Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Again I Ask – How’s Our Prayer Life?

Mark 9:28-29

28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMWestern Christians (those in the Western Hemisphere – especially the Northern part of the Western Hemisphere) have it different than other Christians around the world IMHO. When asked the difference between Christians in America and Christians in his land – a pastor/missionary from Africa said – In parts of Africa people actually pray for their daily bread. In most of the Christian homes in America – pantries are full as well as freezers and refrigerators.

So if we aren’t praying for our daily bread – what is it we pray for each day? In today’s world we have much we could be praying about for sure. Christians – Muslims – Jews – from around the world are being attached by ISSIS. We could spend hours upon hours praying for them. The 2016 Presidential elections is another thing we could pray about for sure. We could pray for race relations and the racial tension in our country. Our church has a prayer list in the bulletin each week filled with persons in need of prayer. There should never be a lack of something for us to use for prayer material. Continue reading

July 29, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Do We Pray?

Matthew 14:23

After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMI remember when I was a teenager (or preteen maybe) – the church we attended (Seat Pleasant UMC) had a month-long prayer vigil. I signed up for a certain time every afternoon. I remember going to the chapel of our church where the prayer room was set up and spending thirty minutes every afternoon reading my Bible and praying. At first it was difficult – but as the month unfolded before me – it became easier and easier and when someone came to relieve me – I often stayed a few extra minutes to finish what I was reading or what I was on my heart as I prayed. It started for me a regular prayer time.

Where do we pray? This is not a trick question. I know we can pray wherever or whenever. It has been my experience that if we have a time or place to go – we can develop a habit that will bear much fruit. I know some people who start their morning at the kitchen table or during nice weather on their porch or patio soaking in the presence of God and spending time in devotion and prayer. Do we have a time and place? In years gone by – one of my favorite places was in a deer stand – way too early to shoot – and spending that time in God’s presence – praying and listening. Continue reading

July 14, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dependency on God

Psalm 62:8

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

profileA question was asked Tuesday morning in the co-ed Bible Study at our church. The question was something along the lines of – why don’t we see God’s work and action in our churches like in Biblical days? It was a very good question – I thought. One I hope I answered in a way that made sense and in a way that would challenge us to think. I thought I would share some of my thoughts along this line today. I would love your thoughts in the comments section.

The first thought was that Jesus – while on earth – did nothing that He wasn’t told and empowered to do by the Father. All that Jesus did while on earth was at the command of the Father. John 5:30 – By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Jesus emptied Himself of His equality with the Father when He came to earth – that old fully human – fully divine thing. This is how Paul described it in one of his Epistles/letters. Philippians 2:5–8 – 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Continue reading

April 16, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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