If we aren’t mindful of the way the Spirit of God works in us, we will become spiritual hypocrites. Instead of interceding in prayer when we see another person failing, we’ll turn our discernment into criticism.

Be very careful that you don’t act like a hypocrite and try to fix other people before you yourself are right with God. The Holy Spirit isn’t revealed to us through the intellectual workings of our mind, but through the direct penetration of our souls. If we aren’t alert to the source of the revelation—to the fact that it is God, not us—we will become cauldrons of criticism. We’ll forget what Scripture says about our dealings with others: “You should pray and God will give them life.”

One of the subtlest burdens God puts on his disciples is this burden of using discernment when it comes to other souls. Why does he reveal certain things about others to us? It isn’t so we’ll criticize them. It’s so we’ll take their burden before God. It’s so we’ll form the mind of Christ regarding them, interceding with him on their behalf. God says he will give them life if we pray in this way.

To intercede in prayer isn’t to tell God our opinions or to let him in on the workings of our minds. It’s to stir ourselves up to get at his mind, his thoughts, about the people for whom we intercede. Is Jesus Christ seeing the workings of his soul in us? He can’t—not until we are so identified with him that we strive to know his mind. If we want Jesus to be satisfied with us, we must learn to intercede wholeheartedly on others’ behalf, as he intercedes for us: “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Wisdom from Oswald

We can understand the attributes of God in other ways, but we can only understand the Father’s heart in the Cross of Christ.  The Highest Good—Thy Great Redemption, 558 L