“Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him” (1 Chronicles 16:11).

Pastor Ben Patterson confesses to a very foolish succumbing to temptation. After missing lunch one day, he was on his way to dinner at a friend’s house when he saw a fast-food restaurant specializing in hot dogs. To tide him over till dinner, he stopped to order a snack. The “snack” became a regular hot dog, a kraut dog, and a chili dog along with a regular order of fries and a large drink. By the time he arrived for dinner, he was no longer hungry and was unable to enjoy the wonderful meal his hostess had prepared.

Patterson draws a connection between his story and what it’s like for us when we come to prayer with our spirits stuffed and overloaded—not with the Bread of Life, but with spiritual junk food. “Before it is anything else,” he says, “lack of prayer is a lack of hunger for God.” In contrast, we read the familiar words of David, who was so passionate about seeking the Lord: “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you… Your unfailing love is better than life itself… You satisfy me more than the richest feast (Psalm 63: 1,3,5). How can our spiritual thirst and hunger be satisfied? God the Father is ready with His feast, if only we will attend. He calls out to us: “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink—even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk—it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food” (Isaiah 55: 1-2).

Adapted from The One Year Book of Encouragement