An excerpt from the inspiring speech at our kickoff rally by Ellen Kolb, author of Leaven for the Loaf.
It starts with prayer. Of the three aspects of 40 Days for Life, “prayer and fasting” is listed first. When we lift our hearts to God, we begin to shut out noise. When we pray and fast, we begin to detach ourselves from distractions. We turn away from the headlines. We enter a quieter place where voices that were drowned out are suddenly distinct: an uncertain mother, an ambivalent father, a helpless invisible child.
Most of my 40 Days for Life hours in Manchester are early in the morning, despite the fact that I am not a morning person. The street is quiet, with more dog walkers than cars. I notice the seasons changing. I can’t NOT pray. The very building Planned Parenthood occupies looks different to me when I’m there to pray.
Sure, in politics I can be an advocate. So often, I live and die by the latest roll call vote. But sometimes I have to slow down and remind myself who I’m advocating for. Abby Johnson said something in Nashua the other day that cut right through me: “We have to be outside those clinics. Abortions aren’t taking place in the halls of Congress” (or Concord, for that matter). On the sidewalk during 40 Days for Life, my encounters are with people, not “issues.” That can mean a client or a worker or the fellow living across the street who yells out his window to tell me to go away. Prayer prepares me for those encounters, scared though I may be.
Please join 40 Days For Life for a Candlelight Vigil at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 14 in the public right-of-way outside of Planned Parenthood, 24 Pennacook Street, Manchester. Candles will be provided and refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to or on Facebook or call 978-226-3240