to stand unequivocally for the right to life of everyone, especially the unborn, the physically disabled, and the terminally ill. God's word through the prophet Isaiah is as relevant in today's 21st century world as it was in Isaiah's 8th century BC world. May God's grace help us to defend the unborn's right to life as well as that of the already born.

Prayer:

O God, our heavenly Father, give us courage and wisdom as we seek to eradicate the evil in our society. Help us to realize that your divine Spirit alone can change hearts and minds so that all your human creatures may enjoy the fullness of life you intended for them. I pray this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

Rev. Ben Sheldon
President Emeritus, Presbyterians Pro-life and National Pro-life Religious Council

Day 27 - October 19, 2009

Intention:

We pray for humility in our work for God's Kingdom.

Scripture:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

-- Philippians 2:5-8

Reflection:

There is no limit to what we can accomplish when we don't care who gets the credit.

Jesus Christ's life on earth exemplifies a total submission to the will of the Father. His humility, compassion, gentleness and thoughtfulness are reflected over and over again in the New Testament. He was God incarnate, yet He chose to be born to a humble, working class home.

How absurd it must have seemed to the rich and powerful that the Son of God, the Messiah, the one foretold by the prophets, the 'King of the Jews' was born and raised as a simple peasant.

During His thirty-three years on earth, He sought no riches, claimed no secular power and gathered no possessions. Yet, His short time on earth changed more lives, softened more hearts, and gave hope to more people, than all the rich and powerful human 'kings' combined. And, at the end of His life on earth, by dying on the cross, He opened the door to eternal life for those who heed his words and follow in his footsteps.

Prayer:

O Lord, help us follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Let us humbly and diligently work to restore legal protection for the unborn, the disabled, the medically dependent and all innocent children of God whose lives are threatened. Let us remember the old adage that "He can never lead who has not first learned to obey." And, Lord, grant us a peaceful heart as we labor in your name. Amen.

Ernest Ohlhoff
Outreach Director, National Right to Life

Day 26 - October 18, 2009

Intention:

That those who have forgotten their purpose may discover it in God and therefore have the courage to choose life.

Scripture:

These all wait for you, that you may give them their food in due season, what you give them they gather in; you open your hand they are filled with good. You hide your face, they are troubled; you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. You send forth your Spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the earth.

-- Psalm 104:27-30

Reflection:

"I am a feather on the breath of God."

As the quote above portrays, we are upheld by the power and purpose of God. Our very existence on earth, from our body's first breath to its last, when we leave it to return home, is our Father's choice and happens only by His willing to do so.

He who created the universe also created that which is "me." I do not "have" a soul - I AM a soul, as well as a body. My entire purpose in this life is to find my way back to my Creator.

Prayer:

Beloved Father, remind us today that there is no truth but you. Do not let us fall prey to the evil one's lie that we may choose death. Remind us right now that you, who created all life, are in control of all life, and let us know right now that you who created all life, are in control of all life, and let us choose life always.

Father, please let us hear your voice more today than yesterday. Keep lighting the pathway home, for us and for all who participate in this 40 Days for Life campaign. Father, we're on our way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.

Vera Faith Lord
Director, Alpha/Omega Life Ministry
Representative of the Orthodox Church to the National Pro-life Religious Council

Day 25 - October 17, 2009

Intention:

We pray for the conversion of all those who refuse to acknowledge that human life belongs only to God.

Scripture:

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations."

-- Jeremiah 1:4-5

Reflection:

To be or not to be? There is no question!

The question of "being" is something philosophers have long pondered. What is the meaning of being and what is the source? In the passage before us, we have our answer. We have being because we are known by God.

For God to declare that he knows and sets apart the prophet Jeremiah even before he is conceived indicates that our being rests in God's own being. Because He is and because He wills we, therefore, are and do. The Apostle Paul says as much when he declares before the philosophers of his day, "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).

One of the tragedies of the abortion culture is that life in the womb has been so heartbreakingly devalued. To embrace the arguments of the "pro-choice" crowd one must conclude that the child in the womb doesn't exist, isn't there, has no being. But nothing could be further from the truth. That child is known by God and, as such, has being.

Prayer:

Lord God, we confess that in You we live and move and have our being. Because You are, we are. May we find grace from You to affirm the being of every human and may we labor to make this truth known to the world around us. Amen.

Rev. J. Kirk van der Swaagh
Pastor, Conservative Congregational Christian Conference

Day 24 - October 16, 2009

Intention

Pray that God will continue to bless the efforts that have gone into the 40 Days for Life campaign, as we trust Him for the results.

Scripture

Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name.

-- Nehemiah 1:10-11

Reflection by Carmen Pate, "Point of View" Talk Show

Nehemiah provides an awesome blueprint for volunteers in God's service, particularly those responding to the devastation abortion has caused our nation.

