Much praying about, to, or for the Holy Spirit seems, in my thinking, to be incredibly self seeking and indulgent.
Alister McGrath offers this translation of part an old liturgical sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus (“Come Holy Spirit”), which is usually thought of as the work of Stephen Langton (ca. 1150–1228).
Lava quod est sordidum, riga quod est aridum, sana quod est saucium. Flecte quod est rigidum, fove quod est frigidum, rege quod est devium.
McGrath translates it,
“Wash what is dirty;
refresh what is dry;
heal what is wounded;
bend what is stubborn;
melt what is frozen;
direct what is wandering.”
It appears to me to be a prayer worthy of the Holy Spirit, and well worth our praying
I am re-reading Vance Christie’s excellent biography of Adoniram Judson, Devoted for Life.
Christie tells of the letter Judson sent to his future father-in-law asking for the hand of Ann Heseltine. This is part of that letter,
“I have to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter…to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure for a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life; …to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean…to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India…to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution and perhaps a violent death?”
It would be easy to focus on Judson but my thinking went to Ann’s father. What went through his mind, how did he pray? The book tells us that he left the final decision to Ann although I imagine there was a lot of passionate discussion helping her to decide.
In this life sacrifice is not necessarily easy, and requires that a price be paid. I thank God for people like Ann and her family who were prepared to make a great sacrifice for the Kingdom. May God grant us all that same spirit.