40 Days for Life co-founder explains why it’s crucial that pro-lifers pray near abortion centers

Being present could be 'a sign of hope to somebody ... to direct them elsewhere so that they don't fall prey to the lies the abortion industry,' David Bereit says.
Wed Dec 4, 2019 - 5:49 pm EST
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Pro-lifers offer witness during a 40 Days for Life prayer vigil last year in Scotland.

December 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – There are many ways to work against abortion, from volunteering at pregnancy centers to demonstrating outside courtrooms to writing from one’s own home. Prayer can be done at any of those places as well, but the co-founder of the international 40 Days for Life campaign says that doing so outside the doorsteps of abortion facilities is a critical part of making a difference.

During last week’s episode of The Van Maren Show, Jonathon Van Maren asked 40 Days for Life co-founder David Bereit, “what was it about the proximity of the people praying to the place where the killing was done that was significant to you?”

Bereit explained that American Life League vice president Jim Sedlak was the first person to stress to him the importance of pro-lifers being physically present oustide of abortion facilities, because it “would reduce the number of people going in, it would send a message to those working there that they were not supported by the community,” and “it would awaken the conscience of the community.”

“I had to grapple with that a little bit because in Scripture, we're told that our prayers should be kept in our prayer closet,” Bereit confessed. But he came to understand that the deference rested with “the intent of our prayers; if we are going out to pray to be seen, then I think our motives are wrong. If you're going to pray for seeking God's will and being faithful to it, then our motives can be pure and right.”

The deeper value of being there to pray outside of Planned Parenthood, he concluded, was that “a place of such despair and hopelessness” is where God is most “urgently needed,” so pro-lifers should be on hand to make themselves “available for the Holy Spirit to use.”

“When we are present, sometimes that presence is enough to be a sign of hope to somebody who's going into that facility to then be able to direct them elsewhere so that they don't fall prey to the lies the abortion industry,” he said. “I've seen so many times where women have been going in and just because of maybe one or two people standing there quietly praying their heart has been convicted, they've gone to those people and said, thanks to you, I'm not going to have an abortion and I'm going to go to a pregnancy center and receive the help I need.”

“I was faced with the reality of what was happening there,” Bereit said. “And I knew that I couldn't solve it. But the one I was communicating with in prayer could. And I asked him to guide me. And, thankfully, over many years he has helped me to grow in my ability to see ways that I can collaborate with him in helping to save lives.”

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  40 days for life, abortion, culture of life, david bereit, jonathon van maren, prayer, pro-life activism, the van maren show

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