Nehemiah grieved for God's reputation as he witnessed the condition of the city walls of Jerusalem. The walls were broken down which was seen by neighboring people as a sign of weakness on the part of Jerusalem's God. No wall meant no security for the city and its people.

We learn from his story that he covered every detail in prayer; inspired others to join the cause; organized others to help do the work; confronted opposition directly and turned to God when discouraged; and finally celebrated what was accomplished and gave God all the glory!

Like Nehemiah, we must acknowledge God's sovereignty as we serve Him before a mocking world. We too need to be reminded that we are "fighting" for our families. We too must have an attitude of confession and repentance before a Holy God. We must pray for strength, refute slander, and not be diverted from our work.

Like Nehemiah, we will draw attention from the enemy when we are seeking to protect the well-being of God's people. We too must stand firm and seek God's help to persevere until the task is done. We too will be victorious.

Prayer

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in heaven and in the earth is Yours. We pray for your continued guidance and protection throughout the remainder of this 40 day campaign. May we be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in Your work, knowing that our labor will not be in vain. We pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Day 23 - October 15, 2009

Intention

We pray for the strength to love those who do not love us.

Scripture

But the Lord said "You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in the night and perished in the night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left, and much livestock? Should I not be concerned about that great city?"

-- Jonah 4:10-11

Reflection by Dennis DiMauro

God doesn't value people and things like we do. Jonah loved a shade tree more than an entire city of sinful people. We love our dogs more than a terrorist. We love our cars more than a beggar on the side of the road. And sometimes, we love our money more than a child growing in a desperate teenager's womb.

But God isn't like us. Genesis 1 tells us that humans were the capstone of God's creation. We were created on the sixth day after God had completed the land, the stars, the plants and the animals. Therefore, His love for us is greater than His love for a plant, an animal, or any other created thing.

And the book of Jonah tells us that He loves even the most sinful people and seeks to bring them into His merciful arms. And it's a love that seeks to touch all of his created children: that desperate teenager, the baby growing in her womb, even tyrants and terrorists.

So it's up to us to imitate God's merciful love by helping and praying for those who persecute us, and those who don't love us back.

Prayer

Gracious God, loving our enemies seems like one of most difficult things you could ask of us. Please remind us that this is how you love and that if you ask it of us then you will give us the grace to do it. This we ask through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Day 22 - October 14, 2009

Intention

May those who hold life as trivial realize that we live because God wills it so.

Scripture

Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

-- Job 12:9-10

Reflection by Georgette Forney, Anglicans for Life

Job was a man acquainted with grief, trials and tribulation. He had everything taken from him, including his family. He endured sickness, ridicule and judgment from his friends. Everyone gave him advice about his situation, questioning his spirituality and his God.

Job's circumstances were bad but he never loses faith. Why? Because "the hand of the Lord has made all life." Created by God, he knows his life has meaning and purpose, regardless of the circumstances.

In our present culture, we've lost that basic truth; every life is made and allowed to live by God's sovereign authority. As people who pride ourselves on our independence, we have a hard time acknowledging our dependence on God.

From our creation, when we were knit together in our mother's womb to our last breath, God's word is clear that "in His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."

It's time for us as individuals, and as a society, to recognize that we exist by God's grace and turn back to Him, honoring His word and His teachings. Why? Because our world is full of Jobs, people who are dealing with trials and tribulations and hurting desperately.

Job's response should be ours as well. Regardless of what we face (even an unplanned pregnancy) God in His wisdom and mercy will redeem it.

How do I know? Job's friends who doubted God's sovereignty cry out to God asking for help, God instructs Job to pray for his friends and after he does, God restores all that Job had lost.

In other words, because Job never lost faith and knew and trusted His Creator, the Lord blessed Job.

Prayer

Thank you Father God for being the Creator of my life and every life. Please give me, and the society in which I live, an appreciation for your gift of life. Please help us set aside our pride and acknowledge that we need you.

Show me how I can honor you today in response to all the blessings you bestow so freely. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Day 21 - October 13, 2009

Intention

Pray that we each will daily put on the full armor of God, so that we are strong in the Lord and the power of His might.

Scripture

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand.

- Ephesians 6:12-13

Reflection by Carmen Pate, "Point of View"

I am confounded to see how the battle over the issue of life is perceived more often in churches today as political rather than spiritual. Ironically, the enemy has used this twisted perception to silence many in the body of Christ.

We must see the battle for what it is and if we are to be prepared to face the spiritual enemy on the issue of abortion, we must daily "put on" the armor God has given us:

Gird your waist with Truth (vs. 14) -- Commit your emotions to believe truth and to speak truth, regardless of the repercussions.

Put on the breastplate of Righteousness (vs. 14) - It will protect our hearts -- the innermost springs of our beings -- from all unrighteousness so evident in this fallen world.

Shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. (vs. 15) -- Preparation is vital if we are to be effective in God's work.

Taking the shield of faith (vs.16) -- The Accuser will instill doubt, fear, and guilt. Faith acts as an invisible shield that deflects such false accusations.

Taking the Helmet of salvation (vs.17) -- A helmet protects the head, the brain and in turn our mind and thoughts. Satan hopes we will set aside divine revelation for human reasoning.

Taking the sword of the Spirit (vs.17) -- The Word of God, the only offensive weapon in this armor, was used by the Lord Jesus against Satan. The living Word is powerful and effective.

Our armor is complete. We are ready to wage war, and the next verse tells us how, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit." (vs.18)

Prayer

Dear Lord, as you lead us into the spiritual battle of abortion may we be reminded that the battle is truly Yours. We thank you for equipping us with Your armor. Lead us daily to put it on!

Thank you for allowing us to serve under your command, and for hearing our requests for direction and protection. Thank you for the victory that is ours because of Your Son, Jesus, Amen.

Day 20 - October 12, 2009

Intention

May God's justice sober our society, and may mercy triumph over judgment.

Scripture

Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.

- Genesis 9:5-6

Reflection by Rev. John Brown

The value of every human being can hardly be seen more clearly than with this verse. God, the King of the universe, has created all human beings in his image, and declares forthrightly that shedding the blood of any individual will require the blood of the one who shed it.

God's concern for human beings is not limited to any particular group. Indeed, his concern is universal, and includes male and female, young and old, born and unborn, disabled and able-bodied, the citizens of every nation on earth.

Abortion, the deliberate killing of the unborn, is the shedding of innocent blood. Surely the blood of millions upon millions of innocent children cries out to God. It is true that we live in an age of grace, and yet this passage (among many other texts which express similar sentiments) should give every thinking Christian pause.

Christians of all people, entrusted with the Word of God as we are, must take a stand. We must speak out. We must do all that we can to protect the innocent, to pursue justice, and to encourage the repentance of all those who bear responsibility for this great evil. Only in this manner can we hope to forestall the judgment that must otherwise surely come.

This passage should also be seen as an encouragement to educate and disciple our children and grandchildren about what it means to be human, and the responsibility that will become theirs in this ongoing struggle.

Prayer

O Father, forgive us for our lack of courage and our want of compassion for the unborn and for those lost and hurt by abortion. Fill us anew with your Spirit.

Renew our minds, strengthen us in righteousness, help us be people of salt and light within our nation. May every human being, from conception to natural death, be treated with the respect due those made in your image. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Day 19 - October 11, 2009

Intention

We pray for a renewal of our zeal to offer generous help to the unborn and their families.

Scripture

If I have despised the cause of my male or female servant When they complained against me, What then shall I do when God rises up? When He punishes, how
shall I answer Him? Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?

-- Job 31:13-15

Reflection by Rev. Rob Schenck

The ground is level as we stand before God.

Job lived with an awe provoking sense of God's expectation of him, particularly regarding his obligation to care for the weak and needy. He knew that in God's economy everyone stands on level ground when it comes to our status as God's creatures. Because of that central truth, we must take care of each other.

Job also knew that he didn't deserve any of the good things God gave to him. Instead, those blessings came to Job from God's benevolent heart. As an extension of that knowledge, Job instinctively linked his obligation to be generous to others to God's kindness toward him.

As in Jesus' parable of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:23-35), Job knew that it is an egregious sin to deny to others what we enjoy ourselves. He actually calls down on his own head severe condemnation and even punishment should he fail to share with others out of his own abundance (see verses 16-23).

Proverbs 3:27 reads, "Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so." Some things are so obvious that we don't even need to pray except to ask of God forgiveness and the power to do what so obviously needs doing.

Prayer

God, forgive us when we try to explain away the obligation we have to help others who need help. Enable us to not devalue them because they are in the circumstance that they are in, but to see them for what they are, those, who like us, were formed by your hand in their mother's womb. Amen.

Day 18 - October 10, 2009

Intention

We pray for a flowering of the joy of parenthood.

Scripture

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

-- Psalm 127:3-5

Reflection by Randolph Sly

I still vividly remember the day my first child was born. As she came into the world I gazed upon the most beautiful little baby I'd ever seen.

Later I was driving home from the hospital for a shower and a fresh change of clothes when a song came on the radio, "The Men in My Little Girl's Life" -- a ballad about being a father as he watches his daughter grow through childhood to womanhood.

I wept as I listened, knowing those years would go by very fast... and they did.

Being a father, whenever I read the Psalm quoted above I'm always captivated by one word - "heritage." It basically means "something passed down from a preceding generation."

