Category Archives: Religious Freedom
Final Thoughts on the 40 Days for Life Campaign – November 6, 2012
I can only say what a blessing it was to me to have the opportunity to participate in the 40 Days for Life campaign for the very first time. I had no idea what to expect or how this was going to work out, especially since the time slot I ended up choosing was a 6AM slot. God’s grace was definitely with me throughout the time, enabling me to keep the commitment and be on site to pray everyday of my commitment with a few exceptions – the morning I blew a tire on my way to the clinic and the 2 mornings after hurricane Sandy – I prayed without being at the abortion clinic.
Some mornings were harder than others, no doubt, but God was so faithful to meet me in prayer and to give me amazing things to pray. There were times that I surprised myself with some of things I heard myself praying.
As far as Dr. Carhart’s Germantown abortion clinic is concerned, I believe we accomplished much in the Spirit. The campaign director for Germantown sent out this information to all of us:
700+ hours of prayerful presence on Wisteria
-over 500 prayer warriors from 20 churches joining together
-2 abortion workers are no longer at Germantown Reproductive Health Services
-No abortions for two weeks!
This is exciting news, especially the fact that there were no abortions for two weeks in row in Germantown. The information out of the international campaign is just as exciting. The final numbers are not in yet but so far we know that globally 608 babies have been saved from abortion.
The devotional below that was sent out to all 40 Days for Life prayer warriors after the 40th day. It makes realize that there are multiple ways to storm the gates of Hell. Prayer, of course is number one. But today is election day in the United States and by casting our votes on behalf of life is another way of coming against the gates of Hell!
Pray that the witness of 40 Days for Life bears abundant fruit, and that we begin again each day to storm the gates of hell until God welcomes us into the gates of heaven.
On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
— Matthew 16:18
REFLECTION by Fr. Frank Pavone
When we read this verse, we usually think that the Lord is promising that the church, which is His Body, will withstand all the attacks launched against it. Of course, that is true. But when we think about it more carefully, we realize that in a battle, the gates do not run out into the battlefield to attack the enemy. Rather, they stand still to defend the city from the enemy attacking it. So when the Lord says that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church, who is doing the attacking? It is the church storming the gates! The church, all of God’s people in Christ, is called to take the offensive, to run into enemy territory, and to gain ground for Jesus Christ. We do not wait for an invitation; we already have a command. We prepare, but we do not wait for circumstances to be perfect; we already have one who has gone before us.
During these 40 days, we have stormed the gates. We have taken the offensive. We have pushed forward the boundaries of the kingdom. And we must keep doing so, in numerous ways. Indeed, the gates of hell will not prevail. The gates of falsehood will flee in the presence of truth. The gates of sin will melt in the presence of grace. The gates of death will fall in the presence of the church, the People of Life!
Father, we praise you. We have heard the voice of your Son, and therefore we can make our voices heard. We have done battle with the power of evil, and therefore we can have compassion on those still within its grip. We have been freed from the kingdom of darkness, and therefore we can bear witness to your Kingdom of Light.
May the witness of all your people through these 40 Days for Life bear abundant fruit, and may we begin again each day to storm the gates of hell until You welcome us into the gates of heaven. We pray in the victorious name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Day 28 – October 23, 2012
For Such A Time As This
Spiritual warfare can take on many forms. Sometimes we march around the city in order to see the walls fall down and sometimes it is a matter of being in the right place at the right time with an ear that is close to the heart of God. Such was the case with Esther. She literally found herself in the right place at the right time to make an enormous difference in the lives of her people in a foreign land. Had it not been for her uncle’s willingness to sit at the gate of the King to make sure that he was fully aware of all that was going on in the kingdom and Esther’s willingness and courage to stand up for those who had no voice, the Jewish people may have been annihilated.
The book of Esther indicates that she could have chosen to do nothing to help her people, but her uncle warns her that just because she is the queen does not mean that she will escape the fate of the Jewish people that is coming. But, instead, he presents her with the idea that she may have been placed in this position precisely because she was meant to do something about the situation that was coming. I imagine this was a very difficult decision for Esther, one that took a great deal of courage. In short, her life was on the line here. For Esther to act on her uncle’s request meant that she had approach the king without being summoned by him. If he happened to be in a particularly bad mood the day she decided to go and speak with him, she may very well have been the first Jewish person executed in that kingdom. But Esther went to prayer – she fasted and prayed for three days before deciding on how to approach the king and God heard her prayer!
