3. Help me, Lord, to hunger and thirst for Your Word!
We know the merits of reading the Bible. God spoke to Joshua saying, “This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do” (Joshua 1:8).
The Bible’s hymn book starts with “How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:1–3). A wise man will follow the “Lord’s instruction.”
In Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, the Psalmist again and again proclaims his love for the Word of God. “I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you ... Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path” (Psalm 119:11, 105).
The opening lines of Psalm 42 picture a thirsty deer being refreshed at a cool, clear stream. Much like that deer, the Psalmist writes, “I open my mouth and pant because I long for your commands” (Psalm 119:131). And that is my prayer... that I would come to love the Bible so much that I am thirsty for it.
Peter addressed the first-century church saying, “like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow up...” (1 Peter 2:2–3).
Please Father, help me hunger and thirst for your Holy Word.
4. Righteous and Holy God, help me hate sin!
The American evangelist, Billy Sunday (1862-1935), famously said, "One reason sin flourishes is that it is treated like a cream puff instead of a rattlesnake." I agree with his assessment. Sometimes we try to get as close to the line as we possibly can, assuring ourselves that we're safe if we don't go too far. The Apostle Paul wrote, "Flee sexual immorality!” (1 Corinthians 6:18). “Flee from idolatry” (1 Corinthians 10:14). “Flee from (the love of money)” (1 Timothy 6:11). “Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace” (2 Timothy 2:22). We mustn’t play patty-cake with sin. We must turn away from temptation, to flee from it.
As we seek the Father’s guidance, we have His assurance that “no temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Oh God, grant me “a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart” (Psalm 51:17) that despises the self-centered, worldly desires that once were so attractive to me. Lord, help me hate sin!
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.