Hundreds gather to pray for the unborn at 40 Days for Life kickoff
FORT WORTH — More than 300 people lined the sidewalks Sept. 25 during the annual kickoff rally for Fort Worth’s 40 Days for Life campaign.
The ecumenical rally brought together people from various Christian denominations. “The one thing that brings us together is that we all want to end abortion, and we all want to pray,” Fort Worth Campaign Coordinator Bobby Warren said. “And we all want to do that in a silent, peaceful, and prayerful way.”
As its name implies, 40 Days for Life’s most visible component is the 24/7 peaceful prayer vigil outside an abortion facility. In Fort Worth, the campaign takes place on the sidewalks in front of Planned Parenthood on Ryan Drive in southwest Fort Worth.
The kickoff began with Father Maurice Moon, chaplain at Nolan Catholic High School, leading the crowd in praying a litany and penitential Psalm. He encouraged attendees to not take praying for an end to abortion lightly.
“We need prayer more than ever to come back to our Lord and to help others come back to our Lord and to know His love and mercy at this time,” Fr. Moon said. He recommended that participants pray a Rosary daily — not only for the extent of the 40 Days campaign — but for the rest of their lives.
40 Days for Life’s Director of Medical Affairs and Education, Dr. Haywood Robinson, shared his experience as an abortionist-turned-Christian pro-lifer.
“I’m able to share with audiences what their praying can stop,” Robinson told the North Texas Catholic. “I think it shows how the Lord can transform and move you regardless of your life.”
Robinson has been a part of 40 Days for Life since its beginning in College Station in 2004.
The Diocese of Fort Worth began participating in the 24/7 prayer campaign in 2007 when the first nationwide 40 Days for Life effort was launched.
“We’ve been lucky. We have a pretty good core following,” Warren said
That following is growing nationally. Earlier this year, 40 Days for Life had roughly 420 campaigns, but now has grown to 505, according to Dr. Robinson.
“God is concerned about this,” he said. “We have to recognize that God is far more offended by abortion than we are. We have to get behind Him, behind His power, behind His might, behind His righteous indignation.
“And we have to be assured and have the faith at some point in time that we are going to see abortion become illegal in the United States of America.”
As the organization grows, so do the results. “This is a wonderful time, and it brings attention, and it brings a lot of participation together,” Warren said, pointing out that in some places 40 Days for Life is “converting into more of a year-round effort.”
Locally, 40 Days for Life teamed up with Fort Worth pregnancy resource center Mother and Unborn Baby Care and is training sidewalk counselors who counsel women on their way inside an abortion clinic. Furthermore, campaign organizers are coming out on the sidewalk and organizing prayer year-round according to Warren.
“Day 41 is as important as day 40, and we continue throughout the year to get people out on the sidewalk to continue to pray,” Warren said.
For more information on Fort Worth’s 40 Days for Life Campaign, visit 40DaysForLifeFortWorth.com.