In those days, Amalek came and waged war against Israel. Moses, therefore, said to Joshua, “Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle.” (Exodus 17: 8-9a)
I find it very interesting that the enemy comes and wages war against God’s people, and Moses charges Joshua with the order to “engage” the enemy in the battle! Wouldn’t most of our first instincts be to RUN? Well, in my weakness, I must admit that mine would.
But this is precisely what the Lord calls us to in 40 Days for Life. We, too, as God’s people whom the enemy (satan) is attacking, are called upon to engage him, to engage the evil in this battle. We are called to be face to face with evil. There is no other way to describe abortion other than evil. And God CALLS US TO BE THERE to go into that battle.
Okay. So we’re toast, right? As good as dead already? Certainly not!
As Psalm 121 assures us, “Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121: 2)
The Lord calls us to “be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient.” (2 Timothy 4: 2) In the Gospel of John, “Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18: 1, 7-8)
We cannot be like the impatient disciples of Jesus’ day who wanted justice immediately. We must have the patient persistence like the woman in the Lord’s parable in Luke’s Gospel. She knew her plea would be answered; she just had to be persistent. A few weeks ago, I mentioned the Scripture passage which asked the Lord, “How long?” And the answer is, we DON’T know, nor do we need to know. This battle in which we are engaged– this battle of prayer and fasting– is about our TRUST in the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Besides, isn’t HE the only One who could win for us anyway?
Shift Manager Sue had the following report to share with us:
I covered the 7:00-11:00 AM shift this morning, Sunday, October 20. The vigil was blessed by a large group from the People of God, including sooo many teens & children! (Check out the photos!)
The prayers, psalms, and songs – Pat & Noah both blessed us with their guitar and singing talents – never stopped all morning. On Sundays the clinic is closed, so we never expect to see anyone entering the building (even though sometimes employees will show up, enter the clinic, and stay for different lengths of time on Sundays). So even though we of course directed much prayer towards the clinic and its employees and clients, our visibility this morning was confined to the passersby.
One of the specific reasons I am so thankful for the large number of young people attending the vigil today is that it was my 13-year-old son Brendan’s first time attending. I had been wondering just how it would go for him ……. but with all the teens in attendance, it couldn’t have been a better atmosphere for his first time! The other reason I was especially thankful for our youthful turnout goes back to the passersby I mentioned above. The youth convention, “Power Shift 2013,” is still in town. Due to the nature of the convention’s topic (environmental issues, opposition to fossil fuels & fracking, etc.), most of us were assuming it’s likely most of the teens in attendance are of a predominantly liberal mindset. Many groups of those young people kept passing by on foot all morning. Sadly and unfortunately, we did experience a few derogatory comments from some of them …….. BUT we greeted them all with a smile – and who can think of a better pro-life witness to these young people than a large group of teens praying, singing, and witnessing for Life?!!! Praise be to God for this opportunity!
Shift Manager Julie reported the following from her shift today:
Today the Respect Life Committee from St. Bernard’s in Mt. Lebanon started arriving at 1 PM, and by 2 PM or so, eight people were there! Wow! The Lay Carmelite community of St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi also arrived through this time, totaling three people.
Also at 1 PM, the school bus showed up! Wow! Twenty students from Aquinas Academy, plus parents and teachers, lined the sidewalk on the right hand side of PP (if you are facing it). The students (led by one of the students) prayed the rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet, and otherwise stood in SILENT meditation. How amazing it was to see these prayerful young people. They made a difference too. A worker from the business next door to Planned Parenthood complained to us that the customers going in (and having to walk among the students) were “uncomfortable.” I maintained that we were standing there legally and freely, and basically didn’t offer to move away. The students and parents remained there silent, and it was a great witness since there were twenty of them, silent and holding signs. Mixed in there with them was Dave from St. Gregory in Zelienople!
On the left hand side of PP, a group from the Lay Carmelites and St. Bernard’s prayed fervently and were also very friendly getting to know one another. That group also endured harassment from a young man who stood inside the yellow circle cursing and taunting the group. One man from St. Bernard’s told me that he was grateful for the experience because it really brought home to him that we are in a spiritual battle.
I also got a chance to talk to a young woman who was from the big convention going on (she had a tag around her neck). She stopped and stood quietly and didn’t interrupt us. I went over and asked her if she wanted to pray with us and explained that we are praying out of love and in vigil for the babies that are killed here. She politely expressed that she didn’t agree and believes in choice. I asked if she knew anyone who had had an abortion and she said not personally. She listened to me when I told her that I know women who very much regret they had an abortion and told her about the Silent No More website. I hope that this little conversation will be a little seed in her heart that someone else will help water in the future.
Also, a young man approached the silent high school students and preached to them his pro choice side (I forget what he said, he didn’t talk long).
I am reminded that we must pray fervently for young people to not be afraid of Jesus. To realize a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the way to knowing the truth of who we are and our purpose on earth, and to knowing and being with God for eternity.
1 Timothy 4:12
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Shift Managers Jim and Kathy sent us these photos:
Thank you, again, to ALL of the faithful participants and Shift Managers from today. May the Lord bless you all for your dedication.