18th Feb 2016
The following post is a guest post by Robert Colquhoun the Director, International Campaigns for 40 Days for Life. The campaign is now well into its second week in Christchurch with the prayer vigil ongoing 12 hours each day outside the Christchurch Public Hospital.
If you wish to be part of this powerful and effective prayer campaign to help save babies and mothers from the scourge of abortion follow this hyperlink.
40 Days for Life is a locally organised community initiative encouraging Christians to pray and fast for an end to abortion. It is a wonderful and beautiful campaign, calling for Christians to pray publicly for 12 hours a day outside the place abortions happen locally. The campaigns focuses on prayer and community organising. Abortion has a spiritual dimension and people who live close to where abortions are happening have the opportunity to make a difference through public prayer. In this context, there has been a dividend of tremendous results.
The cumulative results of the organisation since a national launch in the USA in 2007 have been exponential. 675,000 volunteers have participated from 607 cities in 32 nations with 3,895 local campaigns, saving 11,165 lives from abortion, seeing 127 abortion workers quit the abortion industry and 66 abortion centres close. This has all happened because people in the local community have turned to God in prayer to answer the crisis of abortion.
The international development of 40 Days for Life has been particularly spectacular. At first, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom also joined with local campaigns of their own. Croatia joined 40 Days for Life in Lent 2014, and now there are 21 cities in Croatia who are organising their own 40 Days for Life campaign. Nearly a classroom of children have been saved from abortion in Croatia in a national effort that continues to grow. In the United Kingdom, nearly 25 locations have conducted their own 40 Days for Life campaigns and several hundred children have been spared from abortion in just 5 years. In Colombia, the first 40 Days for Life was conducted in Bogota in Autumn 2015: 2000 people participated, and 12 lives were spared from abortion. In under 6 months later, there are now 12 cities that are conducting their own efforts in Colombia with strong participation. Mexico has also witnessed campaigns grow nationwide and has seen abortion centres temporarily close.
In Lent 2016, Glasgow, Scotland, Bucharest in Romania and Hong Kong are organising their first ever 40 Days for Life campaigns. The Hong Kong campaign is the first ever effort in Asia which is an extremely exciting prospect. What is particularly attractive about the model of the campaign is that it is simple, yet effective; a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but beautiful to see the results.
The most beautiful experience I have had as a pro-life activist is getting to meet some of the children that otherwise would have been aborted had it not been for the pro-life witness of Christians. To hold a child in my arms, who was scheduled to be aborted, but was alive today thanks to 40 Days for Life, was simply the most positive and powerful emotional experience. And we know that today, more than 10,000 children are alive thanks to this campaign – and they are just the ones we know about.
As Christians we know that prayer moves mountains, and that by accessing the power of God, he can do more than our wildest imagination to change hearts and minds and bring people back to him. In that context, we can do more than ever to build an authentic culture of life where no more babies die, and no more women cry from the wounds of abortion. Educate yourself about what exactly is happening in your town and what precisely you can do about it.
In your prayer, turn to God to ask him what you can personally do to help build a culture of life, using your tools, talents and treasure to help build the Kingdom of God. You might be surprised by the results!
What can God do in your local community, if you galvanised the Christians to come together for just 40 Days of intense prayer and public witness in a spirit of prayer and repentance for the injustice of abortion? I have no idea, but I would love to find out!