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O my Father, I have moments of deep unrest –
moments when I know not what to ask
by reason of the very excess of my wants.
I have in these hours no words for you,
no conscious prayers for you.
My cry seems purely worldly;
I want only the wings of a dove that I may fly away.
Yet all the time you have accepted my unrest as a prayer.
You have interposed its cry for a dove’s wings as a cry for you,
you have received the nameless longings of my heart
as the intercessions of your Spirit.
They are not yet the intercessions of my spirit;
I know not what I ask.
But you know what I ask, O God.
You know the name of that need
which lies beneath my speechless groan.
You know that. because I am made in your image,
I can find rest only in what gives rest to you.
Therefore you have counted my unrest unto me for righteousness,
and have called my groaning Your Spirit’s Prayer.
George Matheson, 1842 – 1906, Scottish minister and hymn writer, blind
The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayer, slightly modernized
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For we do not know what to pray for as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.