DC Visit July 20-21, 2021
General Visit Report
Allow me to share my trip with you, Please?
As always I was honored to spend time in DC with men and women on BOTH SIDES of the aisle.
Remember, when I am there, I’m not interested in talking politics with them, unless they choose to.
My job is to pray with them and for them, bearing their burdens, and sometimes the staffer’s burdens, as you will see below.
I’m careful about NOT giving names because I want men and women to know they can pray with me in private, and in confidence.
First, I want to know, did you participate in my #DCSteps Contest?
When I retun in September we’ll do another contest like this.
You can find July’s contest here:
There are 3 reasons I share this simple diary with you:
- I think it’ll encourage you to hear of numerous GOOD THINGS going on in DC.
- I hope it’ll challenge you to pray for your elected officials, and let them know you’re praying for them. Click Here.
- I’m confident some of you will be motivated to do locally, what I do in DC. Do the same thing in your City Hall and/or County Courthouse.
What exactly do I do?
It’s simple, I merely engage the people that I run into.
While I go to DC to pray with our elected officials, I can tell you that I spend a lot of time praying for their staff, for janitors, for food service employees and even the Capitol Police men/women.
Here’s what July 20 & 21 looked like:
Day 1, Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Left for the airport
Arrived at the Cannon House Office Building (HOB) where I was let in by a staffer whose grandfather is a pastor in my neighborhood.
Stopped in the office of a Congressman I meet with often. He wasn’t available this visit. Dropped off a Prayer Card (PC) with his scheduler.
If you want to see how I’m praying for our elected officials this month, go to MarkMirza.com/Politics and scroll down to the Prayer Card (PC) I give to the staff and the Congressmen/women.
You might ask me why I do that. Well, they may be brilliant doctors or lawyers but they’re not theologians, and I find it helps them see what I am praying.
A couple visits ago one Congressman said, “Mark, I am so glad you give me these Prayer Cards. I keep them in my desk and go through them often.”
Finally, when I enter an office, I always ask for the Scheduler. While I may have the Congressman’s cell phone, I always work through the Scheduler. If you want to get together with your local person of influence, USE THEIR PROTOCOLS!
Stopped by the office of a Congressman I’ve NEVER met and did not have an appopintment with. I planned to introduce myself to the Scheduler, and give her my July PC.
After I introduced myself to her she walked up to the Congressman who was standing there in his lobby with what looked like about half his staff. She said, “Congressman, So & So, Mark is here to pray a blessing over the office.”
He shook my hand. I bowed, and we all prayed.
I have got such a GREAT job!
I grabbed a bite to eat in the Longworth HOB cafeteria. The food service cashier was laughing having a good time. I told her what I do in DC and that I liked watching her enjoy herself. Gave her a PC and the next day she remembered me when I returned for lunch.
PS. I was hungry, so, I REALLY enjoyed my pizza.
I see lots of folks with lanyards displaying where they are from. I think the next time I go to DC, I need to bring my Common Thread Ministries lanyard.
I was eating in the lunchroom, and in came a Congressman I had reached out to (VIA the Scheduler, of course) but I did not have an appointment with him. So, I introduced myself, telling him why I’m there. He then shared with me how encouraged he was, the previous week, when 3 people in his district told him they pray for him.
Before I go on, may I ask you?
–When was the last time you emailed or texted your City (Mayor) or County or State or US elected officials and told them you are praying for them.
–For that matter, when was the last time you told your pastor that you are praying?
After I finished my lunch I stopped by his table and thanked him for giving me a few minutes of his time. His scheduler was there, she stood up and said, “The next time you’re in town, Mark. I’ll get you in to see the Congressman.”
Leaving the lunchroom I gave a PC to the guy collecting the garbage. He was so touched when he found out I pray for him too, not just the Congressional leaders and their staff.
–What a GREAT job I have. I get to encourage people.
