My heart is hungry, my spirit doth thirst

23
Nelson Liu

Irvine, CA, United States

Feed me, Lord Jesus! Give me to drink!


Amos Kimani

Nairobi, Nyandarua, Kenya

Very wonderful hymn because it is by eating Jesus Christ that we made one with Him.


Ana

Iligan, Lanao Del Norte, Philippines

Oh Lord Jesus! Feed me Lord Jesus, give me to drink...I hunger & thirst of You Oh Lord...


Alejandra

Sta Ana, Tlaxcala, Mexico

Oh Lord Jesus. My heart is hungry. Feed me Lord. I love You.


Anthony

Ponce, PR, Puerto Rico

Flood with Thy spirit and fill by the word!


Taylor Cole

Belton, Texas, United States

I really enjoyed this last section:

"Here, O my Lord, may I feast upon Thee;

Flood with Thy Spirit and fill by Thy Word;

May, Lord, Thou be such a feast unto me

As man hath never enjoyed nor e’er heard."

The first command Jehovah gave to man was to "freely eat" in Genesis 2:16.

This means it must be important to eat!

Eat what?

"Your WORDS were found and I ATE them, And Your word became to me The gladness and joy of my heart, For I am called by Your name, O Jehovah, God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16

The Lord Jesus, which is the Word, is good for food! (John 1:14)

In the New Testament the Lord Jesus also said in John 6:35

"Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall by no means hunger, and he who believes into Me shall by no means ever thirst."

He also said

"As the living Father has sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me." John 6:57

Lastly in 1 Corinthians 12:13 we see that

"For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and were all given to drink one Spirit."

Hallelujah! The same way we all have a physical need for food and water, the Lord Jesus came that we may eat and drink of Him to saturate and satisfy our entire being and more importantly our spirit!


Amelia

San Antonio, Texas, United States

By changing all my's i's and me's to plurals and adding you to every line of the chorus you can make a completely different song . You are now thanking the Lord for feeding the world and quenching the thirst. HALLELUJAH


Eric Enorme

Malabon, Philippines

Oh Lord Jesus, Hallelujah!


Olga German

Houston, Texas (TX), United States

Oh Lord Jesus, feed me today!


Linda M Rolfe

Cherryfield, ME, United States

Thank you!!

In 1958 I began to receive the Lord's burden concerning the way that His children contact Him. At that time I realized that we, the believers, need to enjoy the Word, but I did not know about pray-reading. Nevertheless, because I felt strongly that we needed to enjoy the Word, I wrote Hymns, #811. Stanza 7 of this hymn says,

Feeding and drinking, Lord Jesus, of Thee,

Feeding by reading, and drinking by prayer;

Reading and praying, I eat and I drink,

Praying and reading—Lord, Thou art my fare.

When I composed this hymn, I did not have the proper utterance, so I used the two words praying and reading, indicating that while we pray, we also read.

In October 1966, after I returned to Taipei, we held a small conference for the co-workers. During that time two co-workers shared a testimony that in the place where they worked, they encountered great difficulty in the local church and in the Lord's work. Because they were unable to bear or solve the problem, they came together before the Lord and simply prayed the Bible. As soon as they spoke this testimony, within me the Spirit indicated that this is what we need to do to enjoy the Word. We need to pray the words of the Bible directly.

When I received this speaking from the Lord, I stood up among the brothers and said, "Brothers, from now on, we all need to learn to pray with the words of the Bible directly." Then we all began to practice this. Every one of us received the benefit of this practice, and we were all strengthened. Soon after the conference, some of the brothers who attended wrote letters to the brothers in Los Angeles about what had taken place at the conference. Then the church in Los Angeles began to practice praying the Word. At the same time the church in San Francisco also heard about the conference and began to practice this. Hence, there were three localities—Taipei, Los Angeles, and San Francisco—practicing to pray the Word. Initially, however, the three localities practiced to pray the Word in different ways.

The following year, 1967, when I returned to the United States, I visited San Francisco. It was through this visit that the three different practices of praying the Word were mingled into one. It was also during this visit that we created the term pray-reading by putting together the two words pray and read to describe the practice of receiving the Word by prayer. Today two and a half years have passed since we began to practice pray-reading, and many believers have received the benefit of pray-reading the Word. When I visited a locality recently, many of the saints shared testimonies about pray-reading the Word. One brother said, "Formerly, I was taught to love my wife, and even though I tried my best to love her, I was unable to do so. Recently, through my practice of pray-reading the Word daily, I have found that even though the verses that I pray-read do not contain the word love, the more I pray-read, the more I love my wife. Although I have no intention and make no effort to love her, I just love her." I believe that this is the issue of this brother's enjoyment of Christ.

