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The Original Prayer

Prayer takes nearly as many forms as there are people to pray.  It looks, sounds and feels different as it resonates through different souls.  Or maybe not.

Steve Sjogren used to say that almost everyone came to Christ with a similar prayer.  It wasn’t a drawn out homily set to a musical backdrop of Just As I Am.  It wasn’t a King James Version prayer with lots of thees and thous.  In most cases, when people hit rock bottom and turn to God, there prayer goes something like this:

Here I am, God.

Those four words are the spiritual equivalent of an Italian Grinder.  There’s all kinds of special sauce and stuff you wouldn’t expect to find in there at first glance.

  • Here I am…having done all I can.
  • Here I am…and I’m not going anywhere under my own power.
  • Here I am…I’m not totally sure how I got here.
  • Here I am…my way hasn’t worked, so I’m looking for Yours.

This all came back to me this morning as the prayer room settled into a chorus that started “Here we are God, come anoint us…”.  The Christian life, beginning, middle and end, always starts from this very refrain.

It makes me wonder if this isn’t what Luther was really saying once he argued before the Diet of Worms.

  • Here I stand, I can do no other.

It sounded like a defiant roar, but it depends on who it was directed to.  Railing against the Archbishop, it was a poke in the eye.  Calling on God, it was an admittance of his own powerlessness.

Here I stand, God.  I can’t do anything else, so You’re going to have to move.  I can’t fix this. I can’t navigate this.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.

Neither can I.

Neither can you.


One Response

  1. Sounds a lot like Jehosaphat – I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on you…. or as Jason Upton put it – You’re the God and I’m the man…
    either way, its an acknowledgement of our weakness and reliance upon His strength..
    Why don’t I pray it more often?

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