Found a Congressman’s office with a bunch of Washington Nationals clippings on his wall, of them winning the World Series. I need to get this Congressman my novel, Divided Nation, where I reference the Nats and their World Series win and wonder if they’ll ever do it again.
Stopped at a Congresswoman’s office to simply drop off my PC. Great short meet with the scheduler who is working with me to coordinate a meeting when I speak in her district, in a few months.
I’ve done this a few times before. I make sure they know it is not a political meeting, but I do make sure I introduce them. There is a downside, however, instead of circling around my book-table, after I have spoken, everyone circles around him/her.
In DC, the schedulers contact you by email (Praise the Lord my telephone seamlessly handles my emails). But, I have to constantly check emails because my appointments change, A LOT!
As of right now, here’s how my day starts tomorrow:
7:30, Congressional Bible Study
8:55, Building 1 (Cannon)
9:15, Building 3 (Rayburn)
9:30, Building 3 (Rayvurn)
9:55, Building 1 (Cannon)
–And in the CHOB I’ve got to get to the 5th floor!
I normally leave 30+ minutes between each appointment, but their schedules dictate.
Anyway, I am standing in the hallway, checking emails, adjusting my schedule and making notes of the previous meeting when this woman rolls her janitorial cart up to the door near me, the women’s bathroom. I gave her my prayer card and I could tell she was hungry for a godly conversation. So, I abliged. At one point I asked her if I could pray for her and she readily agreed. When I was done she said, “A gazillion thank you’s.”
But I said to her, “No, you were a blessing to me, letting me pray for you.”
Needless to say, we had a sweet time in front of the women’s bathroom, before she went in to scrub toilets.
And then, it was so sweet, she said, “I’m always here, on this floor. The next time you’re in town, please find me and pray for me again.”
As I left she asked me to pray for Haiti on her behalf, where she is from.
This congressman was in front of me as I was walking down a hallway under the buildings. I walked by him and his handler and I said, “I love to see a man who wears fun shoes.” His handler thought it was funny. I was sincere. But he was not so impressed.
I was walking down a stairwell and a staffer named ABC was there. Her and I joked about the lack of Air Conditioning in this particular hallway. I told her why I was there and she said she was a praying woman. So, I prayed Romans 15:13 for her. What a blessing.
Went in to a Congressman’s office, whom I have not met. The Scheduler and I talked for a bit. She has family that live in Savannah and we talked about the heat there compared to here. She let me pray for her. It was a sweet little time of fellowship, very sweet.
I was heading down a very slender stair well. It was so thin I stopped for a guy who was walking up. I don’t know what his name was, but I gave him one of my prayer cards, shared with them what I do there and he was super pleased and grateful.
In a hallway, I turned and saw a Congressman coming down the hall. I don’t know who he was, but I told him what I do. He said thank you, but was a little non-plussed so I didn’t pursue it. Gave him a PC.
These men and women have a lot on their plate, so I’m not worried about them not wanting to engage in talking. Some engagements we talk a lot, some engagements we talk little, and some engagements I’m lucky to get my PC in their hands.
That’s God’s job, not mine. But I do try to be very respectful of their time.
Stopped a Congressman in a hallway who was so glad I’m doing what I am. Asked me to reach out to his Scheduler the next time I’m in town. I had never met the guy before, but he could tell that my focus was on “serving” others, not “getting” something for me.
In a Congressman’s office I dropped off the PC and made clear to the Scheduler that I pray for them too, not just the Congressman. She was so grateful for that. It always amazes me, the staffers who are surprised I pray for them too.
Met with a Congressman I meet with often. But something was different today. He was on fire for God. And I told him. Then he told me the sweet story why. He said it started with him attending a weekly Congressional prayer meeting.
Before heading to my hotel I made my way over to David’s Tent. They have been on the Mall with 24/7 prayer and praise, since September 11, 2015.
I was tired and spent. It was good to sit their and be strengthened by those on stage.
When I got there, they were reading the book of Mark, while 1 person played the piano.
It was sweet. And I needed it to refresh my soul.
How many steps today?
