Man shall not live by bread alone

"Man shall not live by bread alone,
But by each word which doth proceed
From God's own mouth"; these we must eat
And let them be our life indeed.
Not just a body we were made,
But body, soul, and spirit too;
The inmost part the spirit is
To contact God and Him pursue.
Just as we need the earthly food
Our body's need to satisfy,
We need the food for spirit too—
Thyself, Thy Word, its true supply.
Thou art the Spirit, and Thy Word
Thy very Self expressed doth make;
Thus, it is Spirit as Thyself,
Which by our spirit we must take.
Thus, to receive Thy Word is not
To read it only with our eyes
And understand it in our mind,
But 'tis the spirit's exercise.
Thy Word in spirit we must eat
And to our inmost part receive;
'Tis by our spirit's exercise
To pray with what our minds perceive.
Thy Word remaining in our mind
Is only knowledge burdensome,
But when it to the spirit goes
Then life and spirit it becomes.
'Tis only when our spirit acts
To take Thy Word and contact Thee,
We truly feed upon Thy Word
And touch Thyself most inwardly.
Lord, teach us how to exercise
Our spirit when Thy Word we read;
Then will our spirit nourished be
As thus upon Thyself we feed.

Copyright Living Stream Ministry. Used by permission.

Will Robertson

Roswell, Georgia, United States

What a wonderful explanation of pray-reading the Word! Many times through the years I've heard pray-reading explained and discussed and have practiced it in meetings and alone, but the simple and sweet yet deeply impressive power and clarity of this hymn has affected me very much.

Oh, Lord Jesus, save me from mishandling Your precious Word. May it not remain in my mind as only knowledge burdensome, but rather may my spirit act to take Thy Word and contact Thee, truly feeding and touching Thyself most inwardly. Then will my spirit be nourished as thus upon Thyself I feed.

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