What is the use of prayer if at the very moment of prayer, we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning our own kind of answer to our prayer?
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude, Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, p. 24
I have so often felt that this was the necessary driving force behind contemplative prayer, at least from an intercessor's point of view. “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 with groans that words cannot express.” (Romans 8.26 NIV) And if we cannot know even how to pray, how can we know what God's answer might be?
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner...