Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Prayer/Fast Is Coming to a Close

Luke 5:16

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Life ChangeSo – how’s your prayer/fast going for the month of November? Were you able to find more time to spend time with Jesus? Did your prayer life improve? Did you find new places to pray? Did you dig deeper into your relationship with Jesus? Were you able to put some bad habits in the rearview mirror of your life? How’s your devotional life? Did you listen to new podcasts or teachings?

Two days left – today and tomorrow – and the November prayer/fast will be completed. I hope I wasn’t on the journey alone. I hope some folks have experienced the blessings that come from a prayer/fast. Some of the items I fasted from have been easy. For instance – cutting out certain foods and striving to stay faithful to my eating plan – my health journey – has been a blessing. I’ve cut certain food items out of my diet all together and I feel great. I hope I can keep them out moving forward. By-the-way – I’m down another 5 pounds for the month!

I’ve also fasted from making remarks on social media. This has not been very easy. So many of our colleagues as well as friends on social media have had a hay day all month giving their views on theological and political stuff and I’ve had to bite my tongue/held my fingers – to keep from saying/typing responses. I told my wife – a number of my friends need to know that all clergy don’t think the way these colleagues think or type on social media. I try to remember that well thought out statements on social media often produce very little fruit. People believe what they believe and won’t be swayed one way or the other by reading social media (most times). Getting into a debate on social media – where my conservative views are often ridiculed – isn’t healthy.

So – my hope – as the prayer/fast comes to a close – is that I will continue (mostly) with the fast and continue to spend more time in prayer and devotion. I hope you continue with the prayer/fast as well.

Today’s passage reminds us that Jesus often modeled for us His prayer life. Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Luke 5:12–16 – 12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.  When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

I believe Scripture reveals that – in order to do the things Jesus did – He had to keep a close relationship between Himself and His heavenly Father. His prayer life was part of the very fabric of His being. Jesus often is seen in Scripture as going away from the crowds and spending time talking to His Father. How about it? Do we spend more time talking with Jesus or talking/typing on social media? Do we spend more time in devotion – learning from God’s Word – or do we read/watch more sports?

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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November 29, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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