Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Keep Us Safe and Draw us Near to You!

Matthew 6:13 (The Message)

Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil

112015 Ray McDonaldToday is day 1 of our 49 day Prayer/Fast. It is also the 1st day of our Pre-Lenten Revival. Lent – a time of prayer and fasting – a time of self-denial – begins on Ash Wednesday – this Wednesday – February 10th. We’re starting the time of prayer and fasting today (or tonight if you wish – after the Super Bowl).

Today’s passage comes from The Message version of the Bible. It is the 13th verse of Matthew 6:7-13 – commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer. Here is today’s passage in partial context – from both the Message and from the NIV (New International Version).

Matthew 6:7–13 (The Message) – 7–13 “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes. Continue reading

February 7, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Discussion on Prayer

Proverbs 15:8

The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

112015 Ray McDonaldWe’re preparing for a 49 day Prayer/Fast at First United Methodist Church located in Laurel, MD.  From February 7 through March 26 – as we walk through Lent – we will strive to deny self – add to our walk with Christ – and draw near to God!

I would like to start a discussion about our prayer life.  I believe that for a person or for a church to be spiritually healthy and mature – we need a solid view of prayer and a solid prayer life.  Would you agree?

So – to start the discussion – I want to suggest some questions that might get us going.

What is our view of prayer? What is it for? What is the reason we do it?

Where do we pray? Is it important where we pray?

How often do we pray? Is our frequency important?

What do we expect to get from prayer? Do we have an agenda or a product we are after in prayer?

What is God’s part in prayer? Is God an active participant in prayer?

How essential is prayer to us?  As a person and as a church member?

Continue reading

January 28, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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