The story of Esther is a wonderful picture of how God answers prayer and shows us how the battle belongs to the Lord. The battle is not won through human strategies but in the place of prayer and fasting and by employing God’s strategies. In the fight against abortion, we have to be careful to always seek to obtain God’s strategy for each battle. We each need to ask ourselves what the Lord would have us do in this fight – what is our place in His army? Like Esther, we may find ourselves in unusual situations with regard to either speaking out on behalf of the unborn or protesting on behalf of the unborn, or even being willing to be arrested on behalf of the unborn. Whatever the Lord asks us to do, we need to have the faith that He has equipped us to accomplish the task. Let us always remember the words of the book of Esther that say “yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
Day 12 – October 7, 2012
Sunday, October 7, 2012, day 12 of the 40 days campaign and also the restarting of the abortion process all over again at the Germantown clinic. I was remembering this morning that Dr. Carhart starts the 4 day process on Sunday with the women who come to the clinic today. Sunday is not only the first day of the week it also marked the day of our Lord’s resurrection. Sunday is a day to remember that the One who died for us, who died willingly to save us, is now raised from death to life everlasting. But, in Germantown it is a day that signals death for the innocents who go unknowingly to their demise.
Part of the gospel reading for today was taken from Mark 10:13-14 – “Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” I was reflecting on these verses in this context today and just prayed that there would be children to come to Him. I prayed that there would be many more survivors of the abortion holocaust who would have the chance to live and know the Lord. This January will mark 40 years since the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision and since that time over 50,000,000 children have succumb to this holocaust.
Lord Jesus, may this be the year that we see an end to abortion.
Day 11 – October 6, 2012
Today started out as I had planned. I woke up early to go and pray before the clinic but enemy had other plans. He thought that he could thwart prayer to end abortion and for the salvation of souls simply by causing a small mishap with a vehicle. He is not very bright, nor is he very creative. I was on my way to the clinic and I blew a tire on the highway – I was fine, the car was fine, just a bit inconvenienced. I was able to pull off the road safely and figure out what I needed to do and then just wait where I was for someone to come and change my tire. But, what the enemy hadn’t realized was I COULD STILL PRAY! It didn’t matter that I wasn’t physically in front of the clinic – prayer can happen anywhere.
I will go off topic slightly today because something is on my heart that I would like to write about. I was reading this morning in The Message out Luke’s gospel and Jesus said “Get ready for trouble. Look to what you’ll need; there are difficult times ahead. Pawn your coat and get a sword. What was written in Scripture, ‘He was lumped in with the criminals,’ gets its final meaning in me. Everything written about me is now coming to a conclusion.” I believe we may need to consider taking this scripture to heart given the times we live in. If things in this country do not turn around we will be looking at difficult times ahead. If the church remains complacent too much longer about the abortion issue it will see other unwanted invasions. Right now our religious liberty is at stake with the current HHS mandate as it is written which provides for tax payer funded contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization. By virtue of the fact that ALL employers, including those religious convictions go against such things, must provide these must provide these at no cost to their employees, they believe they would be forced to go against their conscience. Many Christian employers have already filed law suits against the government. If these employers hold fast to their convictions and do provide their employees with insurance they will be fined and the fines will bankrupt the companies. This kind of government coercion in America is unheard of. Last weekend a movement began in Washington DC that I pray will continue, no matter the outcome of the election. That movement is known as ActsFive29, which taken from the scripture is referring to Peter standing before the Jewish Council and declaring that they will obey God rather than men when it comes to unjust laws. The church of Jesus Christ can no longer sit by idly while these things happen. We will be like the frogs in the slowly boiling water, never aware of how hot the water is getting until we are suddenly cooked. I would challenge anyone reading this blog today to watch the movie For Greater Glory. Here is what is posted on the movie’s website:
What price would you pay for freedom?
In the exhilarating action epic FOR GREATER GLORY an impassioned group of men and women each make the decision to risk it all for family, faith and the very future of their country, as the film’s adventure unfolds against the long-hidden, true story of the 1920s Cristero War the daring people¹s revolt that rocked 20th Century North America.
This movie is based on a true story on something that happened virtually overnight less than 100 years ago!