Prayer, Plain and Simple

I still weigh 210 pounds… but I’m making progress: I’m hungry this morning and I’m not running full speed to fix it. That’s progress…

Jesus began hungry.  Hunger I suppose is not a bad thing. Hunger is just a signal, a message, a motivation. Yes, hunger turns my mind and my focus. Hunger gets my attention. It makes me think. It makes me pause. If I allow it, hunger reminds me of Jesus and his words and his choices and his life: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled,” (Matthew 5:6). I’m hungry, but for what, really? I’m hungry for what’s right!

Jesus began hungry. After an encounter with John the Baptizer, Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert. There he prayed and fasted 40 days. 40 days without eating, and yes his body grew hungry.  He was God; he was also human.  He needed food as fuel.  But Jesus intentionally deprived himself this sustenance. He pushed his body to push his spirit.

Then at a point of physical weakness and vulnerability Satan came and tempted him to magically create bread from stones. Later Jesus would multiply bread from bread but first the Devil prodded Jesus to see food as its own end, to use magic and turn stones to bread, not through miraculous multiplication to turn bread into more bread. Jesus answered his hunger with scripture, “Human beings do not live by bread alone, but by the words God speaks” (Matthew 4:4).

God’s Word is food for the soul. It feeds a different metabolism, giving me energy from an eternal and spiritual source.  Today I will not fast, but I will eat the Words of God. I will read scripture and ask God to make it a feast.

“God, feed my deep hunger! Today, I need you to fill the empty places in my life that I attempt to fill with other things that only temporarily satisfy. I’m hungry, but I’ll turn to you instead…”

So far, I’m staying the course – a full 2 days, wow! I just shared communion with my church family during worship. I’m counting now on the Word, the Spirit, and the bread and the wine to satisfy my hunger… But my stomach is still growling…

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