A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer by John Piper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a book I really wanted to read, but it took me a long time to finally read it because I knew I would be convicted. And, yes, I was.
John Piper eloquently and passionately explains fasting and it's Biblical basis as well as it's secular background. He digs into Scripture, both Old Testament and New Testament, to learn what place fasting has in our lives and they why and how behind doing it today in our own lives. I walked away having learned a lot, having been challenged immensely, and having been convicted of the fasting that is lacking in my own life. And most of all, I feel that I can now fast with a better understanding and purpose rather than a hastily thrown together desire "because it's the right thing to do".
I listened to the audio version of this book, but think that both print or audio are easy enough to work through. In fact, I may even lean more toward the print version since you can underline, re-read, and digest with greater thought a little easier than through simply hearing. This book is one you will most likely want to reference again and again and is worth buying for your own personal bookshelf.
I would highly recommend this book for older teens (15 and up) and adults to read if you desire to both understand and hunger for God more.
There is an appetite for God. And it can be awakened. I invite you to turn from the dulling effects of food and the dangers of idolatry, and to say with some simple fast: "This much, O God, I want you."
Our appetites dictate the direction of our lives—whether it be the cravings of our stomachs, the passionate desire for possessions or power, or the longings of our spirits for God. But for the Christian, the hunger for anything besides God can be an arch-enemy. While our hunger for God—and Him alone—is the only thing that will bring victory.
Do you have that hunger for Him? As John Piper puts it: "If we don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great." If we are full of what the world offers, then perhaps a fast might express, or even increase, our soul's appetite for God.
Between the dangers of self-denial and self-indulgence is this path of pleasant pain called fasting. It is the path John Piper invites you to travel in this book. For when God is the supreme hunger of your heart, He will be supreme in everything. And when you are most satisfied in Him, He will be most glorified in you.