Have you ever wrestled with competing affections? I do. For what it’s worth, “do” is present tense, not past tense. There’s a difference. I think that is why this prayer by Scotty Smith, sent to me by an old friend, became my heart’s cry this morning. I pray it may be your prayer too.

A Prayer for a Renewed Soul-Thirst for Jesus

     O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lipsPs. 63:1-5

Dear Lord Jesus, we want what David had—an intense yearning and craving for you. Make us so thirsty that we’ll remain insatiable until you hydrate our hearts with the gospel; satiate us with your steadfast love; quench us with fresh grace.

It’s a dangerous thing not to miss fellowship with you, Jesus. It’s a deceptive thing to enjoy you, but no longer actually need you. It’s a deceitful thing to be satisfied with correct theology about you, without experiencing rich communion with you. It’s a deadly thing to find our ultimate satisfaction in anyone or anything else but you.

Only your steadfast love is better than life, Lord Jesus—only your mercy drenched, grace propelled, God-favor-filled affection for us. Nothing else will do. You’ve created a gospel-shaped vacuum in our hearts—a screaming empty place that fits only you. Forgive us when we try to cram human love, creature comforts, or anything else into that place. Keep us redemptively discontent until our hearts rest again in you.

Lord Jesus, our cry isn’t just for ourselves as individuals, but also for our churches. Forgive us for being so organized, creative, and “right,” that we no longer miss your presence. If you actually “left the house,” how long would it take before we knew the difference? Show us, convict us, forgive us, and change us.

Let us see and experience your power and glory in fresh ways, Jesus. We want to lift our hearts, voices, hands, and whole lives to you as a sacrifice of praise. May the truth and grace of the gospel satisfy us, as “fat and rich food”. So very Amen we pray, with longing and expectant hearts.