The Umbrella

40-Days for Life is an international effort of fasting and prayer, constant vigil, and community outreach to end the tragedy of abortion.  The following is one of many success stories recounted by those who pray on the front lines in the battle for Life. 

Today I went back to Planned Parenthood to retrieve an umbrella that I had left with a friend earlier in the day.

As I stood in front of the abortion mill chatting with a fellow Pro-Lifer and holding a sign that read, “Pray to End Abortion,” a group of teen-aged boys approached us on the sidewalk.  We were so engrossed in our conversation that we were not paying attention to the direction of the sign.  The sign faced away from the teens, and I noticed the boys glancing backward to read the sign while they walked. 

My eyes met the eyes of the last boy in the group, and I expected him to say something to impress his friends.  I remember being a teenager and what can happen when a group of them is together.  Peer pressure is a very powerful influence. 

I had just finished that thought when, to my amazement, the young man fell to his knees and began praying.  While he knelt, his friends continued walking down the sidewalk. 

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” I said to my friend.  He turned his gaze on the boy and then to his friends who had now turned back around to stare at their friend. 

As the four other boys looked on their kneeling friend, I was certain one of them would say something to discourage him.  The approval of friends is incredibly important as a teenager, often more important than the approval of parents and family.  Just as I completed that thought, another one of the boys dropped to his knees and began to pray. 

“I can’t believe my eyes,” I said, astonished.  The three remaining boys looked on in dismay as their two friends knelt before Planned Parenthood in prayer. 

I wanted to run over, give them both a hug, and tell them I was praying for their kind of courage, the courage to serve God even if it means enduring the ridicule of those whose opinion we value the most.  The Bible says the prayer of the righteous man avails much, so I often question the effectiveness of my own prayers; I do know the prayer of those two boys outside of Planned Parenthood went straight to heaven and into the ears of God. 

I simply returned to retrieve my umbrella.  Instead, I left with a renewed spirit and a reassurance that the prayers of all who pray outside Planned Parenthood and thousands of other abortion mills do impact more lives than they know.  I left with a hope that many more will begin falling to their knees in prayer in anticipation of the day that abortion is ended forever. 

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

-Steve Lopez, Prayer Warrior