Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

“The Eucharist Diet: Living on Bread and Water, Turned to Wine”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Today is January 2, 2010, my 50th birthday, and I weigh 210 pounds. 

Evidently, that’s a problem.  According to a chart I found online I shouldn’t lug more than 185 pounds. By other metrics I am reasonably fit.  I ran the Twin Cities Marathon a year ago. I set no record, but I finished. I’m no couch potato, but evidently, I’m overweight.

My problem is food.  I don’t dispute the fact.  I love to eat and do, often, and too much, with little self control. Whenever I see food present in the room, I feel obliged to indulge. I simply do not want to miss an opportunity.  If it is there, it should be mine.  I don’t like to deny myself food pleasure.

There is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying food.  God made food for pleasure as well as nutrition.  God could have put vitamin C and pills; instead he made tangerines! God must have a sweet tooth.  The problem comes -my problem – when I allow food to take charge and command my choice.  When I give my will to the whim of whatever is in the refrigerator I become a slave instead of making food my servant.  There is an ancient ugly word for this: it is called gluttony.  Gluttony is sin.

I believe I am a glutton. That is a harsh word, yet true.  For some reason I expect food to fill and empty place in my soul.  It’s more than filling the stomach; food for me sometimes rivals God. Because of that, something has to change.

Hence, I am here commencing a new diet.  It will be a public diet, aired here on this public forum.  A friend once told me, if you want to climb a high fence, though your hat on the other side.  Well, here’s my hat!  I will begin to make food my servant instead of being food’s slave.  I’ve tried this before; it never works.  So this time I will not deprive myself with self discipline.  That I will not say “no” to the food I love.  Instead, I will take a spiritual route.  I will diet by praying for my food.  That’s right.  I will pray for my food, that will satisfy not only my empty stomach, but that God, made the food will satisfy my soul.  I’m calling this “The Eucharist Diet.”

“Eucharist” is the word Christians use to describe the “Lord’s Supper.” In the original language of the New Testament it literally means “good grace,” and was often used as the word for “thanks.” During the last Passover Jesus celebrated with his friends, he took bread and wine and passed it around the table saying, “This is my body; this is my blood.” He invited them to take his literal presence into their bodies. Jesus himself would be the food to feed the new form of life he would give them.

Jesus said that I should hunger and thirst for righteousness, and if I do I will be filled.  He said that he had food, to another kind of food, that we know nothing about.  He said that while the need bread, we don’t live on bread alone, but on God’s words. And Jesus himself is called the “Word.” We live first and last by consuming Jesus himself… He is the Eucharist. When I feed on Jesus, the inner empty places are filled. I need be a glutton for nothing but Jesus!

So I am here beginning an adventure. For the next six months I will follow this discipline and write about it. Here are my five rules for The Eucharist Diet:

1.      I eat anything I want… AFTER…

2.      I ask God if it is right for me… AND…

3.      I ask God to bless my food so that it feeds my body… AND…

4.      I ask God to feed my soul with what food cannot fulfill… AND…

5.      I eat the Lord’s Supper with another follower of Jesus each day.  

Bon Appetite!


  • Your Name

    In the name of Jesus, I bless your “diet.” I’d like to lose a few pounds, also, and I plan to do as you suggested. What an insightful idea, to take your love for food to God, and allow His Spirit to fill you first and foremost, and to simply ask Him to bless what you eat, after really thinking about if that food item is a nutritios choice or empty calories. Doesn’t the Old Testament say to burn the fat at the altar? He knows our bodies weren’t made to ingest too much of it, as wonderful as it tastes, but I’m w/ you, I believe that God does have a sweet tooth! Many blessings to you in the new year!

  • Mark Herringshaw

    What a GREAT insight! Yes, the Old Testament does make burning the fat of sacrificed animals an act of worship. I’m going to ponder this and write something about it in a day or so. Thanks for the fabulous word… I want to come back to this!

  • Claudia Mair Burney

    Me, too! What I mean is, I feel the exact same feelings, and have been urged to get on the same diet program. Well… you know what they say about diets: they don’t work. So maybe this is a Eucharist lifestyle. Or for me for sure, a Eucharist cure! I weigh five lbs less than you do, and I’m a girl, my friend! A short one! I too, have used the word “glutton” to describe myself, but I am finding mercy a useful companion on my journey to eat from Jesus at every meal. Have mercy on yourself, as Jesus does. Gluttony is a behavior, and we can change those. I’m blogging about my journey on my blog:, and I hope you’ll pop in now and then to feast on the Bread of Life with me.
    Jesus said, “Take this, all of you and EAT.”Enjoy every course of him. May your feast on Jesus, in all the ways he chooses to nourish you, both fill and delight you.

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  • Gaz

    try living on bread and water because it is all you can afford, I have managed for 6 months so far, I am 36 pounds lighter, and I have lost my faith, Jesus has abandoned me to the wolves and yet I stay, strong in myself. I do not beg, I refuse benefits. I work when I can. I am the man everybody ignores on street corners, I am your conscience, I am a result of today. I am not bitter, I am happy, are you?

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ponderthis

    For the guy living on the street on bread and water and the computer he carries around with him. LOL.

    I had read in a spiritual article, which the internet is full of these days, that stated the human being will eventually come to know itself and will be able to exist without food or substance among many other advancements in our evolution.

    I decided since 2012 was so near and the “great change” was upon us that I would try a bread,water,and fruit or vegetable only diet to see what would happen to me. I’ve been on it for 3 days and I face no hunger and am dropping about 2 pounds per day. I’m calling it a “Fasting”.

    Here are the results.
    I dream more and the dreams are more clear.
    My mid section is trimming up along with the weight loss.
    I do not feel week or sick in any way. I feel better.
    No more bloated feeling after meals.
    Saving money.
    Point of interest–amount of feces in toilet remains close to equal to the food I’m consuming, so therefore, I am beginning to think that all consumed food becomes waste and therefore, we may not need any.

    I’ll keep you posted as the weeks go by.

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