Fasting with the Stranger

 

by Jo Anne Lyon

Jesus advised us that we’re not supposed to broadcast our fasting from the rooftops (Matthew 6:16-18). So, I feel a bit uncomfortable writing about my own personal prayer and fasting. But I recently had an experience in Washington D.C. that was unique and I feel I should share it.  I suppose I “anointed my head and washed my face” for this so perhaps it wasn’t all “sackcloth and ashes” (also in Matthew 6).

Just before Christmas I was humbled and honored to sit in the fasting tent across from the US Capitol with some truly heroic believers who had been there for some time, some fasting for up to 21 days (see photo). The group was praying and fasting for families who had been divided for years due to our broken immigration system. I wept as I sat with mothers, who had been separated from their children for years, fasting and praying for the system to be reformed.

In that tent, the presence of Christ was palpable. People with a great amount of worldly power, from the US Congress, entered the tent the day I visited. I watched as these powerful individuals began weeping as they could not resist the presence of the Lord. In this visit I realized again where true power resides. I reflected on Christmas, of Jesus Christ there in the manger – seemingly without any power; but striking fear into the heart of the powerful Herod.  In the same way, the Holy Spirit gave the power to these fasters in the face of all kinds of worldly power.

Lord, help us to realize you have called us to be a voice for the stranger!

For more information on the effort to Pray4Reform go here:
http://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/pray4reform/