We are posting this blog to invite you to join our agency to fast and pray on behalf of orphans from January 9-11th. We’re praying for Ethiopia adoption, and we’re asking anyone who is interested to consider joining us on an “Esther fast” coming up where they can focus for three days by fasting and praying on behalf of orphans. The idea comes from the Book of Esther, when the Jews fasted and prayed for a particular purpose. In Esther chapter four, we read:
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews … and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
In years past, our agency has done similar fasts/prayers, including specifically focusing on lifting the quota on adoptions in China. Prior to a delegation traveling to China we fasted and prayed for three days. Following the delegation, China chose to lift the quota. We truly believe God heard our prayers during those three days. We did this fast again last year for a number of issues affecting adoption and orphans.
Many of our staff will be participating and we’re writing to you to let you know about this opportunity to join with us. We’re going to be praying and fasting from January 9-11th and the focus will be on the situation in Ethiopia as the government considers changes and reforms to the intercountry adoption system. The focus of our prayers will be:
- Praying for Ethiopian government officials to be convicted of the need children have to grow up in a family and for international adoptions to remain open;
- Praying for advocates in Ethiopia and around the world to speak up on behalf of orphans and vulnerable children;
- Praying for an end to any corruption, deceit, inappropriate work regarding adoption;
- Praying for prospective adoptive families who are anxiously awaiting news of the Ethiopian government’s decision; and
- Praying for wisdom and guidance for our agency staff as we seek to respond wisely to whatever news we hear from Ethiopian officials.
We encourage you to seek God and see if you feel led to participate; you should not feel obligated to do this, but join if the LORD leads you. If you’ve never fasted before, it may seem like an intimidating idea or a weird concept. It doesn’t have to be – there are all sorts of ways to fast, including not eating, skipping a particular meal, only drinking juice, only eating fruit & veggies, as well as other ways that you might find to practice this discipline. If nothing else, it reminds us that our human efforts will result in nothing apart from God. As the Apostle Paul says in Ephesians, “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
God can, and does, hear our prayers and we know His love for each orphan surpasses our own. We are merely vessels God uses to bless families and children. Thank you for considering joining us.