Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 18

Joel 2:13

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.

01032015 RayI want to quote the reading from today’s lesson from the 21-Day Fast reading.  Tear your hearts instead.  You can finish strong by making sure you are weeping and mourning and tearing your heart open wide to allow God’s power and presence to sweep across the landscape of your life.  Tell God today that you are baring your heart before His mercy, compassion, and unfailing love.  I love that phrase – allow God’s power and presence to sweep across the landscape of your life.  Allow God to have your past – present – and future – your whole life!

The passage from today’s reading (you can read it all with this link – Joel 2:12-32) talks about repentance and baring one’s soul before God – as we open our hearts before Him.  Verse 13 reads – 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.  The hope is that during our 21-day Prayer/Fast we have had such times as this where we lay before the Lord – confessed – and repented – baring our hearts and souls.  In the days of old they practiced rending – tearing – their garments as a sign of their repentance.  The passage tells us to not simply show the outward signs of repentance – but show our heart to God – to rend the heart before God.  The outward signs can be faked – but the inward is real!

21-day-Daniel-FastDuring this 21-Day Prayer/Fast – I have had several times where I laid and wept before the Lord.  I couldn’t even come up with words a few times and the Spirit had to utter words for me because I was in such a state of anguish as I laid my heart open before the Lord.  It was a powerful and cleansing time.  After that time of prayer I felt release and the Lord’s presence so powerfully.  Have we experienced this during our Prayer/Fast?  I pray we have and if not – there are still a few days left – rend your heart and seek His face!

Later in today’s reading we find what happens when we seek the face of God and rend our hearts – Joel 2:27-29 – 27 Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.  28 ‘And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

The Holy Spirit will come upon the people of God as His people seek Him with sincere and contrite hearts.  When we seek His face with open hearts – God will release us and pour out His Spirit on us.  I love this passage found in Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  As we rend our hearts and seek after the heart of God – God will release us from the worries of the world and bless us with His presence.  I wonder just what God might do in our lives – in the life of our family – and in the life of our church – if we all sought His face and desired His grace?

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

Advertisements

January 22, 2015 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: