The question I now pose was once academic.
It has now become paramount, and very pertinent.
When you beg petition of God, how specific are you to be?
I propose this: You come to a point in the road where you are able to see nothing but challenging if not inaccessible terrain ahead of you; a long, unbroken series of steep grades with drop-offs on either side.
Do you ask God for assistance to get over that first grade, or do you cover the field and request help for the entire series of grades?
Are you a presumptuous beggar? Might you ask to be carried over the whole stretch?
Or, are you more of a self-made man? May I have a set of chains, and a winch?
Or, do you just white-knuckle the steering wheel, and wish you'd taken out that term policy?
Speaking specifically to my current difficulty, do I pray that such-and-such union request be granted so that such-and-such disability clause be altered, do I pray for a new job, do I pray for healing, do I take a vow of poverty and begin searching for co-ed monasteries . . . .enter a sweepstakes . . . . look around outside a gas station for a dropped lottery ticket?
Oswald Chambers has been remarkably germane in relation to our predicament recently.
On the morning of Nov. 8, I opened his devotional to see the following:
We know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Rom. 8:26
Catching my breath, I continued reading.
We know what it is to pray in the Spirit; but we do not so often realize that the Holy Spirit Himself prays in us prayers which we cannot utter. . . .
and further on,
He expresses for us the unutterable. . . .
. . .God searches your heart not to know what your conscious prayers are, but to find out what is the prayer of the Holy Spirit.
I suppose that could be disconcerting. Looking at it superficially, you might sustain the same shock that the first denizen of Babel experienced when his intended words came out as gibberish.
That's not what I said!
I think it is safe to say, however, that the Spirit will not work at cross purposes with your heart.
If your petitions are subject to the will of the Father, instead of being lost in translation, they will be re-interpreted in a manner that you yourself could never utter.
Chambers- Have we recognized that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost? If so, we must be careful to keep it undefiled for Him. We have to remember that our conscious life, though it is only a tiny bit of our personality, is to be regarded by us as a shrine of the Holy Ghost. He will look after the unconscious part that we know nothing of; but we must see that we guard the conscious part for which we are responsible.