Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

November Prayer/Fast Is Coming Soon

Zechariah 7:4-5

Then the word of the Lord Almighty came to me: “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?

fullsizeoutput_ffeSo – here is a question for us today – as we prepare for our November Prayer/Fast. Do we pray and fast – regularly? I mean – is it an essential part of our spiritual walk as we strive to draw closer to God? The answer to that question might go a long way in explaining if we are growing spiritually or not. I believe that prayer and fasting are essential spiritual disciplines.

I am calling the church to a time of prayer and fasting from November 1st thru the end of the month. I know that is a long time – but it will be very rewarding – if we seek His face and desire His grace. Let’s use the month of November to deny ourselves of something – and focus more on Jesus.

When we fast from something – we should spend extra time with God. Spending extra time with God – will draw us closer to Him. Here is something important to understand. Read well! When we fast from certain foods and expect something – like weight loss – is fasting for us or for God? Losing weight is OK – but it shouldn’t be the reason we fast. As we call for a time of prayer and fasting during November – what would we fast from and how would we spend our time? It should be to draw closer to God. Continue reading

October 22, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Call To Prayer And Fasting

Zechariah 7:4-5

4 Then the word of the Lord Almighty came to me: 5 “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?

112015 Ray McDonaldSo – here is a question for us today – as we prepare for our Pre-Lenten Revival time in February (the revival starts Sunday – February 7 – and is on Prayer).  Do we pray and fast – regularly?  I mean – is it an essential part of our spiritual walk as we strive to draw closer to God?  The answer to that question might go a long way in explaining if we are growing spiritually or not.

I would like to call the church to a time of prayer and fasting from the start of our revival through Lent (7 weeks – 49 days).  I know that is a long time – but it will be very rewarding – if we seek His face and desire His grace.

When we fast from something – we should spend extra time with God.  Spending extra time with God – will draw us closer to God.  Here is something important to understand. Read well!  When we fast from certain foods and expect something – like weight loss – is fasting for us or for God?  Losing weight is OK – but it shouldn’t be the reason we fast.  As we call for a time of prayer and fasting during Lent – what would we fast from and how would we spend our time? Continue reading

January 27, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prayer/Fast – Day 19

Psalm 84:1-2

1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!  2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Today’s Scripture reading came from www.youversion.com – the 21-Day Fast reading plan.  It is day 19 in the plan if you started on January 10th – the day our congregation’s prayer/fast began.  Psalm 84 is the entire reading for the day.

What do you yearn for while walking this prayer/fast?  Do you yearn for what you are fasting from these 21 days?  Are you yearning for something you don’t have at this time?  Are you yearning for something you shouldn’t have – now or ever?

The Psalmist gives us a great view of something we should yearn for in our lives.  For me – what the Psalmist writes is about an eternal view as well as a here and now view.  As Christians – we should all yearn for the day when eternity unfolds before us as we are in the presence of God from everlasting to everlasting.  But we should also yearn for every moment we can get to be in the presence of God here and now.  Corporate worship should be something we look forward to as we share with other Christians our heart for God.  Private worship should be something we share daily and at times often each day.

The Psalmist writes: How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!  My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.  Come into His presence – seeking His face while desiring His grace.

As the countdown to the end of our 21-days of prayer and fasting – I pray you have felt a yearning to be with God more and more.  I know I have felt that yearning.

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. Have you been spending more time praying?  Have you set aside time every day to be before the Lord?

Personal Report:  I’ve made it through 18 days without a Diet Pepsi.  I rebounded from my weak moment yesterday with a strong day today!  My wife is hoping I will remain soda free even after the fast.  I hope you are hanging in there with your prayer/fast.  Has God said anything to your heart?  No Words with Friends here – no other games either. No sugar or sweets – staying under 2,000 calories since December 23rd.  I have spent at least a ½ hour a day in sweet prayer (the time I would usually have spent playing Words with Friends).  Day 19 is before us – only 3 more days – counting today!

