The Power of Prayer
Most 40 Days for Life participants pray while standing on the sidewalk. I think most of the prayers are for the closing of PP in Pittsburgh and the eradication of abortion from our land. There are times when I feel my prayers are ineffective and that God is not listening. At those moments, I’ve learned that I need a dose of humility, that I need to realize that God will remove the stain of abortion on his timetable, not mine.
“For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them. ” Matthew 18:20. If we truly believe this, then Jesus is standing with us on the sidewalk and adding his prayers to ours, to the Father.
Prayers said out loud may not seem to have an immediate effect on the clients and passersby, but I believe that the effect can happen later. Especially for people that pass us every day, or every week, and see us praying in all kinds of weather, witnesses for God and His Truth, defenders of the Unborn.
Prayer can bring about miracles, as the saints’ lives and miracles attributed to them have demonstrated. Think of the millions of prayers over the past 50 years, prayers asking for the overturn of Roe v. Wade. And it happened. Not on our timeline, but on God’s.
I will echo what Tim said earlier this week–please continue to come downtown and pray for the unborn, that they might live. Every day, PP will continue to schedule abortions. Satan does not rest. Please sign up for 40 Days for Life/365 by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any prayer-time you can give is welcome. And you just might save a life.
To my fellow prayer warriors and faithful sidewalk advocates: “We always thank God for all of you, remembering you in our prayers and continually recalling before our God and Father your work of faith, your labor of love, and your enduring hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2
It was a very spring-like overcast morning down at Planned Parenthood. I was joined by Dean, Pete, Marilyn, and Anthony, who changed his shift to be with us. Plenty of sad-looking workers going in, and several couples — some of whom took materials. I thought the new sign was funny at the gallery next-door. We had our usual thumbs up and thumbs downs, but it was so gratifying to have the whole area filled with people. Praying for an end to this craziness. The best people in the world are standing on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood!
It rained steadily for the entire shift. We had an enthusiastic group of prayer and vigil persons. Many women coming and going to and from PP today. I said good morning to a passerby and he pushed my open umbrella away from him. Clearly he was upset with us for being on the sidewalk. The rain kind of humbled us and made us appreciate the warm sunny days even more.
It was a nice surprise to get to spend my last shift of the campaign with the ladies of St. Joseph and St. Michael! We got soaked, but we prayed two Rosaries and offered help to the desperate mothers and fathers of Pittsburgh. There appeared to be some sort of false alarm right up the street, with several police cars stopped around one young man, who, according to Maggie, seemed very polite and respectful. They eventually let him go on his way.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who will mention this, but abortions don’t happen just 80 days a year at PP! We have a small but incredibly dedicated family trying to cover all 260 abortion days each year, but we’re not quite able to yet! There are still mothers having abortions without anyone there to show them the love and hope of Christ. In a city so full of faithful, generous, loving people, this is unacceptable. We can do better! Please pray about joining our Sidewalk Advocates/40 Days 365 family! (And I don’t use that word lightly! I have met the most beautiful human beings in the world down on the sidewalk–people who I’d do anything for and who I know from experience would do anything for me. When you give a little bit, God blesses you with so much more than you would ever dare to ask for!) I know everyone is busy these days. But in a world where everyone seems to be after your money, or your vote, or your likes, views, retweets, etc., all we’re asking for is your love. You’ve already done the hard part of getting started. Please just spend some time in silence with the Blessed Sacrament (or in quiet prayer if you’re not Catholic) and ask God if He’s calling you to take it a step further. Then reach out to anyone on our team and we’ll be happy to welcome you!
Parishioners from St. Matthew’s Parish, Maggie, Mary Jane, and Ed joined me today during the vigil. Mary Jane prayed the Rosary fervently the whole time during the shift. God bless her! Two women stopped by asking questions, trying to understand why we were participating in the vigil. Maggie had a nice talk with them. Another woman stopped by to protest against us. She had a sign saying abortion is healthcare. She was shouting out, “Keep abortion legal.” Maggie had a nice talk with her, too, and the woman left. Thank you, Maggie! The funny thing about this story is this woman was within the yellow circle with her sign and the security guard from PP came out and yelled at her a couple of times. She replied, “But I’m on your side.” He replied to her, saying, “I don’t care.” Bernie from St. Matthew’s Parish handed a woman a resource card and the woman ripped it in front of Bernie, walking away angry. I will end this report on good news. A woman came out of PP with a big smile and, being so excited, she shared with us that she is pregnant and her baby is due in November. May God bless this woman, the father of this baby, and the baby in the womb.