what we should ask of the Spirit

On Sundays we have condensed our service times so that we are finished with all three services by about 2:15 pm. Occasionally we take the opportunity to drive up-island to Courtenay BC where my brother pastors Grace Baptist Church of the Comox Valley and take in his service at 6:30 pm. It makes it a long day, but that way my wife and kids (and me) get to hear some good preaching for a change!

This last Sunday night was one of those occasions. (I was also heading up to pick up my beloved pickup truck which had been repaired by a man up there. A perfect Father’s Day, getting one’s truck back!) My brother preached a fine sermon from Daniel 9 (but ran out of time to finish everything – rats!)

The service included a number of favorites requested by the people. One of them especially ministered to my heart, a hymn we don’t have in our hymnal, but one well worth our consideration. To me, it encapsulates everything a believer should ask of the Holy Spirit, and one people so often miss in this age.

Note especially the second stanza: we aren’t asking for an experience, a vision, a sign, but rather that we might see and know our God better. And also note the line about unanswered prayer. Even in that there is a spiritual blessing we need from the Holy Spirit.

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art;
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies;
But take the dimness of my soul away.

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling:
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find!

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heaven descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

As you think on this hymn, I hope it might minister to your heart as well. You can hear the tune here at the cyberhymnal.

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