Day 2, Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Here’s how my day starts:
7:30, Congressional Bible Study
8:55, Building 1 (Cannon)
9:15, Building 3 (Rayburn)
9:30, Building 3 (Rayburn)
9:55, Building 1 (Cannon)
It was a great start to my #DCSteps total.
Great appointments with the men and women above, who I got to pray with.
- In one we talked about whether or not Christians SHOULD fight back, and how.
- In another I met with his entire staff, challenged them with a 3 minute sermon and then prayed for them.
- And in another I met with a Congressman who has numerous times prayed with me out in the open, in the midst of crowds walking by us. (I really like this guy, and am encouraged by his boldness).
I met a Maintenance guy who I had met a year ago. Imagine the odds of meeting with the same guy twice. Interestingly enough, when he saw me he got a smirk on his face. I think he was saying, “Okay, I’ll get my act together with the Lord.”
Pray for him, please.
So, I’m in the hallway making notes about my previous engagement and a young guy walks by me who I recognized from an appointment the day before.
He was looking kind-of-down, so we talked for a few minutes and I asked him how I could pray for him. He said he needed, “Direction, guidance, lots of stuff, Mark.”
We had a short discussion about praying for peace and letting that give him clarity and then I prayed for him.
He had a completely different step when he returned to his office. He was encouraged.
Let me ask you…
—WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU REACHED OUT TO YOUR PASTOR AND PRAYED FOR HIM.
—-How about your Mayor?
—-Or your City Council Members?
Encouragement comes from the simple act of PRAYING with another.
One of the Television Directors who parks himself in the Cannon HOB Rotunda kept looking at me, so I went over to him, introduced myself, told him why I was in DC, and then gave him my PC. He didn’t roll his eyeballs, but he seemed disappointed. It was a short meet.
Before I headed to the airport I saw a congressman in the hallway who I hadn’t visited with for well over a year. And when I last did, he pulled himself out of a Committee meeting so I could give him some encouragement.
It was backdoor encouragement though.
He told me how worried he is for his kids and grandkids and I, the encourager of encouragers responded with, “Congressman, it’s only gonna get worse.”
He wasn’t expecting that, and honestly, neither was I. I don’t talk like that to these men and women.
But then I added, “And that’s why you are here, Congressman So & So. You see it the way you do, and many of your colleagues do not.”
In all honesty, I thought that was why he and I hadn’t connected since that visit.
Later that afternoon I got an email from his scheduler who said, “Mark, I’m sorry I missed your email. When you return to DC I’ll get you back in here to meet with the Congressman.
I wonder if he went back to her and said, “Hey, Mark Mirza is in town, why isn’t he praying with me?”
There were a lot of stops I didn’t tell you about, simply “Stopping & Dropping Prayer Cards,” with Schedulers or folks at the front desks. But, there were a lot. In fact, I think that next time I return, I’ll probably stay for 3 days (9/2021 I bought my ticket, I’ll be there September 28, 29 & 30).
Please pray for me, and the few minutes I get to spend with these men and women.
Are you interested in the #DCSteps FINAL TALLY?
My feet were wiped out when I went to the airport.
I didn’t stop the Step-count till I walked in the door at home and took off my #Fitbit.
Here are the numbers…
19,939 — yesterday
19,386 — today
39,325 — TOTAL
Below are Posts I’ve Shared Before
They May Encourage You, Maybe even Challenge You
- 4 years later, its the same.
- When Thanksgiving GOES TOO FAR.
- How to know if your political praying is arrogant praying.
- Are you NOT trusting God? If not, you might be trusting princes.
- Ever consider that your attitude when you pray might be calling God a liar?
- If the Bible is true, you can blame God for our politcal results.
- Distractions when you pray can be a thing of the past (I guarantee it).
- 3 anecdotes about racism in the church. They will encourage you, anger you and frustrate you.
- God is in control, and a TRULY, bi-partisan prayer guide.
- sataN changes tactics, just when you think you’ve thwarted him.