Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 1

Daniel 10:2-3

2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.

01032015 RayToday is the day I mentioned on Christmas Eve and this past Sunday in worship.  It is the starting point for our 21-Day Prayer/Fast.  You can join me if you’d like – whether you are from FUMC or not.  The prayer/fast is for 21 days starting today and ending on January 25th.  You can do any kind of fast.  You can do a Daniel Fast (http://www.daniel-fast.com/) – or a partial fast (fasting from something like sweets – coffee – sodas – etc.) – or an extreme food fast – doing just water and broth.  You can do any type of fast (google “types of fasts” and see what comes up). Some will fast from technology – the TV – social media – etc.  What will be your fast?

During the fast I invite you to read the 21-Day Fast reading plan on http://www.youversion.com at https://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/35-21-day-fast with me.  You can keep up on this blog page too and leave comments – whatever you chose – and share what God is saying to you.  I also invite folks from FUMC to keep up with the video lessons on http://www.rightnowmedia.com (you need a logon link from me – send me your e-mail).

So how did the year 2014 treat you?  My 2014 saw some ups and some downs – how about your 2014? I can think of no better way to begin 2015 than on my knees seeking His face while I desire His grace.  Will you join me?  Seek God’s face for yourself – your family – and your church family!

21-day-Daniel-FastToday’s lesson – from the 21-Day Fast reading plan on youversion.com – comes from where the 21-Day prayer/fast finds its Biblical roots.  Daniel 10:2-3 – 2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.

What type of fast you undertake is secondary to the purpose of your fast IMHO (in my humble opinion).  I’ve mentioned my purpose before.  I simply want to seek His face and desire His grace and listen for what God wants to tell me or show me – for myself – my family – and my church family.  I will be spending a great deal of time in the Word of God and in prayer.  I want to enter this time with Jesus without any preconceived ideas of what God wants to do with me and simply seek His face and His will.  I want 2015 to be like no other year in my life – I know God has a plan for me – for my family – and for our church family.  Lord – reveal Your will to us!

Respond to today’s blog post and let me/us know what you are seeking during the fast – if you will – and what God is showing/telling you.  I will covenant with you to pray with you and for you.  I will pray every day during the fast for what you are seeking through the fast.  I ask that you do the same for me!

And we are off and running!  Join me and let God change our life in just 21 days.  Some have said that if you do anything for 21 days it becomes a habit!  Try it!  By the time this hits the internet airways I will have already read day one of the reading plan found at https://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/35-21-day-fast and listened to the first video in the Prayer series on RightNow Media.  I hope you will join me!

Late last night I decided what my fast would be during the 21-Day Prayer/Fast.  After talking to my wife I’ve decided to fast from social media – except for ministry purposes.  What this means is I will not be cruising social media looking at my Facebook feed or my Twitter feed (Instagram and Google+ either).  I will only go on social media to talk about ministry items.  I will not be commenting or liking other people’s posts or pictures.  This may not seem like a big deal for some of us – but Facebook and Twitter are constantly up on my computer and it is a big time consumer.  In place of my social media time – I plan to listen to at least two sermons a day – maybe more.  Carolyn and I talked – and this seemed to be the biggest sacrifice (no social media) – biggest fast – since I am already on a very restrictive eating plan (taking away sweets wouldn’t be much of a challenge since I’m not suppose to be eating sweets anyway for instance).  I also plan to restrict my eating and will report on that on another day.  I pray God gives me the strength during the prayer/fast to turn off social media for personal use!  I may add something else as the pray/fast progresses.  Hold me accountable!

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

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January 5, 2015 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. Kelly and I are planning on knocking out the refined and processed foods in our diets. Spending time in the word (and your blog page) will keep me in tune to listen to what God wants for me. We will hold you up in prayer for your journey Ray!

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    Comment by Trevor | January 5, 2015 | Reply

    • Trevor – thanks for the support brother and the prayers. I will keep you in my prayers as well. You and Kelly are doing a strong fast for sure. I will pray for strength to maintain the fast and for a deeper walk with Jesus during the 21 days!

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      Comment by raymcdonald | January 5, 2015 | Reply

  2. I love your challenges Pastor Ray. I miss you as my pastor but keep up with you online. I will be fasting from all sweets and coffee. Pray for me please.

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    Comment by Mary | January 5, 2015 | Reply

    • Mary – thanks for the kind words. I miss my former congregations – each in different ways. I will keep you in my prayers as you walk out a fast from sweets and coffee – two major items. Keep focused on Jesus during the 21 days and I know God will bless you.

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      Comment by raymcdonald | January 5, 2015 | Reply

  3. I’m doing a little catch up. My fast will involve being more disciplined in the evenings. I will be my ending my day at 10 PM and actually going to bed and cutting down on screen time before that to make time for study and journaling before that. These are things I’ve been saying I want to do for a long time, but always end up trying to extend my waking hours to get more personal time in the evenings, when I often don’t get home until 8-9 PM for various reasons.

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    Comment by Dave | January 7, 2015 | Reply


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