I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. (Job 23:4 ESV)
Charles Spurgeon wrote about "arguing with God in prayer" that we are not to be "filling the mouth with words nor good phrases, nor pretty expressions," but rather filling our mouth with arguments, which are “the knocks of the rapper by which the gate is opened.”
"Why are arguments to be used at all? is the first enquiry; the reply being,
- not because God is slow to give,
- not because we can change the divine purpose,
- not because God needeth to be informed of any circumstance with regard to ourselves or of anything in connection with the mercy asked:
He requires for us to plead with him, and to bring forth our strong reasons, as Isaiah saith, because this will show that we feel the value of the mercy.
When a man searches for arguments for a thing it is because he attaches importance to that which he is seeking.
Again, our use of arguments teaches us the ground upon which we obtain the blessing.
If a man should come with the argument of his own merit, he would never succeed; the successful argument is always founded upon grace, and hence the soul so pleading is made to understand intensely that it is by grace and by grace alone that a sinner obtaineth anything of the Lord.
Besides, the use of arguments is intended to stir up our fervency. The man who uses one argument with God will get more force in using the next, and will use the next with still greater power, and the next with more force still.
The best prayers I have ever heard in our prayer meetings have been those which have been fullest of argument.
Sometimes my soul has been fairly melted down where I have listened to the brethren who have come before God feeling the mercy to be really needed, and that they must have it, for they first pleaded with God to give it for this reason, and then for a second, and then for a third and then for a fourth and a fifth until they have awakened the fervency of the entire assembly." (My emphasis added.)
So, in taking Spurgeon's thought and building on it, how are we to argue with the Almighty? Here are a few thoughts I have in mind:
1. Lord, please be gracious to me so I might delight in and desire You more than everything that's currently wrestling for my affections. My heart is so fragile right now and I'm not sure I can love You more than all these things unless You intervene. Won't You step in and show Yourself to be more beautiful, more desirable than these earthly things that glitter all around me?
2. I want to honor You and reflect Your glory. Please help me not to profane Your Name by my actions in front of both my brothers and sisters in Christ and those who don't know You. Unless You capture my attention with Your greatness and the larger drama of the kingdom, I know I'm going to settle for the pettiness of my little kingdom.
3. I've been called to faithful obedience to Your Word. I feel my world is about ready to spiral out of control. Strengthen me to stay the course. How can I keep going unless You provide what I need for the race before me?
4. You have called me to a life of joy and peace. How am I to experience all this in my current circumstances? Your sovereign grace is to be my foundation, but I don't understand what You're doing and need insight and reassurance so that I can rest in You.
(Spurgeon's quote is taken from http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2014/03/08/how-to-use-the-bible-to-argue-with-god-in-prayer/ )