“God can work miracles out here” — 40 Days for Life begins
FORT WORTH — Pro-life advocates gathered on the curb between Planned Parenthood and the neighboring adoption center to pray and speak to begin the 40 Days for Life kickoff event.
Fort Worth’s annual 40 Days for Life Kickoff took place on Sept. 26 at 7 p.m., led by Bobby Warren, the campaign coordinator for 40 Days for Life in Fort Worth. This began the constant prayer in front of the clinic for the next 40 days.
“It’s really a blessing because it’s a commitment to the Lord to be here 24 hours a day. It’s really a commitment we like to keep for the 40 days,” Warren said.
After a prayer and meditation led by Fr. John Robert Skeldon, the parochial vicar of St. Patrick Cathedral, Warren walked up the small stepladder and into the bed of the blue truck adorned with a 40 Days for Life banner on the side.
He spoke into the microphone, introducing the guest speaker, Lauren Muzyka, while people listened from the curb on both sides of the street.
Muzyka, now the executive director of Sidewalk Advocates for Life, once worked in the Dallas diocese pro-life ministry, hosted a pro-life radio show, served as the Campaign Strategist for the National 40 Days for Life team for over two years, and served as Director of Prayer, Civic Action, and Outreach for the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas.
She gave her pro-life message to the attendees, encouraging them to have faith in the good that praying in front of clinics does for the community.
“There are so many stories… I could tell you where the prayer volunteers had no idea the effect they were having in the hearts and minds of those they would pass by, and the hearts and minds of those who work in these facilities, and in the hearts and minds of those who enter these facilities to take the lives of their innocent children,” she said to the group.
A large chart with time slots sat beside the road for people to sign up after the speech. Some slots were already filled before the official sign ups even had begun.
“It’s quite the undertaking,” Warren said. “People come out and do that. They respond.”
The prayer vigil began that night, and will continue until November 4, with people praying in all hours of the day and night.
“Those who want to come and pray on the sidewalk, it’s one of the easiest things you can do,” Warren said. “You don’t have to have any theological training or background. You just come stand and silently pray to save lives of babies.”
“That’s what we do out here, and the witness is seen. We’ve had people stop and tell us, ‘I was looking for a sign,’ and that they drove away instead of pulling in for an abortion. That’s the most important thing: trying to be a public witness to save lives.”
When time slots aren’t filled, substitutes will step in and fill those time slots until they are filled, but the campaign generally fills all slots.
According to Warren, all open hours for prayer will be filled between the sign ups, substitutes, and the leadership team.
“You are creating a constructive tension out here that is needed for abortion’s end,” Muzyka said from the bed of the truck, encouraging participation from the people.
The 40 Days for Life headquarters shows that 5.5 thousand campaigns exist in over 750 cities spread out in 50 countries. There are over 750,000 participants.
According to 40 Days for Life, since the campaign began in 2007, 14,643 lives have been reported to have been saved, 177 abortion workers have quit their jobs, and 96 abortion centers have closed.
“Ask yourself, ‘do I believe that God can work miracles out here?’” Muyaka said.