The Holy Spirit prayer

Daily Reading for May 15

Of all the persons of the Trinity, I suppose the Holy Spirit is the hardest to define. Most of us can at least begin to describe the other two: God the Father, creator of heaven and earth, who makes the sun shine and the rain fall. God the Son, who was human like us: our savior, teacher, helper, and friend. But how would you describe God the Holy Spirit to a five-year-old child? Even Jesus had a hard time with that one. “The Spirit blows where it chooses,” he said in John’s gospel, “and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes” (3:8).

There is some very fine teaching available on the Holy Spirit, and I hope none of you is satisfied with it. I hope none of you rests until you have felt the Holy Spirit blow through your own life, rearranging things, opening things up and maybe even setting your own head on fire. There is nothing you can do to make it happen, as far as I know, except to pray “Come, Holy Spirit” every chance you get. If you don’t want anything to change in your life, then for heaven’s sake don’t pray that, but if you are the type of person who likes to stand out on the porch when there is a storm moving through so you can feel the power that is pushing the trees around, then you are probably a good candidate for the Holy Spirit prayer.

From “The Gospel of the Holy Spirit” in Home By Another Way by Barbara Brown Taylor (Cowley, 1999).

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