That little girl I watched being born and wept for is not mine to give to God like a product of our fertility, but rather His, which he has entrusted to us. So are all her siblings.

My wife and I share a great treasure: precious lives, which are placed in our lineage that His life with us might be perpetuated.

To the psalmist, this was a blessing from the Lawgiver, God Himself, who blessed Israel with another generation intended to continue their covenantal promise.

For us in Christ, it is his gift of succeeding generations for His Church and her families.

These days I'm looking upon my grandchildren, and rejoicing that my children and their spouses will pass on the greatness of Christ's gospel to them and thus will continue the work of God in the world. What a blessing. What a heritage!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, please keep me from taking for granted the gift of children. Help us to remember this heritage that you have given us. Make us faithful stewards of these precious lives, that each generation might be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Day 17 - October 9, 2009

Intention:

May all understand more deeply that the pro-life message is rooted in the two basic truths of life:

1. There is a God;
2. He isn't me

Scripture:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

-- Genesis 2:7

Reflection:

From the beginning of the Bible until the end, the theme is echoed that God alone has dominion over human life. He made it; shared it; died to save it; will raise it up forever. The act of creation described in Genesis 2:7, and earlier in Genesis 1:26-27, is a sovereign act. God did not have to do it, and would have been happy forever without us. Yet without our asking for it or earning it, God brought us out of nothingness and into life, and sustains our existence at every moment. And He does so in Christ. "For by Him all things were created…in Him all things exist" (Colossians 1:16-17).

"You are not your own," Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 6. God alone owns us. While He entrusts us to the care of one another, He does not allow any human being to own another. A Southern California abortionist, James McMahon, once explained how he justified killing children after 20 weeks gestation by partial-birth abortion. He did not deny that this was a child, but rather asked, "Who owns the child? It's got to be the mother." The struggle over abortion is really a struggle over the dominion of God. The Christian individual, and the Christian Church, cannot sit idly by when others declare that God is not God.

Prayer:

Lord, we are yours. Thank you for breathing into us the breath of life. Thank you for claiming us as your own. May our words and actions in defense of human life proclaim to all the world that you alone are Lord of life and death, Lord of our freedom and of our choices. We pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Day 16 - October 8, 2009

Intention:

Pray that as young couples or single moms choose life for their child, the church will come alongside them physically, emotionally, and spiritually to help bear their burdens.

Scripture:

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

-- Galatians 6:1-2

Reflection:

Restoring those who are broken from sexual sin and who desire to live life differently -- a life focused on Christ -- is a burden the church must share. What an awesome opportunity for a spiritually mature woman to come alongside a single mom as a mentor and friend.

A regular time together praying and studying God's Word will help her mature in her walk with the Lord. Allowing her opportunity to observe life as you live it --- meal preparation, family time, and providing wholesome conversation and wise counsel on a frequent basis --- can provide teaching moments that will benefit her for a lifetime. Introducing her to a small group or class in the church where she and her baby are welcomed and plugged in will be vital to her restoration.

These are just a few examples of things the body of Christ can do. Staying connected with young couples or single moms who have chosen life should continue beyond the celebration of the child's birth if we truly desire to fulfill the law of Christ in bearing one another's burdens.

You will find it is not a burden after all, but a tremendous blessing as your family line extends to include these precious souls as part of your own.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, as our Shepherd You so tenderly care for us -- pulling us from the miry pit, guiding and directing us safely along the path of life, protecting us from the dangers that are ahead and taking us to pastures that are green. Lord, use us as Your vessels to shepherd these young men and women who have honored you by choosing life for their child. Give us wisdom and discernment along with Your love and compassion so that we are never a stumbling block but rather a guide that always takes them to You, the true Shepherd. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Carmen Pate
Co-host, "Point of View" Talk Show

Day 15 - October 7, 2009

Intention

May God's people awaken to the fact that we are our brothers' keepers.

Scripture

Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground."

-- Genesis 4:8-10

Reflection by Rev. Rob Schenck, Faith and Action

"Methinks he doth protest too much ..."

The Bible is filled with passages that speak to our obligation to care for our fellow human beings. From the many commands in the books of Moses enjoining love of family, neighbors and even strangers, to Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan, the injunction to care for others is inescapable.

In this account, the guilt-stricken Cain tries to shrug off his obligation to his own kin by dismissing it as an unreasonable duty. A la Shakespeare, though, "methinks he doth protest too much." Cain's objection doesn't stem from his sense of proper boundaries of responsibility, but from his own self-centered sense of self-preservation.

Christ said, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13). This is the standard of divine love. It required God to sacrifice what was most precious to Him for the temporal and eternal well being of all humankind (see John 3:16). Though on a much-reduced scale, he expects us to do the same.

Trying to duck our obligation to others is futile. We can't get away with simply dismissing others, especially the most vulnerable among us: the pre-born, the disabled, the sick and the aged. As with Cain, God sees and hears their suffering and will call us to account for what we do -- or do not do -- for them.

Prayer

Father, help us to embrace the fact that we are our "brother's keeper." When, due to selfish motives, we try to cast off this responsibility please call to us to account. We would be pleasing to you and to our "brother." Through the help and grace of our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Day 14 - October 6, 2009

Intention

Abortion is the great "no." May all of God's people have the freedom and grace to say "yes" to His marvelous plans.

Scripture

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed and in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

-- Psalm 139:13-16

Reflection by Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life

Unlike the rest of creation, we are capable of a personal relationship with God. Not only did God create us, but created us according to a plan devised from all eternity. No matter how far back we go in our imagination, there was never a time when God did not know each of us, in every detail of our being.

There was not a particular time when God decided to make us. The decision to make us has been in the mind of God from all eternity. All our days were written in His book.

To dare to say that a human being, developing in the womb, should not be born is as wrong as to say that a born person should not continue to grow and live. In each case, an attack on human life is an attack on the God who formed and made us. Jesus Christ is the great "yes" to the promises of God; abortion is the great "no."

Prayer

Lord, I pray today for every unborn child. The beauty of the bodies and souls of these children flows from your hands and your eternal plan.

Awaken in every human conscience a profound reverence for human life, and grant us grace to defend our smallest and most defenseless brothers and sisters, those still being formed in the secret places of their mothers' womb. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Day 13 - October 5, 2009

Intention

For all fathers who are terrified of being fathers.

Scripture

A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation.

-- Psalm 68:5

Reflection by Randolph Sly

I had a friend many years ago who confided in me that he was terrified of being a father. He and his wife already had two children when this revelation came forth. "I never knew my father," he explained, "and I have no idea what a father is supposed to do."

We continued to share about this, as well as pray together. He began to see he had a father's heart for his children. His biggest problem was not a limitation on love but not knowing how to act out
this love.

One day we talked about the verse quoted at the top of this page. I shared that he did know his Father... not his biological father but his Heavenly Father, who had rescued him from a life of destruction not many years before.

"How did your Heavenly Father guide you?" I asked. He talked about the ways he had seen God's love offered to him and the way the Lord had used circumstances and the Scriptures to mold him and mature him. "Well, the Lord wants to do the same thing through you for your children. Be available to His love and available to your kids. You'll do fine."

How wonderful it is to know that God takes a personal interest in each of us, many times using His faithful people -- the Church -- as channels of this love. No one is fatherless who lives in the Lord. His fatherly care begins at the moment of our conception, as it is written, "you knit me together in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:12), and continues to be poured upon us throughout our lives.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we thank you for caring about each of us so deeply. Help us to see and know you as our Father in heaven each and every day of our lives.

Your loving hand also rests on every child today carried in its mother's womb. May they be born into
this world and come to know fully and personally your endless love. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Day 12 - October 4, 2009

Intention

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

Scripture

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).

Prayer

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."

Day 11 - October 3, 2009

Intention

Pray that when those representing Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups see volunteers for 40 Days for Life, they see ambassadors of Christ, and may each volunteer be consciously aware at all times we represent Him.

Scripture

I...beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness, and
gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.

-- Ephesians 4:1-2

Reflection by Carmen Pate, "Point of View"

When a former abortionist and post-abortive woman, Carol Everett, was asked what turned her heart from
death to life in Christ, she replied, "It was unconditional love" shown by a man who prayed daily
for her in front of the facility where she worked.

He told Carol that "God had sent him" because there was someone in there that God wanted out. She left 27 days later and now serves as Christ's ambassador to help others. We too have been sent by Christ as an ambassador to love unconditionally those God seeks to "get out" of their bondage and sin.

In his book, "Fishers of Men," Dr. Sumner Wemp describes what it means to be an ambassador of Christ, the King of Kings:

* God has chosen us (John 15:16)

* We are sent into a world that is not our home (1 Peter 2:11)

* Our walk must match our talk (1 Timothy 3:7)

* We must abide in Him for daily instruction (John 15:5)

* Know our purpose -- to seek and to save that which is lost (Luke 19:10)

* We are to reconcile others to God with His authority (Matthew 28:19-20)

* Our service is to be grounded and rooted in love (Ephesians 3:17)

Pray that we each will walk worthy of the calling with which we were called!

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, we are humbled that you have called us and appointed us to be ambassadors of
Christ in a world that is not our home. It is a calling much higher and grander than our finite minds
can imagine.

We pray that your Holy Spirit will empower us to walk worthy of the calling. We pray that Your
unconditional love will flow through us onto those who desperately need Your saving grace. In the name
of Christ who is worthy, Amen.

Day 10 - October 2, 2009

Intention

Let us affirm the unborn by our language.

