GodReflection: Silent God—Seeking His Voice
To converse with the Holy is not my natural language. I struggle and stammer for words.
One of my first challenges after college was to learn to speak Portuguese. I envision prayer as somewhat like learning a new language. I would find my mouth and my tongue contorted in my feeble attempt to talk like a two-year-old.
As I fished slowly for words and sounds inevitably the one to whom my simple syllable string was stammered, would begin to show a wide smile in demonstration of appreciation of my feeble attempt at conversation.
Surely, the picture of the big smile on the face of one who listened to my struggling Portuguese is the very picture of God as He listens to me pray.
He must smile with warm gratefulness at my attempt.
I opened this series of post with a rehearsal of God’s track record of silence and the underlying question of whether or not I should attempt a one-sided conversation.
In my last post I affirmed that Jesus shows me a portrait of the Father and raised the question of the possibility of God speaking to His creation over the past two thousand years through the life of His Son who lived as man.
So, do I pray to God or do I pray to Jesus?
Then to complicate my prayer quest even more—enters the Holy Spirit.
The apostles upon hearing Jesus explain his future death, resurrection, and return to the Father, were told that the Comforter—their Advocate—would take up residence inside of their body in the form of the Holy Spirit.
Boy, did that go in one ear and out the other without even slowing down. Everyone knew that the Messiah could not die before he liberates his people.
In other New Testament references I learn that both the Father and the Son live inside of the surrendered believer through the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Paul gives me a rather “heady” explanation. It’s a tad lengthy but it is worth a slow read of Romans chapter eight to help me grasp his message.
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.
And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
So here I am. I find that I house the Holy Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit took up residence in my surrendered body.
Now for the clue Paul gives me that concerns how prayer works.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Here is what I think.
Back to my struggle to learn the Portuguese language.
There were times when my broken sounds didn’t connect. There were times when I needed a translator to interpret my intended message. How can one not understand “I want Coke”?
So the Holy Spirit comes to my rescue when I lack words to express the groans of my heart.
Is it possible that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all have interest in the desires of my heart?
Is it possible that the recipients of my prayers are in fact The Holy and between the Holy Three they work out my feeble attempts at expression?
Who am I talking with anyway?
I think it is pretty neat to get an audience with all of the Holy Three at once. That’s the sort of help I need.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Who Am I Talking with Anyway?