I would like to encourage readers of this blog to consider taking a fast with regard to abortion.
You may have voted. You may have tweeted. You may have donated. You may have volunteered. But have you fasted and prayed?
I am not calling for a public fasting Sunday. I am not encouraging you to sign a petition or to post a video of yourself praying about this issue. I am gently suggesting that perhaps, in the quietness of your own place, you can abstain from food (for a meal or for a day) in order to devote time to beseeching the Lord on behalf of the human race’s smallest, most defenseless, voiceless members who are susceptible to life-ending violence.
The best thing I have read on this is the chapter “Fasting for the Little Ones: Abortion and the Sovereignty of God over False Worldviews” from John Piper’s A Hunger for God.
Piper is not against activism (he spent a night in jail for peacefully protesting at an abortion clinic). And he is not against worldview engagement. But, he writes:
I wonder if . . . [we] need to hear a balancing word about the power of prayer and fasting, not as an alternative to thinking and acting, but as a radical foundation that says, “The victory belongs to the Lord, even if the horse (of scholarship and politics) is made ready for the day of battle” (see Proverbs 21:31). . . .
Is there a sense . . . that the root issues are so intractable to human suasion that the call for fasting and prayer would not only be fitting but desperately needed?
I am commending such a call.
He offers one way to pray.
Fasting comes in alongside prayer with all its hunger for God and says,
“We are not able in ourselves to win this battle.
We are not able to change hearts or minds.
We are not able to change worldviews and transform culture and save 1.6 million children.
We are not able to reform the judiciary or embolden the legislature or mobilize the slumbering population.
We are not able to heal the endless wounds of godless ideologies and their bloody deeds.
But, O God, you are able!
And we turn from reliance on ourselves to you.
And we cry out to you and plead that for the sake of your name, and for the sake of your glory, and for the advancement of your saving purpose in the world, and for the demonstration of your wisdom and your power and your authority over all things, and for the sway of your Truth and the relief of the poor and the helpless, act, O God.
This much we hunger for the revelation of your power. With all our thinking and all our writing and all our doing, we pray and we fast.
Manifest your glory.”
Piper also writes:
I appeal to you to seek the Lord with me concerning the place of fasting and prayer in breaking through the darkened mind that engulfs the modern world, in regard to abortion and a hundred other ills.
This is not a call for a collective tantrum that screams at the bad people, “Give me back my country.”
It is a call to aliens and exiles in the earth, whose citizenship is in heaven and who await the appearance of their King, to “do business” until he comes (Luke 19:13). And the great business of the Christian is to “do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31), and to pray that God’s name be hallowed and his kingdom come and his will be done in the earth (Matthew 6:9-10). And to yearn and work and pray and fast not only for the final revelation of the Son of Man, but in the meantime, for the demonstration of his Spirit and power in the reaching of every people, and the rescuing of the perishing, and the purifying of the church, and the putting right of as many wrongs as God will grant.
I join Piper in commending this practice to you. What is utterly foolish to the world may be pleasing to God.