Scripture

Anyone who says to his brother, "Raca," is answerable to the Sanhedrin; anyone who says, "You fool!" will be in danger of the fire of hell.

-- Matthew 5:22

Reflection by Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life

Before the schoolyard bully beats up his victim, he calls him names. This is a way to dehumanize the victim, and therefore make it easier to justify attacking him.

In this verse from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that using dehumanizing language is sinful. "Raca" was an Aramaic term of contempt. The respect and love we are called to have for other human lives is not limited to action alone; it also has to manifest itself in language.

Professor William Brennan, in his book Dehumanizing the Vulnerable: When Word Games Take Lives, traces the dehumanizing language used to oppress various groups of people in history, such as our African-American brothers and sisters, or our Jewish brothers and sisters in the Holocaust.

He then shows that the same kind of dehumanizing language is used against the unborn, who have been called "parasites," "tissue," and "medical waste," among other things.

What are we to do instead? We are to affirm one another, including the unborn, with ennobling language that inspires respect and love. The unborn are precious children, they are our brothers and sisters, they are the image of God. Let us multiply the language of affirmation, as we hasten to the day of their protection!

Prayer

Lord, we ask your forgiveness for any times our words have dehumanized our brothers and sisters.

We also ask you to send your grace to those who speak and write in degrading terms about the children in the womb. Convert those who do not see the dignity of these children. Loosen the tongues of those who do not know how to acknowledge the humanity and sacredness of these tiny lives.

Keep us all aware of the power of language, and help us to use it rightly in the cause of life and justice. We pray through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Day 9 - October 1, 2009

Intention

May we grow in joy, knowing we serve a living God.

Scripture

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

-- John 1:14

Reflection by Day Gardner

The Word of God came to us in human form in Jesus Christ. Every time I contemplate this fact I get chills! And I think it is something that we, as Christians, tend to gloss over. I can only imagine how the first disciples felt when they were looking into the eyes of the one and only Almighty God who created them.

The first disciples developed a close relationship with Him as they daily walked and talked with Him. They ate with Him, prayed with Him and rested when He rested. As they listened to the Word of God, who was and is Jesus....they believed and "beheld His glory."

Today, this is something we can still do because we serve a living God. Remember, Jesus died on the cross but rose from the dead in victory! Jesus is every bit as real and alive for all of us as He was to the first disciples. He wants us to develop a close
relationship with Him in the very same way. Jesus wants us to know Him personally. He wants us to walk with Him and talk with Him on a daily basis.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your love and saving grace in Christ Jesus. Help us to realize every day the great blessing we have in our Savior.

I pray that we will rise every morning with excitement and zeal, looking forward to walking another day in your footsteps fully knowing that you continue to dwell among us. Amen.

Day Gardner,
President of the National Black Pro-life Union

Day 8 - September 30, 2009

Intention:

May the spirit and example of the Good Samaritan fill the hearts and minds of all our citizens.

Scripture:

Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So, too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

-- Luke 10:30-37

Reflection:

Here Jesus commands us to show mercy to the victims of the culture of violence and death.

But why did the priest and Levite fail to show mercy? Perhaps they feared that the robbers were hiding just around the next corner to attack them. They asked themselves, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?"

The Samaritan, however, reversed the question, and asked, "If I don't stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"

In working to save the unborn, let's not worry about what will happen to us if we act; let's worry about what will happen to the unborn if we don't.

Prayer:

Father, we are moved by the lesson of the Good Samaritan, who allowed compassion to influence him more than fear. Give us the same heart. Grant that we may never count the cost of standing up and speaking out for the unborn. We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Day 7 - September 29, 2009

Intention

May we have a heart and a zeal to save the poor and release the oppressed.

Scripture

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.

-- Luke 4:18-19

Reflection by Fr. Terry Gensemer

This passage is a very familiar one. It has been preached on many occasions, even made popular in books and songs. Though the quote is about Jesus, all Christians take this commission seriously as a directive on how to reach the world with the gospel.

We, like our Savior, are to bring the good news to the poor, the broken hearted, those in captivity, those who cannot see, and the oppressed.

The commission given to us in this passage is clearly a charge to care for those for whom God cares the most. I wonder though, whom do we look for to be touched by the Holy Spirit as we go out into the world?

Who are the poor, if not those unborn children who have been abandoned by their parents before they ever leave the womb?

Who are the broken hearted, if not those unborn children whose only example of love is having their mother take them to an abortion clinic to be destroyed, or the mother of a child who has been deceived by everyone around her into believing that what she is doing is best for her and her child?

Who are the captives, if not those unborn children who are bound over to death by the "choice" of abortion?

Who is more blind than an unborn child in the darkness of a womb that has become a waiting room for their death?

