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CHICAGO (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pro-lifers in Democrat-run Illinois are taking their strategy up a notch, praying en masse outside of as many abortuaries as they can on Aug. 26.
Vision2020, an Illinois pro-life community, is organizing the GoPublic4Life event, designed to unite pro-lifers across the entire state in prayer this Saturday morning from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Participants at various locations will simultaneously spend 90 minutes in prayer, appealing to God for the end of abortion and for a spiritual revival in Illinois.
Joe Lazar, a renowned Illinois pro-lifer and faith network leader for Vision2020, said the event is spiritual, not political. He told Church Militant on Monday that the main point of the event is "to acknowledge that human efforts won't solve our moral dilemma in Illinois — only a total turnover to God in prayer and reparation."
He said there will be at least 11 prayer sites outside abortion clinics across the state, spanning from Waukegan all the way to Carbondale, with more forming within the next few days.
Participants are being asked to bring items to donate to local pregnancy centers and to hold flowers instead of differing pro-life political messages.
"We organized an agenda for the 90-minute time frame so that gatherings wouldn't turn into protests or political discussions, just prayer," the pro-lifer said.
At 10:30 a.m., the event will open with a song, followed by devotional prayer, including the recitation of the Rosary and Scripture readings. About a third of the time will be spent in silence, he explained.
Lazar made clear that however "strictly prayerful" the events are designed to be, they are a pushback to the state's radical abortion machine. "The laws can't be more extreme than they are now, other than infanticide," he said.
He was referring to the newly passed SB1909, known as the Deceptive Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers Act. Signed into law by Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker last month, it allows Illinois lawmakers to impose harsh sanctions, including the potential for fines of up to $50,000, upon those who interfere with the Illinois abortion industry's operations. This primarily includes the donation-driven pregnancy center network of Illinois and those who engage in pro-life activity outside of abortion clinics.
Lazar and his fellow pro-lifers believe the laymen in Illinois have to take the initiative because the Illinois Catholic Church has remained mostly silent in the face of the legal incursion:
Lawmakers have known for some time that the only way that they've been able to pass such extreme laws on abortion is because the churches have been mostly kept at bay, especially in the archdiocese of Chicago, and due to the significant power wielded by the Cook County voting machine, which is fueled by massive labor unions, most of which are adamantly pro-abortion.
Despite the heavy-handedness of Illinois' leftist laws, Lazar and his colleagues at GoPublic4Life have adopted what they describe as a "forward boldly" approach:
The only thing that could inflict significant difficulty upon the seemingly unstoppable abortion machine in Illinois is a fully engaged activist church. A church willing to call out the demonic nature of abortion regularly and an army of activist laypeople willing to expand the pregnancy center network and exercise their First Amendment rights, particularly on the sidewalk adjacent the abortion clinics.
He acknowledges that many people are discouraged by the state's radical pro-abortion agenda and feel hopeless in its swath. But he's not deterred, and he said good people are just starting to feel their power to push back:
Christian people in Illinois have fallen into a state of despair, proven by the extremely low voter turnout in mostly conservative parts of Illinois. They don't believe that they can change the trajectory of the state, even though they despise what is happening. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Illinois lawmakers know that even they cannot stop an army of prayerful and peaceful citizens who refuse to stay home," he said, "whether it means prayer at abortion clinics or voting."
Lazar said he's also noticed how good people have succumbed to the Left's fear-mongering, but he warned against it:
We know as Christians that fear is an Illinois lawmaker's tactic. Jesus warned us about falling into fear constantly for a reason. We are obligated to act, and GoPublic4Life is a way to do it. The votes won't move the state until the hearts are moved first. Prayer en masse is assuredly the only way to do that, and that's why GoPublic4Life exists.
The organizers of GoPublic4Life invite all pro-lifers to join with others across the state for the peaceful, public prayer event this Saturday. To date, prayer sites include the following locations:
Aurora: Planned Parenthood, 3051 E. New York St.
Chicago: Planned Parenthood, 1200 N. LaSalle
Chicago: Planned Parenthood, 5937 W. Chicago Ave.
Carbondale: Choices Health, 600 N. Giant City Rd.
Des Plaines: American Women's Medical Center, 110 S. River Rd.
Downers Grove: Access Health Center, 1700 75th St.
Flossmoor: Planned Parenthood, 19831 Governor's Hwy.
Granite City: Hope Clinic, 1602 21st St.
Rockford: Rockford Family Planning Center, 611 Auburn St.
Springfield: Planned Parenthood, 601 Burns Lane
Waukegan: Planned Parenthood, 1601 N. Lewis Ave.
Organizers ask pro-lifers who don't see a site near them to start one. For information about how to organize a prayer site, contact GoPublic4Life@vision2020il. For more information about the event, visit vision2020il.org.