Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 2

1 Chronicles 21:26

David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.  He called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.

01032015 RayIt is day 2 of our 21-day prayer/fast.  I hope your New Year has started well.  Have you made resolutions for the year?  Are they still unbroken – LOL?  We talked a little about resolutions on Sunday.  My prayer is that we will continue to seek His face – while desiring His grace.  Carolyn and I have cleaned the atrium (taking down our Christmas decorations) and I put a kneeler near one of the sliding doors so we could kneel to pray and look out into the woods behind our home.  I plan to spend a lot of time on that kneeler during these 21 days.  Make yourself a place to pray and spend time in God’s presence.  Create an altar area where you can worship God and offer yourself to Him.  Make a place to sacrifice self before the Almighty!

Today’s passage is about building an altar and sacrificing on that altar.  David was ordered by an angel to go and prepare an altar and to sacrifice to God upon it.  As David was following his directions he made a point of paying for the altar and the sacrifices.  David didn’t want to offer God something that was cheap or easy!  He wanted his offering to cost him something.  I love that Biblical truth!  1 Chronicles 21:24 – But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.” Continue reading

January 6, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Will We Offer God? – Day 2 of 21 Prayer/Fast

1 Chronicles 21:26

David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.  He called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.

RamonBlogIt is day 2 of our 21 day prayer/fast.  I hope your New Year’s Day went well yesterday.  I kept myself busy – spent a good amount of time at the start of the day praying/reading as I was seeking His face – while desiring His grace.  By the days end Carolyn and I had cleaned the atrium (taking down Christmas decorations) and I put a kneeler near one of the sliding doors so we could kneel to pray and look out into the woods behind our home.  I plan to spend a lot of time on that kneeler during these 21 days.  Make yourself a place to pray and spend time in God’s presence.  Create an altar area where you can worship God and offer yourself to Him.

Today’s passage is about building an altar and sacrificing on that altar.  David was ordered by an angel to go and prepare an altar and to sacrifice to God upon it.  As David was following his directions he made a point of paying for the altar and the sacrifices.  David didn’t want to offer God something that was cheap or easy!  He wanted his offering to cost him something.  1 Chronicles 21:24 – But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

21 day fastSo here is the question for us to ponder today.  It comes from the devotional thought that accompanied today’s reading.  During the 21 Day Prayer/Fast – what will we offer God?  What sacrifice will we make that will cost us something?  A fast is a time of showing spiritual control over the physical world around us (like our hunger and desires).  I know for some to give up soda – coffee – caffeine – chocolate might be difficult.  What is it that might cost us something more than an inconvenience?  What if for some our fast was not eating during the daylight hours.  What if those who followed this fast offered God not only the sacrifice of not eating – but also gave Him the time we would have spent eating in prayer and devotion?  What if we also took the money we would have spent on the food and snacks we would have eaten during the daylight hours and gave it to a food bank or another charity?  Denying self is part of a fast.  The challenge is to spend more time in God’s presence – seeking His face while desiring His grace.

Today’s larger reading – 1 Chronicles 21:18-27 – touched my spirit and mind – not only for the 21 Day Prayer/Fast but also in my daily walk with Jesus.  It caused me to think – what am I offering God on a daily basis that costs me something?  A tithe of my income is one thing – but what about a tithe of my time – or of my talent?  What about giving Jesus my all – not just what I offer on the altar as a sacrifice but all that I have as well?  When folks join the church – at least in our denomination – they promise to support the church with their prayers – time – talents and gifts.  If that is a base for a disciple – a follower of Jesus – what additional sacrifice – what additional offering might we make to God during this prayer/fast?  Just a thought.

The devotional thought today asks – what will your sacrifice be during this fast?  Part of the answer they give is – make sure it’s a sacrifice that will cost you something.  They encourage us to make our commitment in writing and sharing it with someone who will help to hold us accountable.  We can do that through the comment section to this blog post or more privately with someone.

I’m praying for you as you walk this walk.  I know of some other folks who are walking through this 21 Day Prayer/Fast with me.  I hope there are others.  I pray your day today goes well.  If you have removed some or all food – I have found that the first 3-4 days are the hardest.  Drink plenty of water (I’m on my 10th bottle as I write this devotional thought).  God bless you today and every day.  I would love to read or hear what God is doing in your life through this prayer/fast.

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

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January 2, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Fast | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Prayer/Fast – Day 5

1 Chronicles 21:24

But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

This week as I read Day 2 (Wednesday) of the 21-Day fast reading plan this reading touched my spirit.  David was preparing an altar for the Lord – so that he could sacrifice to God.  Araunah was a Jebusite that was threshing wheat and David asked him for his threshing floor to make an altar to God.  When Araunah found out why David wanted the threshing floor he offered it to him for free – but David wanted to pay full price.  “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

Reading this caused me to think about my fast – which so far consists of giving up a game on the computer – giving up sodas – cutting out sweets and frivolous foods (eating mainly vegetables, fruit and a little lean meat).  I began to wonder what my offering to God was costing me.  I even posted this scripture on Wednesday and asked – Thinking about your fast what does it cost you?  I wonder if others wondered what their fast was costing them.

Looking beyond our fast – what is our walk with Jesus costing us?  Have you ever thought of that question?  Is it easy to follow Christ or does it cost you something?  I think that question is worth looking at a little deeper.

How are you doing with your prayer/fast?  Have you found a place to pray?  Are you spending more time with Jesus?  What are you fasting from and how is it going so far?  Day 5 is here and other than cravings – I have no ill effect from going cold turkey with Diet Pepsi.

Remember my key passage during the 21-day prayer/fast – 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. I invite you to spend ½ an hour or a few moments this morning in prayer – in your special place.

Personal Report:  Day 5 without Diet Pepsi is before me.  I’m enjoying my time in the morning and mid-day to be in the presence of God.  Day 5 without sugar – no reported cravings.  I’m still looking for some other things to remove from my life.  Any suggestions?

If you wish to join me reading the same plans on www.youversion.com they are a year-long reading plan called Robert Roberts – day 13 today – a five-day plan called the Prayers of Jesus on day 5 today – and the Gospels in 30 days  – day 5 today.  I’m also reading a 21-day reading plan on fasting.  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 14, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor | , , | Leave a comment

   

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