Monday, July 30, 2007

40 Days for Life: Campaign will flood abortion with prayer

Campaign will flood abortion with prayer
'40 Days' plan will include round-the-clock clinic vigils


Posted: July 28, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Bob Unruh

© 2007

Pro-life volunteers are getting ready to pull out the heavy-duty artillery in their war against abortion, with a 40 Days for Life plan scheduled this fall that will flood abortion clinics across the country with prayer, 24 hours a day, for the length of the campaign.

Volunteer Director David Bereit told WND the campaign already has been used in several cities, with impressive results, and leaders felt the need to coordinate a national effort that will run Sept. 26-Nov. 4.

He witnessed the effort in College Station, Texas, firsthand, he said, where more than 1,000 people got involved, many for the first time, in advocating for life.

"The most dramatic thing there was that the abortion rate dropped by 28 percent," he said. "In Dallas, folks confirmed 14 women planning to have an abortion – because of the people outside – changed their minds."

He said in Houston area pregnancy centers reported 120 appointments set by women who had abortions scheduled, but did not follow through.

This program will be different from most protests, he said, because it is being centered on prayer and fasting "with absolute intensity."

"I've been involved in pro-life work for years," Bereit told WND. "Nothing has caused an impact like this."

He said the program is set for a specific period of time – 40 days – and that allows people to participate fully, knowing there is an end in sight.

The intensity that produces builds momentum that then continues after the program officially concludes, creating longer term impacts, he said.

"The three things that create the most impact are prayer – people of faith united in prayer, the constant vigil outside abortion facilities, 24 hours a day for 40 day, and the incredible amount of community outreach," he said.

There also has been opposition. In Washington state abortion providers at one clinic tried to convince the protesters they were raising money for the abortion business when they showed up, Bereit said. In another location, pro-lifers carried signs saying, "Honk if you are pro-life," and abortion activists brought theirs with, "Honk twice if you're pro-choice."

But such disputes, Bereit said, only raise the level of attention being given to abortion, and that helps pro-lifers.

"It exposes the dark and tragic reality in any community," he said.

The organization has a signup period for the fall "40 Days' that runs Aug. 7-15. After that, organizers will be training community volunteers for their coming work.

Already more than 400 communities from 45 states have asked for information about how to prepare. Wisconsin leaders have told planners that there already is a team in place with plans to have prayer at every abortion clinic in the state, 24 hours a day, for the full 40 days.

"I can't imagine what kind of an impact that can have, let alone duplicating it in other states," the director said.

The nation, he thinks, is ready to do something. "We believe there are going to be miraculous experiences."

"If you look at major social transformations you realize a lot of times it has started with a small thing that spread like wildfire," Bereit said.

The program is being assembled by volunteers who are operating independently of other pro-life organizations.

Bereit said he's spoken to pro-life groups in more than two dozen states in recently months, and he's sensed a frustration over what has gone on in the United States.

The group's promotion notes that something has to be "desperately wrong" when a nation founded on an unalienable right to life from a Creator kills more than 1.2 million unborn children each year.

"On June 6, abortion giant Planned Parenthood disclosed that it raked in record amounts of taxpayer funding in the last year – over $305 million – forcing you, and all people of faith and conscience, to underwrite the organization which aborts a quarter of a million children a year," the group said.

"According to the February 26 edition of TIME magazine, there are currently 1,819 abortion providers operating in America. Most of these abortion centers and Planned Parenthood offices face little or no opposition on a consistent basis, allowing them to quietly conduct their harmful business without hindrance."

"Clearly, our nation has turned away from God," the group said. "This may seem like cause for despair, but we are reminded in Scripture, 'if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.'"

The 40 days is drawn from the 40 days of rain on Noah, the 40 days on Mount Sinai for Moses, David's transformation by Goliath's 40-day challenge, Elijah's 40 days of strength from one meal, and Jesus' 40 days in the desert.

Among the group's leadership team is James Olson, who teaches intelligence and national security at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M, Carmen Pate, co-host of the nationally syndicated Point of View radio program and Shawn Carney, chief of the Coalition for Life.



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