I will continue to pray for you as you walk through these days of our prayer/fast.  I pray God begins to speak to you and that you will share it with others.

If you wish to join me reading the same plans on www.youversion.com they are a yearlong reading plan called Robert Roberts – day 28 today – the Gospels in 30 days  – day 20 today – and the 21-Day Fast – day 19 today.  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 28, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor | , , | Leave a comment

Prayer/Fast – Day 17

Daniel 3:16-18

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Today’s key passage came from www.youversion.com – the 21-Day Fast reading plan.  It is day 17 in the plan if you started on January 10th – the day our congregation’s prayer/fast began.  It comes from the reading of the day – Daniel 3.

Are you hanging in there?  Only a few days left.  What is God speaking to your heart during your prayer time?  Starting Sunday I went on leave and have had more time to read, reflect and pray and God is giving me some awesome times in His presence.  I hope to be able to share some of it with you in future poss.

Today’s passage is one of my favorite Bible stories.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were set up to disobey the governing authority while obeying their God.  The punishment for disobeying was death – death in the fiery furnace if you remember the story.  Their faith was in their God so they didn’t disobey Him – and faced the punishment – which if you know the story – God delivered them out of without even a burn mark on their clothes.

What issue are you facing where you have a decision to obey God or the government?  Obey God or your desires?  Obey God or listen to another?  Are you placing more faith and trust in the government or God?  On self or God?  On others or on God?

As we enter the home stretch of our prayer/fast – have we struggled some with obeying the flesh more than the spirit?  The boys believed they might die – but they would not disobey God.  They believed their God could save them – but even if He didn’t – they would not worship the image the King had created.  God was God whether He saved them or not!  Awesome story – please take the time to read it all.

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. Have you been spending more time praying?  Have you set aside time every day to be before the Lord?

Personal Report:  I’ve made it through 16 days without a Diet Pepsi.  No sugar – fewer calories – no Words with Friends – and more time for me and God.  Day 17 is before us – only 5 more days – counting today!

I will continue to pray for you as you walk through these days of our prayer/fast.  I pray God begins to speak to you and that you will share it with others.

If you wish to join me reading the same plans on www.youversion.com they are a yearlong reading plan called Robert Roberts – day 26 today – the Gospels in 30 days  – day 18 today – and the 21-Day Fast – day 17 today.  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 26, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor | , , | 2 Comments

Prayer/Fast – Day 15

Psalm 51:1-4

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

Today’s Scripture reading came from www.youversion.com – the 21-Day Fast reading plan.  It is day 15 in the plan if you started on January 10th – the day our congregation’s prayer/fast began.  The entire 51st Psalm is the reading for the day.

The Psalmist seems to echo the prayers many of us express.  We are sinners – lost on our own.  We need forgiveness – to have our transgressions (sins) blotted out and remembered no more.  Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

As this day unfolds – I am faced with my sins and transgressions – aren’t you?  The Psalmist writes: For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.  If we are in Christ – our sins way heavy on us – because as Paul writes – I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  Romans 7:15

Someone once told me that God will forgive our sins – our transgressions.  They said that the hardest part is often forgiving ourselves – because we know that our sin is against God and we are ashamed.  Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

As we pray and fast – as we seek God’s face and desire His grace – we need to remember that God is in the forgiveness business.  He desires to shower us with grace if we simply confess – repent – and seek His face!

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. Have you been spending more time praying?  Have you set aside time every day to be before the Lord?

Personal Report:  I’ve made it through 14 days without a Diet Pepsi.  Have you ever noticed that when you say you can’t do something or have something – you want it all the more?  Day 15 is before us – only 7 more days – counting today!

I will continue to pray for you as you walk through these days of our prayer/fast.  I pray God begins to speak to you and that you will share it with others.

If you wish to join me reading the same plans on www.youversion.com they are a yearlong reading plan called Robert Roberts – day 24 today – the Gospels in 30 days  – day 16 today – and the 21-Day Fast – day 15 today.  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!

Tweet this Blog Post

January 24, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor | , , , | 2 Comments

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