Looking back over my journey with God, I can pinpoint one specific prayer that was a real game-changer. This one prayer marked the beginning of a shift and was a powerful catalyst that continues to have an impact on my life today, years later.
I distinctly remember the tiny, lamp-lit room with its mismatched furniture where I prayed it, early in the morning.
I remember how scary it felt to even utter the words.
It was a scary prayer because it contained an admission that I didn’t have something I felt a good Christian should have, and that God might be shocked/angry/disappointed when He “found out” that I wasn’t a good Christian.
Silly, right? God already knew, way better than I did myself, the condition of my heart! I wonder how often such irrational fears lurk behind our thoughts and cloud our perception of the goodness of God and of how loved and accepted we are?
It was scary for another reason, too. I had to face my secret fear that God might not want to answer it because He wasn’t interested in me…that I might really not be wanted and accepted.
NOW I realize God was patiently waiting for me to arrive at the place where I could recognize my need, and be honest enough with myself and with Him to lay it at His feet. He had been inviting me to the place where I wanted HIM more than I wanted to be safe, or right. Because the heart of a good father longs to be in close relationship with his children. Each and every one his children. Not because they do the right things, but simply and forever because they are his.
THE ONE PRAYER THAT CHANGED MY LIFE
I had been reading books like “The God Chasers”, going to hear different revival speakers, and spending time with people who were really seeking God.
On the outside, I was one of them.
On the inside, I realized there was a deficit. I was going through the same motions, but something wasn’t right.
Finally, I realized I didn’t have the same inner drive that I was seeing in those other people.
I lacked hunger. I wanted to have it, and I could pretend I had it, but it wasn’t there.
HUNGER, YOU SEE, IS A DRIVING FORCE.
It’s amazing how much more motivated I am to fix dinner in the evening when I am really hungry. Even knowing my family is hungry and waiting expectantly for something good to come out of the kitchen is not the same. I love them and want to meet their needs, and I may make dinner as quickly some days, but I know if the inner driving force of my own hunger is not there. I am fulfilling a duty. That’s fine if we’re talking about life responsibilities. But when we’re talking about a love relationship, doing everything out of duty and not desire is a quick trip to the dead-end destination of religion.
I have heard that hunger is caught, not taught.
I believe that, to an extent. We may not even realize we could be different until we are around people who are truly hungry for God.
But it is only by His Spirit that God imparts that gift to us, and uses it to draw us to Himself.
Somehow I knew, even while I was afraid to admit I WASN’T hungry for God, that only God could fix that problem.
SO I PRAYED THE ONE PRAYER THAT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. I ASKED GOD TO MAKE ME HUNGRY FOR HIM.
That prayer was years ago, and I can honestly say that God answered it, and continues to answer it. I can say along with David that my soul has been “…fully satisfied as with the richest of foods…” (Ps. 63:5).
He has given me the grace to hunger and thirst after Him.
And now I know, when my hunger has been dulled by food of inferior quality – when the things of this world have caused my appetite for God to be lessened –I can go to God again and ask for a reawakening of holy hunger.
That is a prayer our Father delights to answer. He longs to be close to us and to fill our lives with the peace and beauty that only come from being “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph 3:19, NIV).
And getting full starts with being hungry.
If you need the gift of hunger for God or to have your hunger reawakened, you’re just one prayer away. Will you pray with me?
Lord, we can get so full on the lesser things of this world that we don’t even realize we have no appetite for You. Will you, our loving Father who longs to be close to us, graciously give us the gift of fresh hunger for You? We want to want Your presence more than anything else, but we can’t manufacture that desire on our own. Fill us with genuine desire for You, and then fill us “to the measure of all the fullness of God”.
With faith, hope, and love,