“However, this kind of demon goes away only by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:21
Jesus told his disciples this when they questioned why they had been unable to cast out a demon from a young boy.
Abortion is a demon in our country. Perhaps this is one that can only be driven out by prayer and fasting. That is the idea behind two of the aspects of 40 Days for Life. We all seem to be fairly familiar with the idea of prayer but fasting? Maybe not so much.
Fasting is when we humbly deny ourselves something of the flesh to glorify God and go deeper in our prayer life. Fasting is a way to demonstrate to God and to ourselves that we are serious about our relationship with Him. Anything you can temporarily give up (chocolate, TV, radio, Facebook, snacks, coffee, etc. More ideas can be found atwww.nicksenger.com/csc/101-practical-fasting-ideas-for-lent) can be considered a fast. Fasting is not intended to punish the flesh, but to focus on God as a form of physical prayer. Fasting strengthens us for the Christian lifestyle in which we strive to put God and others before our own wants. If we are able to say, “Yes!” to God in small things like not eating cookies, it will make it easier to say, “Yes!” when the situation is much bigger.
Sometimes it can be hard to maintain a fast. We may find ourselves thinking, “Will it really matter to God if I eat this one cookie? Can I really be saving a baby by turning off the TV?” In these instances it may be helpful to take that “hunger” or desire for the object of our fasting and satisfy it with prayer. It is also important to remember that your fasting and any suffering you endure because of it is not limited to you. Your sacrifice is united not only with millions of others around the world as a sign of repentance to God, but it is also united with the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ who gave His very life for us, so He could save us from our sins by rising triumphantly on Easter!
*40 Days for Life continues through March 24 – 165 babies saved so far! There are four aspects of this worldwide campaign to end abortion: prayer, fasting, peaceful vigil, and community outreach. See “Upcoming Events” below to find out more about this mission which has had amazing results in converting abortion workers, closing abortion mills, and saving babies. Vigil locations are in Glen Ellyn and Aurora.
News from the last two Thursdays’ Forest View vigils:
** On Thursday, February 14, we estimate that SEVEN precious infants lost their lives.
** One woman chose LIFE! Rosa came with her sister. They ignored the 7:00 am counselor, Terry, but they must have heard what he was saying. Or perhaps it was the presence of the faithful group of prayer warriors that pricked their hearts and awoke their conscience. Maybe it was the prayers offered by so many of you from work or home that called upon the power of the Holy Spirit. Whatever it was, I was able to talk to them as they left; baby still safely in Rosa’s womb. Her sister was crying tears of joy. Rosa was more hesitant, but thanked me for the information about the Women’s Center and happily took a pair of pink baby booties. Her husband does not yet know about her pregnancy, so please pray that he will accept this child with open arms.
** On Thursday, February 21, we estimate that EIGHT children were murdered at Forest View “Medical Center.”
** Jessica decided to give her baby the gift of LIFE! She came with her father around 8:30 am. Her mother showed up about an hour later and all three, I mean FOUR, of them then left together. Jessica was all smiles as she told me she was keeping her baby. As I looked at her joyful face, I couldn’t help but ask for a hug and she gladly obliged! I gave her information about the Women’s Center and told her we would all be praying for her. As I went to give her booties, I realized that I had a feeling that pink just wouldn’t do for her; however, she quickly grabbed them out of my hands stating, “I just know it’s a girl!” That will be one lucky little girl. Praise God!
** Even though Jessica was happy to grab the pink booties, we would love to have some blue ones as well. Click Here for a pattern for all of you knitters out there! Please let us know and we can even pick them up.
** Sometimes blessings come from passers-by. Many cars drive by with a friendly honk or give a thumbs-up. Some even stop by to thank us. On this particular day, an older gentleman on his way to the casino (one block away) stopped by to say how he sees us out there a lot and admires us. When I told him about the save that day, however, he was quick to say, “I’m not really on one side of the issue or the other.” I feel confident, though, that his heart may be pulling him to the side of LIFE if he felt compelled to stop and say hi. Every time you stand outside of an abortion facility you never know who will drive by and be swayed by your prayerful, peaceful presence.
