My Prayer for 2022: Hunger

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, but and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

Isaiah 55:1-2

Since starting with Rock Haven Church a month ago, many people have asked me how they can be praying for me, my family, and for the church. 

While there’s been many details related to our transition we’ve asked for prayer for, my primary answer has become to ask them to pray for hunger. 

Hunger Pains

Being hungry for something impacts your thoughts, words, and actions. When I’m hungry for food, my mind drifts to food and I take action to get food. When professional athletes say they are “hungry” for a championship, it motivates and drives them harder in practice and in games. 

When we’re hungry, we seek for something to satisfy our hunger. 

In this fallen world, our souls are desperately hungry. Yet not realizing what we are truly hungry for, we turn to things that promise to satisfy us but always leave us wanting more. 

We want to feel better about ourselves, so we turn to putting others down, thinking that if we knock that other person down a few notches, then that will somehow simultaneously elevate ourselves a few notches. 

But it never does. 

We’ve only torn others down. We haven’t built ourselves or anyone else up any further than where we were already at. Tearing others down only leads to emptiness in our relationships, not the feeling of self-worth we hoped for. 

We want intimacy. We want to truly feel known by another human, so one place we often turn to is pornography and sexual sin. 

But inevitably sex outside of the Biblical bounds of marriage harms us and leaves us even more alone and isolated. No matter how much our culture tries to tell us otherwise, we end up with less intimacy when we seek to satisfy the hunger pain of intimacy apart from God’s ways. 

We want to be accepted and know that we belong. We want to feel loved and know that we are not alone. We want to know that our seemingly small lives matter in the grand scope of human history. 

We want all these things and so much more. 

Far Too Easily Pleased

Each of these desires in themselves are not necessarily bad. It’s not bad to want to feel better about ourselves. It’s not bad to want intimacy. It’s not bad to want to be accepted. It’s not bad to want our lives used in a meaningful way. 

All of these desires point us to the true intimacy with God we were created to have. The intimacy Adam and Eve had in the garden before they disobeyed and ate of the fruit. The intimacy that is now available through Jesus Christ.

But our problem is that we don’t understand what we’re truly hungry for, so we seek after other things that never satisfy like they promise. 

As C.S. Lewis has said, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

We’re fickle and easily distracted. We numb the hunger pains of our souls with inadequate things so we don’t realize how desperately hungry our souls truly are. We basically cover up the “check engine light” of our souls. We fill up on mud pies when something far greater is offered to us. 

We mask our hunger with inadequate things – the junk food of this world – that prevent us from seeking after the good and rich food of Jesus – our living water and our bread of life. The only One who satisfies. 

Pray For Hunger

This is why my prayer for 2022 is for hunger. 

Pray for my family and I to be hungrier to know Jesus and the completeness of his work in our lives through his life, death, and resurrection. 

Pray for the people of Rock Haven to be hungry for the gospel and the obedience that flows from faith. 

Pray for the community of Montevideo, MN that there would be an upswell of hunger for the truth of God’s Word and that Christ-followers in the community would be hungry to meet this upswell by sharing Jesus. 

And pray for an awareness that we might know that it’s Jesus our souls are truly hungry for. 

Lord, we confess that our sin blinds us to what we truly need in this life. We fill our lives with inadequate things that always over promise and underdeliver. We strive so hard after things other than you that will never satisfy us. Help us to not miss your invitation to a full banquet of good and rich food. Food that you freely give because nothing we can bring or offer makes us deserving or worthy of your invitation. You yourself, Lord, are the good and rich food you offer to us. You yourself is what truly and eternally satisfies us. May you give us a hunger for you. 

In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Photo by Christopher Jolly on Unsplash

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