40 Days of Life – Lutherans Join in Prayer Outside Kalamazoo Planned Parenthood Center3 min read

We parked our cars at Alternatives, the Christian pro-life crisis pregnancy center on West Michigan Ave in Kalamazoo and walked across the street to the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood. There we gathered with about a dozen others, some Roman Catholics, but mostly Lutherans from Trinity in Paw Paw, Redemption in Battle Creek, and St. Michael in Portage.  We shared a common bond in Christ and a desire to see an end to the atrocity of abortion that goes on all over the world; in particular here at Planned Parenthood, the only abortion provider in Kalamazoo County.

I shared with the group that our purpose was prayer, silent protest, and possibly an opportunity to encourage someone seeking an abortion to go across the street instead and truly find alternatives. To date, 40 Days for Life™ has rescued about 496 babies that would have otherwise been aborted.

The volunteers huddled together in Kalamazoo.

We huddled together against a windy, 38 -degree, drizzly day. I shared with the group that standing here and looking up at Alternatives on the hill to the North reminded me of Psalm 48 (in the old King James Version), “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge.” I also shared how Lutheran prayer piety is often built around the Lord’s Prayer, and how each petition can lend itself well to a pro-life prayer.

Beginning even with the introduction, we are reminded that “our Father” is indeed not only our Father but also “the Father of the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5) who loves the babies in the womb, and if He knows every sparrow that falls, He surely knows and cares about every tiny embryonic human, and every panicked parent who ventures beyond the concentration-camp steel fence of Planned Parenthood.

As we prayed facing their building, under the electronic sign flashing such messages as “Emergency Contraception,” cars raced by, a few honking in either support or objection. From several passing vehicles came shouts so obscene I’d prefer to never repeat them.

There’s a popular bus stop close by that services the many college students that live in the surrounding apartments. I shared with the group a time when a young woman waiting for the bus asked, “Does Planned Parenthood do abortions?” Clearly there is a lot of work to be done in educating young people about this issue. I was particularly grateful that we had some teens and young adults with us that day as we endeavored to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 31:8) and “rescue those being led away to death” (Proverbs 24:11).

One young father wrote me an email afterwards, thanking me for leading the group in prayer, and then adding that he needed to do this more often. How true not only for him but for us all.

How to Get Involved in Michigan

The 40 Days for Life™ campaign has 10 locations around the state. To view details for specific locations, please click on the city names below and you’ll find a “Vigil Schedule” to signup as a volunteer.

The 40 Days for Life™ campaign is currently on Day 36 and to date 485 babies have been saved through this special ministry. Please keep this campaign, the volunteers, and our country in your prayers.

Connect with a Local Pro-Life Group

To get involved in Michigan, connect with Lutherans For Life of Michigan. You can also utilize “A Passion to Serve” to find local pregnancy resource centers you can support.

Also consider how your church might continually promote and support pro-life centers. St. Michael Lutheran Church in Portage maintains a display in its building that promotes Alternatives.

“Alternatives” Display at St. Michael, Portage
“Alternatives” Display at St. Michael, Portage
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About the Author

Rev. Dr. Paul R. Naumann currently serves as Senior Pastor at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Portage, Mich. During his over thirty-five years of ministry, Naumann has been active in positions in the Circuit, District, and Synod, working especially in the areas of Youth Ministry, Outreach, Worship, Campus Ministry, and Small Group Ministry. He has been published in various periodicals and has been a speaker at a number of seminars and workshops.

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