And who is more oppressed than those unborn children whose oppression has been legitimized by their government, their church and even their family and loved ones?

Prayer

Lord, You empower us with Your Spirit to do your will in the earth. Send us to the poorest, the most broken, the most captive, the most blind and the most oppressed in the world, the innocent pre-born children in their mother's wombs that are scheduled for destruction. Help us to bring them healing, liberty, sight and justice through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

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For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

Day 6 - September 28, 2009

Intention:

That knowing the shortness of life, all may value it more deeply.

Scripture:

Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

-- Ecclesiastes 12:6-7

Reflection:

God is giver of all life. Short lived or long lived, human lives are lived out in this world. The metaphors for death are many. But their meaning is clear and singular: all will die. Even so, death is not the absolute end. It is not the end of the story. For as certainly as God gave life, at death the life or spirit that God gave returns to God.

By God, we are created. For God, we live our given days. To God, we return at the end of our earthly days. And with God, we live through eternity. Clearly, all along the way, this gracious, loving God is with us. No human life is random or alone. No human life was created without purpose. Not one human life is without destiny.

All human lives, acknowledged or not, are related to God -- from beginning, to end, throughout eternity. Therefore, in this world, all human lives are to be respected and protected, for their lives are signs of God's sovereignty.

Prayer:

O God, we too often try to live in ways that ignore our coming death. We forget that our days are numbered by You, that at the end of our days your judgment awaits, that You are the Lord of our destiny.

Help us to repent daily, and then to live each day in joyful obedience. Lead us to live in the light and promise of eternity. Prepare us to live fully and sacrificially. Prepare us to die faithfully and hopefully, so that we might live forever with You. Through Jesus Christ, who has gone before us, we trust and hope and love and pray. Amen.

Rev. Paul Stallsworth
President, Lifewatch (United Methodist Church)

Day 5 - September 27, 2009

Intention:

May the truth of the final judgment shape our thoughts, priorities, and choices here on earth.

Scripture:

The King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."

-- Matthew 25:31-46

Reflection:

Caring for others is not optional.

Jesus' picture of the final judgment concludes with this sobering word: the wicked, who failed to care for others in their various needs (e.g., the hungry, the thirsty, the aliens, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned) will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous who did seek to meet those needs will end up with him, enjoying eternal life.

We know that this was no parable! Jesus has given us fair warning! Everything in God's Word points to the truth that compassionate concern and practical care for all people, especially for the poor, the destitute, the weak and needy is required of us, if indeed we hope to escape the punishment of the fire of hell.

And who are the poor and needy, if not helpless, unborn babies, as well as the aged and infirm at the other end of life? Surely the "least of these" embraces not only those at both ends of the continuum of life, but all others in between. Just how we, as Christ's true followers, respond to his admonition "inasmuch as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me" will determine whether we enjoy eternal bliss in his presence or the bleak and dreadful reality of eternal punishment in hell. Nothing in God's Word could be clearer!

Prayer:

Gracious and merciful Father, we gladly embrace your Word that counsels us to care for the least of your children, and we renew our dedication to defending the unborn and all whose right to life is compromised by our godless society's selfish lack of concern. Free us from our own failures and sins so that we will be truly pro-life in every area of our lives. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Rev. Ben Sheldon
President Emeritus, Presbyterians Pro-Life

Day 4 - September 26, 2009

Intention:

We ask God that we may understand the concept of justice, as a gift he gives and as a responsibility that shapes our work.

Scripture:

Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

-- Amos 5:24

Reflection:

Justice, a key theme of the Scriptures, is something God does and that we too must do.

When God intervenes to save his people when they are helpless and in slavery in Egypt, he "does justice." He manifested his justice in the plagues that were sent upon Egypt, whereby Pharaoh was convinced that he must let the people go. Justice is manifested as, in awe and wonder, God's people see the Red Sea open before them, allow them to pass without even getting their feet wet, and then close again to drown their powerful enemies.

God is a God of Justice; he rescues us when we cannot save ourselves. His justice, above all, is seen in Jesus Christ, who, when we could not save ourselves, rescued us from the kingdom of sin, Satan, death, and hell. The mighty work of Christ on the cross and in the resurrection is the perfect manifestation of God as the God of justice.

We, then, are to be the people of justice; we are to "do justice" by intervening to save the helpless in the name and by the power of the God who saves us who are helpless ourselves. That's why we have a pro-life movement; that's why we have a 40 Days for Life Campaign; that's why saving the unborn is our business.

Prayer:

God of Justice, you heard the cry of your people when they were being oppressed in Egypt, and you proved yourself to be the God of justice, who rescues the helpless. You likewise rescued us from the kingdom of darkness, and brought us into the Kingdom of your Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who saves us from the power of Satan, sin, death, and hell. Make us people of justice, ready to intervene to save the helpless. Indeed, as your prophets have announced, let justice roll on like a mighty river, to save all who are in need, especially the unborn. We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Day 3 - September 25, 2009

Intention:

We pray for God's gift of strength as we strive to protect human life during these 40 Days for Life.

