Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 6

Isaiah 58:6

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

01032015 RayWe’re well into our 21-Day Prayer/Fast and I am hearing some remarkable stories.  I will try to share some of them along the way. What story do you have to share?

During our Prayer/Fast have we asked ourselves any questions about why we are fasting?  The last few days we have laid out some of the basics of our prayer/fast.  Let’s ask some more questions today.

Are we in the prayer/fast merely because the pastor asked us to join him (motivated by the ask is OK but there needs to be something deeper than the ask/challenge)?  Are we doing the prayer/fast mainly to lose weight?  Is it somehow to show our spiritual maturity to someone?  Is it to try and get God to do something for us?  Our spirituality needs to be greater than cruise control or auto pilot.  We need a real and vibrant relationship with and faith in Jesus!

Isaiah suggests some things about fasting to us today.  We should take a read and strive to discern why we are fasting!  It is a long lesson so let us spend some time and let it sink into our hearts.  Seek insight into why you are fasting as you read this passage.

21-day-fastIsaiah 58:1-14 – 1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins.  2 For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. 3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. 4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? 6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?  8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. 13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the Lord has spoken.

So – did this passage give us any insights into why we are fasting?  Did it cause us to think – maybe just a little?  Did it move us to new reasons to pray and fast?  The mouth of the Lord has spoken – the passage tells us.  After reading this passage – let us spend some time in prayer and let us ask God to refresh our hearts and our motives – even if we felt before that they were in-line.  Lord – search our hearts and know us full well – and help us to humble ourselves before You – seeking Your face and desiring Your grace.  What has God been showing us?  What walls are being repaired in our lives?  What amends have we been challenged to make with others?  God bless you – one and all.

Just a personal update.  Although with my restrictive diet and didn’t have much to fast from food wise – I have been fasting from social media (posting to Facebook and Twitter from other programs and only ministry related items).  If you have directed a post toward me – please forgive me for not answering or responding – I will get to them after the Prayer/Fast (I have people checking my page for me for any ministry related posts that need my attention).  What this Prayer/Fast has been for me is more about adding things to my schedule rather than removing things (specifically).  I guess – since I can’t add time to my day – I have been cutting certain things out – because I have been reading more and listening/viewing sermons (at least two a day) each day.  God is speaking to me and I pray God is speaking to you as well!

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

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January 10, 2015 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you I needed this encouragement to keep going today. Isaiah 58:8

    Like

    Comment by musicbizmom | January 11, 2015 | Reply


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