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Words That Cannot Be Uttered
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins

Romans 8:26-29 speaks of the Spirit praying with and for us when we do not know what we need to say.  This seems to place the focus on the relationship and attitude of mind involved, not the concept of petition.

This seems related to the concept of thought-prayer or Paul’s phrase having the mind of Christ.  It also involves Incarnation — God coming into human life.  I have found that the depth of praying in the Spirit is tied to the completeness with which I can give myself up to Him.

Knowing with the Heart
We sometimes feel something, but cannot state it, we know with our heart but not with our head.  We can believe, but perhaps not explain; faith takes us where reason fails.  Love often succeeds where expertise fails; under the Spirit's guidance, we are taken beyond ourselves.

Praying Beyond Our Limits
If our thoughts are right, the heart can gain insights that the reason may not grasp.  If we are filled with the Spirit, we may be able to pray and speak beyond the limits of our "knowledge."  The Spirit goes before us in our need, completing the link, applying the message, filling the gaps, giving the reward.

It seems that as this happens in prayer communication with God, the Spirit enables us also in witness communication with other humans.  Let our thoughts go to and through the Spirit, let us reach out with our love and feelings to our neighbors, more than with our minds.

Every Encounter a Sacrament
With the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, in our minds and words, a new reality can occur in our speech.  Every verbal encounter can become an occasion for grace – truly a sacrament, a sacred event.  Let us lose the fear of other people and their language.

Let every word become a word of the Spirit to those around us – for help, for encouragement, for comfort, for whatever is needed.  Let us dedicate our tongues to the Lord, and pray that he make of our often feeble efforts a spiritual encounter sealed by the Holy Spirit.

Let every thought be a prayer, every word a testimony, every encounter an opportunity for the Spirit.

Also related:
[TXT] Prayer Meditations based on The Purpose Driven Life
[PDF] Prayer as Communication for Intercession
[TXT] Principalities and Powers: Notes On Demonic Hierarchies
[TXT] A Prayer for Cyprus
[TXT] Thought-Prayer in the Communication Event: An Approach to Practical Life-Events

Related on the Internet:
[TXT] Brain Wave Therapy: Thought, Music and Prayer
[TXT] Healing Power of of Prayer: Science Discussion Forum
[TXT] Medical Efficacy of Prayer: A Scientific Study
[TXT] Scientific Investigation of Prayer - Negative Conclusion
[TXT] Scientific Investigation of Prayer - Positive Conclusion
[TXT] World Peace Prayer Society


First published as a general article in Focus on Communication Effectiveness July 1992
First posted 10 January 2005
Last edited 20 March 2012

Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 1992, 2005 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Please give credit and link back.  Other rights reserved.
Email:  orville@jenkins.nu
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