Here’s an important number: 12,668.

That's how many children are alive today thanks to a simple prayer campaign known as 40 Days for Life. It's a simple campaign of prayer.

Since 2007, tens of thousands have participated across the country, and it's now spread to over 30 other countries. 40 Days for Life started Ash Wednesday, March 1 and runs through the 40 days of Lent. The campaign involves a peaceful prayer presence at abortion sites, fasting, and outreach to young women in unplanned pregnancies who need real help.

It's a silent witness to the sanctity of all human life by praying in front of Planned Parenthood and other abortion centers. If you've been thinking about "what to do for Lent" or about helping pregnant women choose life for their baby, why not try this simple way to get involved: just come out and pray! Lent calls us to prayer, sacrifice, and almsgiving. We can sacrifice our time and pray as part of our Lenten journey.

Some people participate with a friend or two; others go with family; still others with a church group. Some pray silently, others aloud; some pray the rosary; others quietly sing hymns. A few people hold signs offering love and compassion: Real Help is Available. Love Them Both. Adoption is a Loving Choice. The goal of 40 Days for Life is to have people praying during all hours the abortion center is open. The prayers are meant not only for the young women heading in for an abortion, but also the abortionist and other abortion center workers.

It's fairly routine for a young woman considering an abortion to encounter people praying out front who chat with her in a compassionate, non-judgmental way and who then suggest she go to a local pro-life pregnancy center. I know, because I help out at one such center that's a block and a half from a Planned Parenthood, and now and then we've had a pregnant woman come in who first found out about us from the 40 Days for Life prayer folks. They've been promised that we'll given them the entire truth about their pregnancy and abortion, and that everything we do is free. Many times we've helped these women keep their baby, or place that baby for adoption, all because of someone's decision to pray an hour or two outside an abortion center.

The abortion center will not show her an ultrasound of her baby, will not explain what the abortion actually does to the baby or to the mother's own body, will never mention the greatly increased risks of future infertility, miscarriage, or breast cancer from abortion, all because profit is their motive (so much for choice!). The more people pray outside abortion centers, the more young women are directed to the truth shared with them at pro-life pregnancy centers. And in several remarkable cases, abortion workers have quit and found other work after witnessing 40 Days for Life prayer groups!

Click here to use the tool on the 40 Days for Life website to find a campaign in your city: https://40daysforlife.com/browse-campaigns/