"Return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is He.” (Joel 2:13)
Today is the first day of Lent. Are you ready? I’m not! It always makes me a little anxious as I consider what I will do, how I will encourage my children, when I can fit in more prayer, and on and on. Yet, as I read from “The Word Among Us” magazine today, I found that I need to look at Lent a bit differently.
They write, “The last thing anyone wants to do is reduce this season of grace to a to-do list. Your heavenly Father is ‘gracious and merciful.’ He is calling out to you so He can bless you. Our works during Lent are meant to arise from a heart that wants to know a deeper freedom from sin and fear – a heart that is looking to God for more of His love. We don’t do them to prove ourselves to God or convince him to bless us. We do them because they can help us feel the presence of God. We do them because they can change our hearts and make us more like Jesus.”
So take a deep breath, soften your heart, and keep it open to the Lord this Lent. He will use whatever effort you make over these next 40 days, no matter how small, for your good and the good of others.
Need some ideas of ways to “return to the Lord?” Here are a few:
1. 40 Days for Life begins TODAY! – There are four aspects of this worldwide campaign to end abortion: prayer, fasting, peaceful vigil, and community outreach. See “Upcoming Events” below to find out more about this mission which has had amazing results in converting abortion workers, closing abortion mills, and saving babies. Vigil locations are in Glen Ellyn and Aurora. Watch a video of the Aurora site’s kick-off rally where they witnessed a save that very day!: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXRWkZqLqIQ
2. Two Lobby Days in Springfield Feb. 20 and March 13 – Visit your state Congressmen in person and make an impact! You will be provided with all the background to speak with authority on the issues. See the upcoming events tab for more information.
3. Click HERE to view “40 Ways to Embrace Life” . Choose one thing that you will do this Lent to promote LIFE.
UPDATE ON A SAVE
- We have a little more information about Kathy who chose LIFE at Forest View last July. Her baby girl, Kylee Elise, was born on January 15. Kathy is so appreciative of the presence of people praying for her that day and throughout her pregnancy. She texted, “She really wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you, so thank you so much for that!”
- From the update when we first met Kathy, “She came with two Hispanic young men. Neither was the father of her baby. As God would have it, the two men dropped Kathy off and then parked in the parking lot in front of the Women’s Center building which allowed us the opportunity to go right up to their car and talk. We are not legally allowed on the premises of the abortion mill’s parking lot, so it really was an amazing blessing! The one young man, Angel, was willing to listen and was very moved by the pictures of developing babies and aborted babies in the pamphlet I shared. He immediately texted Kathy to come out. And she did! All three came with me to the Women’s Center and left later with a plan for LIFE!
- May God bless each person who pleaded to God for the life of this child. We have sent a gift to Kathy and Kylee from all of you!
News from the last two Thursdays’ Forest View vigils:
** On Thursday, January 31, we estimate that SEVEN children died at the hands of a “doctor.”
** One couple arrived at 7:00 am and left 20 minutes later. They did not stop to talk or even look our way, so we do not know what happened.
** On Thursday, February 7, we estimate that again SEVEN women chose death for their unborn child.
** As much as we would love to report that there was a save on one of these days, we simply don’t know. Of course, this doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. Former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson said that on abortion days when there were people present praying outside, their no-show rate shot up to 75%. However, even if not one baby was saved on these days, our prayers were not in vain. We must continue to go to these places of death. We may be the only ones who mourn the passing of these children at the site of their murder. Each one was a unique individual, a precious baby, who will never be seen in this world. “Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) It is a sacred duty to never forget the youngest victims of abortion. To this end, the Pro-Life Action League has launched a project to remember these little ones. Read about it here: http://prolifeaction.org/hotline/2013/topten03/#more-27984(You can also find some comfort here by reading Eric Scheidler’s list of the top ten accomplishments of the pro-life movement!)
Our vigil update writer: