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A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

Mother_and_BabyLike newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. - 1 Peter 2:2-3 (NIV)

Have you heard the screams of a hungry newborn? As a new father, this was rather eye-opening (read: sleep-depriving) for me. I thought: “How can something so little scream so piercingly?” The hungry baby screams for milk with an intensity and an urgency that is virtually unparalleled in our world. We should crave spiritual nourishment with such urgency and desperation.

Not only is the baby’s cry loud and urgent, it’s also frequent! Most newborns insist on being fed every 2-3 hours. Imagine if we took in God’s truth with that sort of frequency. I used to keep a stack of notecards containing memory verses on the passenger seat of my car—a spiritual snack of sorts, to enjoy at red lights. Of course, it wasn’t a substitute for a full spiritual “meal”—something more in-depth and focused—yet, it offered the benefit of frequency.

It’s not enough to crave spiritual nourishment, generally. Many people seek “spirituality” and “spiritual” growth. Peter instructed his audience to crave pure spiritual milk. When a baby get milk straight from mom, she can be sure it’s not contaminated. But milk that’s been sitting around and exposed to the surrounding elements could be very unsafe to drink. Likewise, we must be on our guard against contaminated spiritual food. Consider my young-in-the-faith Christian friend, who showed me the devotional book she was reading. I looked inside the cover and saw that it was a Jehovah’s Witness publication. She didn’t realize the milk she was drinking was rotten.

I wonder if Peter used milk in his comparison because milk is such a complete food. Milk is amazing in that it contains literally everything a baby needs nutritionally. As Christians, do we believe God is the provider of the only spiritual food we’ll ever need? That his Word is complete and requires no supplementation from worldly sources or opinions?

God, give me the willpower to say no to spiritual “junk food” and the wisdom to recognize false teachings and the lies of secularism for the poison they are. Lord, let me not substitute anything for the pure food you so freely give me, your child. Feed me straight from your Word. Help me to absorb and not reject the spiritual nourishment you have for me today. I want to drink in your truth and be strengthened in my faith.

Whit Hazelton
Director, Christian Union Day and Night