Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Prayer/Fast – Day 18

Joel 2:12-13

12 ‘Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.’ 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Today’s Scripture reading came from www.youversion.com – the 21-Day Fast reading plan.  It is day 18 in the plan if you started on January 10th – the day our congregation’s prayer/fast began.  Joel 2:12-32 is the entire reading for the day.

The most amazing thing about God – or should I say one of the most amazing things about God is His mercy and grace – His forgiveness.  At times I feel like this prairie dog when I pray to God.  So small and insignificant.  Why would God even listen to me – let alone act on my prayers?

The author of Joel writes these words: ‘Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.’ Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.  This is just amazing to me.

There are many times – if I was God – I would not forgive me.  Do you feel that way too?  As much as I/we desire to obey God – at times my/our heart is set on temporal things – rather than eternal things.  I/We wrestle like Paul: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15

There is the time we get huffy with another driver on the road.  The time we are short with our children or our spouse.  There are times when we have lustful thoughts.  There are times when we cheat and lie and outright turn our hearts away from God.  You can easily add to this list as I know I can and yet if we sincerely turn to God – return to God – repent and seek His face and desire His grace – God will forgive us and cast our sin out of His presence.  That is just amazing to me! Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

As we pray and fast before God – as the days countdown to the end of our 21-days – I pray you have felt this loving God hold you with His loving arms and offer you forgiveness and His grace!

Daniel 9:3 – So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. Have you been spending more time praying?  Have you set aside time every day to be before the Lord?

Personal Report:  I’ve made it through 17 days without a Diet Pepsi.  I almost gave in yesterday – I was at Panera and wanted the bottomless cup of Diet Pepsi so bad but I hooked myself up with a hot green tea instead.  I hope you are hanging tough with your fast – whatever it is – and that you are finding more time for God.  No Words with Friends – although some friends have invited me to play and some have invited me to play other games – but I have resisted.  No sugar or sweets either – and I have spent at least a ½ hour a day in sweet prayer (the time I would usually have spent playing Words with Friends.  Day 18 is before us – only 4 more days – counting today!

I will continue to pray for you as you walk through these days of our prayer/fast.  I pray God begins to speak to you and that you will share it with others.

If you wish to join me reading the same plans on www.youversion.com they are a yearlong reading plan called Robert Roberts – day 27 today – the Gospels in 30 days  – day 19 today – and the 21-Day Fast – day 18 today.  Join me or try other reading plans.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

Today’s Awakening devotion can be found here!

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January 27, 2012 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I love what you are doing. It reminds me of how my focus should be. Something that came to mind, though. I was reminded about Jesus in the wilderness. He spent 40 days fasting and then, afterward, he was tempted by the devil. Fasting does so many things for us, but there can be a testing. We need to remain vigilant not having any expectations of our time with the Lord. Remember that there is a spiritual battle going on we don’t see. Learn to stand against the schemes of the devil. He is crafty, so, of course, he would try to make you stumble when your body is at its weakest. Go forth and be blessed, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Cynthia R. Williams | April 28, 2019 | Reply


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