By Laura Kizior
Lent is 40 days long. Forty is a biblical number. When God wanted to transform the hearts of the Israelites, He forced them to wander in the desert for 40 years. Jesus went into the desert for 40 days before He began His public ministry. For Christians, the 40 days of Lenten sacrifices is a time when we offer up our prayers and penances and allow God to transform our hearts and minds.
The 40 days of Lent is a golden opportunity to say yes to God’s plan for our lives and to contemplate the areas of our lives that keep us from drawing closer to our Savior. At the end of our fasting, we rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, recognizing that He alone has power over life and death.
The Resurrection is a powerful reminder that God loved each one of us so much that He was willing to wage the battle over sin and death for our sakes. Not only did God give us the gift of temporal life, but He also gave us the gift of eternal life when He opened the gates of heaven.
During Lent, we have 40 days in which to offer sacrifices for Christ—40 special days to unite our sufferings with Christ as He suffers His Passion on the cross for our sakes. Can you think of anything more fitting than offering our sufferings for an end to the senseless killing of preborn children?
It’s not a coincidence that the next 40 Days for Life starts on February 14—Ash Wednesday. Begin your Lent by resolving to pray with your students for an end to abortion. Make a commitment to pray weekly outside an abortion clinic in your area. Pray not only for the moms and babies, but also for the conversion of the clinic workers. Consider making an extra sacrifice this Lent for the conversion of our nation and the election of a pro-life president.
The 40 Days for Life campaign is built on prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil. Praying and fasting to end abortion really does work. 40 Days for Life has saved over 12,000 babies from abortion since 2007. The single greatest thing that anyone can do to help end abortion is pray and fast.
The Bible says that prayer can move mountains; all we need is for God to transform human hearts. Not too big of a task for the Creator of the universe, right?
Over these 40 days, you can pray for:
Women who are considering abortion or who think abortion is their only option
Preborn babies who are in danger of death
Post-abortive men and women
Abortion clinic workers
Our government leaders
Our churches to experience a revival of faith
Our nation, that we repent and turn to God’s loving mercy
Do you want to make the most of this Lent with your students? Here are a few things you can do to inspire a culture of life in your classroom:
1. Complete the Culture of Life Studies Program lesson Ladybug Warriors, which teaches children how and why we should pray for preborn babies.
2. Help younger students understand the power of offering up sacrifices by making sacrifice beads. Throughout Lent, offer sacrifices to help protect preborn babies and their moms.
3. Use these pro-life meditations from Priests for Life to maintain focus during the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary.
4. Read and reflect on this examination of conscience by Priests for Life.
Check out more crafts and pro-life activities to do during Lent on our Lenten Ideas Pinterest board.
Laura Kizior is a content developer for the Culture of Life Studies Program which stresses the culture of life as an integral part of every academic discipline. CLSP is dedicated to helping students become effective communicators of the pro-life message. Sign up for our e-mail newsletter to see how we can help you foster a culture of life at home and in school.