Scripture:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

-- Matthew 6:25-26

Reflection:

Billions of dollars are spent each year on diet plans. But Jesus tells us to stop worrying so much about our bodies, and instead to trust in God's care for our physical needs.

What would happen if the people who had started on a low-carb diet this year had instead gone on a diet of heavenly food? For non-believers that diet would include trusting in Christ for their salvation, and for believers it would include a renewed prayer life, a new Bible study, or even a spiritual fast. This diet doesn't include giving up on certain kinds of foods. What this diet includes is giving up on anxiety by resting in the loving arms of Christ, trusting that He will provide.

Such a spiritual diet also frees us from our worries, and allows us to freely praise Him and serve others. "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

This promised provision teaches us the inestimable worth of our lives. He will not allow us to go without. This intimate knowledge and care for human life on the part of our gracious God is what motivates us to seek for the preservation of human life in all its stages.

Prayer:

Loving heavenly Father, help us to see the worth of all human beings by the way in which you provide for us. We would ask that you provide also the faith, grace and courage to enable us to protect that which is so precious to you. Through Christ our Lord, amen.

Dennis DiMauro
Lutherans for Life

Day 2 - September 24, 2009

Intention:

Pray for those who work in the abortion industry, and for those who have repented of committing abortions and have resolved to defend life.

Scripture:

Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man."

-- Luke 23:46-47

Reflection:

"Those of us who have participated in the killing of unborn children are the Centurions of today. We have dropped our swords against the unborn child. Now we must recognize the depth of our guilt and deal with the ramifications... To revitalize our humanity we need to forgive and be forgiven, to reconcile and be healed."

These words come from a brochure of the Society of Centurions, an organization for former abortion providers. These words convey in a beautiful and moving way what is happening across the nation as hundreds of abortionists and their staff members experience repentance, conversion, and healing.

How does this conversion begin? Dr. Philip Ney writes, "The factors that changed their opinion on performing abortions, in the following order of frequency, were: evidence of the infant's humanity, a spiritual experience, personal distress, evidence of the mother's distress, scientific articles, being accepted as a person, a personal relationship with a pro-lifer, pro-life pickets." (The Centurion's Pathway, p. 77).

The journey is not easy. But the Jesus who heals us calls us to face the truth of what we've done, make restitution where possible, and engage in the hard work of mending relationships. Let's pray for the Centurions; may their numbers increase!

Prayer:

Lord, we thank you for those who have repented of committing abortions and have resolved to defend life. We too repent and resolve. We repent of every instance in which fear has made us silent when we should have spoken. We repent of the ongoing bloodshed in our land, and for thinking that we can deprive the unborn of protection but keep it for ourselves. We resolve that we will advance the cause of righteous candidates for public office, and that we will be more afraid of offending you by our silence than of offending others by our speech. We resolve that we will proclaim your name to the nations, through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Day 1 - September 23, 2009

Intention:

That we may use these 40 Days for Life to plead for God's mercy and grace upon all those involved in the sin of abortion.

Scripture:

Blow the trumpet in Zion! Proclaim a fast, call an assembly. Gather the people, notify the congregation. Assemble the elders; gather the children and the infants at the breast… Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, "Spare, O Lord, your people."

-- Joel 2:15-17

Reflection:

The toll of abortion cannot be measured. We hear estimates of almost 50 million innocent victims, but that's only one aspect of the harm that has unfolded in abortion's wake. There are also the mothers and fathers of these millions, as well as the grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins. Unborn lives destroyed. Lives of the living shattered.

It's overwhelming and depressing, but even in the midst of such unfathomable darkness, the church teaches us to have hope. Yes, it was indeed Calvary that followed Christ's 40 days in the desert, but without Calvary there would have been no Resurrection - His victory over death that opened the gates of heaven to those who believe in and follow Him.

The psalmist encourages us to go humbly before God as we seek His will: "A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me… Give me back the joy of your salvation and a willing spirit sustain in me… O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise" (Psalm 51:12, 14, 17).

We are called to be God's messengers; or as the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians: "We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us.. We implore you on behalf of Christ: be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20). That is the true message to all we encounter at the abortion centers and in our communities who have been deceived by the Culture of Death. We don't bring condemnation; we bring God's good news.

Prayer:

Lord, we ask for the strength, courage, wisdom, determination and stamina to carry out this mission according to Your will. Guide us, we pray, as we go forth and proclaim Your truth, always doing so with a spirit of love and compassion, as was demonstrated to us by Your Son, Jesus Christ. In His name we pray, Amen.