If someone comes to teach us to be humble, no matter how good, admirable, and spiritual his speaking may be, we will have no way to be humble. Even if we are able to work up some kind of humility upon receiving such a teaching, our kind of humility may make us proud. We may become proud of our humility. This kind of humility is worthless. We do not need anyone to teach us to be humble. Instead, we only need to enjoy Christ. If we take some time to enjoy the Lord by pray-reading His Word, we will spontaneously and unconsciously be humble. Others will notice it, but we will not be conscious of it. This is genuine humility, the humility that is the issue of being nourished with Christ.

Before I come to minister the Word to the saints, I need to spend a good period of time contacting the Lord in this way. Otherwise, I shall not have anything of life to share. I get ready for a message not only by studying the Word, but especially by breathing in the Lord and by praying, praising, and thanking the Lord. In my prayer to the Lord, I do not care about language, grammar, or composition. My only desire is to utter something to the Lord that I may contact Him in a living way. If we are concerned about composing our prayer, our spirit will be weakened. But if we forget composition and exercise our spirit in prayer, we shall contact the living One.

Again and again we need to come to the Word for the purpose of receiving nourishment and refreshment. This approach to the Bible is well expressed in a hymn on feeding on the Word:

[Stanzas 1 and chorus]

If we come to the Bible in the spirit expressed in this hymn, we shall be nourished and refreshed. However, many times we do not come to the Word in this way. We neither pray nor aspire to contact the Lord. Instead, we just read the words of the Bible with our eyes and try to understand them with our mind. We have no heart or spirit to contact the Lord. In such a case, the more we read the Word, the more exhausted we become. We need to exercise our spirit in reading the Word, and we need to aspire to contact the Lord. Psalm 119 is filled with such an aspiration. This was the reason that to the psalmist the law was God's living word. His way to contact the Word of God and God Himself was to exercise his whole being as an expression of his intimate sentiment and deep aspiration. As he read the Word, he cried out to God, earnestly seeking Him.

The dispensing of the Triune God into us causes us to grow with the increase of God (Col. 2:19). For anything to grow it must increase with some element or substance. Human beings grow by the food they take in. If you do not eat anything, you cannot grow. We Christians grow with the increase, the surplus, the addition, of God. God entered into us when we were regenerated. Now He is increasing within us by adding more of Himself to us. However, the amount of God each brother or sister has differs.

To have the Lord increase within us, we must come to the Word of God to eat each day. The first stanza of Hymns, #811 shows how we must come to the Lord to be fed by Him...

All of us can and must be among the gifted persons listed in Ephesians 4:11. The key to your becoming an apostle, a prophet, an evangelist, and a shepherd and teacher is the Word. If you take very little of the Word into you, you will not be much of a gifted person. But if your being is saturated with the living essence of God's Word, not merely with the knowledge of it, you will surely be His sent one. How much you take the Word into you and let it mingle with your inward parts determines the extent to which you can be God's spokesman. When you become the embodiment of God's Word, you spontaneously are one of His sent ones, speaking for Him and shepherding others. You do not need any official title, or appointment, or position. Those are outward and count for nothing. But if you are filled and saturated with God's living Word, you are surely God's apostle sent to this world and speaking for Him, and you are surely the shepherd caring for His people and teaching them God's economy.

This is what God expects you to be. Do not say that you are not qualified. You have been chosen, saved, regenerated, and called by God. He is now working in you, saturating you with the Word. It is your duty to go to the Word, even in a legal way, morning and evening and during the day as well. Even if you can take only ten minutes each time, you will see how much benefit you receive.

The third line of this verse speaks of reading and praying, and the fourth line speaks of praying and reading. To pray-read is to eat the Lord, and to read-pray is to drink the Lord. In pray-reading the emphasis is on reading, and this reading is an eating. In read-praying the emphasis is on praying, and this praying is a drinking.

In the Bible spiritual breathing is linked to spiritual drinking. This is very meaningful. In the air there is water. Air would be harmful to us if it did not have water in it. In one sense, when a man breathes in air, he is drinking in water. The Bible likens prayer to breathing. Since breathing also includes drinking, prayer is also a kind of drinking. This is not my experience alone; sister M.E. Barber in one of her hymns also said, "Just to breathe the Name of Jesus, Is to drink of Life indeed" (verse 2 of hymn 73). Her experience also confirms that to breathe is to drink.

If you want to digest the word of the Lord, you need to pray-read; that is, you must first read and then pray. To pray-read is to turn what you read into prayer. Then you also need to read-pray, which is to mingle the Lord's word in your prayer. To pray-read is to eat; to read-pray is to drink.