40 Days For Life is a national pro-life ministry which focuses on prayer in local communities with the hopes of ending abortion. Local volunteer organizers host continual prayer vigils at the abortion clinics in their town, praying that God would change the hearts of the expectant mothers, save the lives of the unborn who are in danger that day, and bring an end to abortion. The majority of these prayer vigils are conducted in silence, and 40 Days For Life does not engage in confrontational encounters. You can read more specifics about the ministry here.
This year I have partnered with other pro-life activists to help organize and promote a chapter of 40 Days for Life in Lakeland, Florida. It begins on February 10th. You can see the Lakeland website here. I have been calling local pastors, advertising on social media, and talking with other Christians in the area who wish to get involved. I want ask you readers to consider signing up for at least one hour. We need your help.
Most everyone I meet tells me that they are pro-life. This is largely because I am a conservative Evangelical pastor who typically interacts with other conservative Christians. It’s also because I live in Polk County, which is more conservative than the Tampa or Orlando areas. Still, even among these pro-life people I meet, I wonder how many of them really think about what abortion is. For instance, do you know just how many abortions happen? Here is a real-time counter that you should watch for just a few minutes. Those numbers represent human lives lost. How many died since you opened the page? Check again. How about now?
Abortions happen in Lakeland, Florida. The abortion clinic is located on South Florida Ave., about a block from Chick-Fil-A. The clinic is open most days of the week, but they conduct abortions on Wednesday mornings and Friday afternoons (for now at least; they will rotate this schedule over time). When I visit on those days, the parking lot is usually full. I’ve seen Black, White, and Latinos going in, and the percentages are fairly even. The vehicles are sometimes new, and sometimes old. Some of them have “Support Our Troops” stickers. One had a deer-hunting logo which said “Country Boy Can Survive.” Lots of them have American flags. Normal Americans get abortions all the time. They are just like you. They are just like me. And they believe they need to take the life of the unborn in order to live their lives.
This happens in our city, at least twice a week.
Are you aware of this? Does this bother you?
If you are pro-life, then I would plead with you to get involved in some pro-life activism. Not everyone has to do the same thing. Some folks are good at talking in public. Others are better at private counseling. Some people have skills in the medical field. Some can do charity and community-renewal. I do not believe that everyone has to engage in sidewalk ministries. However, if you aren’t currently doing anything with pro-life work, then 40 Days For Life is the easiest way to get started.
Everything is basically provided for you. You will be a part of a group. Others will be there before and after you are. You can arrange it so that there are also others present when you are. You don’t have to say anything. You don’t have to hold a sign, but you can if you would like. There’s no cost, other than time. It’s a peaceful and usually silent time of prayer. There are plenty of time-slots to choose from. 40 Days For Life is your most convenient and accessible introduction to pro-life ministry, and it is happening in Lakeland. All you have to do is be there and pray.
Some people have asked me if 40 Days For Life has a specific religious affiliation. The answer is no. All of the leadership is Christian, but there is no official statement of faith. Most of the people who participate are either Roman Catholic or Evangelical, but all who believe in the sanctity of life are welcome to join. No one will tell you what to say or how to pray. We are praying, of course, and so the public message will be that we are asking God to bring an end to abortion. Anyone participating would have to be comfortable with that, but otherwise the message is very basic.
As a Christian, and a Reformed Evangelical, my own prayer will be much more specific, of course. I will be asking the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ to work through His Spirit to change the hearts of those who would consider abortion and bring an end to the evil of abortion in our land. I will have my Bible, and I will talk about this with anyone who comes my way. I will probably read or sing a few psalms. But I think it’s good to allow maximum co-belligerency for these events, and I think the reasonable “statement” to the public will be that all of these people want to see an end to abortion. I’m happy to have as many other pro-lifers participating, and I would invite you to as well. We need to speak out against this systemic evil.
Sign up on this website. You will need to create an account, but that doesn’t take long. If you more questions, you can contact me or other organizers. Thanks for your consideration, and I hope to see you soon.