Monday, February 18, 2008

It's Simple

And the Lord came and stood,
calling...And Samuel said,
"Speak, for your servant hears."

I Samuel 3:10

Years ago a group of friends started recalling the prayer language we had heard as children. With the majority of us having been raised in faith communities that emphasized the importance of personal, extemporaneous prayer, our collective memories were extensive and yet oddly familiar. We discovered that most of the prayer language of our youth had a particular structure and usually entailed lots of talking with vocabulary that required a dictionary as well as numerous spiritual proclamations and revelations with a smattering of opportunities for silence. Basically, prayer was very complicated.

Prayer, however, isn’t complicated, complex or contorted! It is a God conversation consisting of simple, plain language. A conversation that should begin by saying nothing at all.

Samuel’s prayer of Speak, for your servant hears is about as simple as it gets and yet it is perhaps one of the most poignant prayers that we can speak. It is a says it all prayer for the believer. No matter one’s circumstances, environment, mood or situation here is prayer that can be prayed no matter the season of life.

But, it does have a requirement that makes this prayer also one of the most complicated–silence. And, in an age of talking heads, iPods, and cell phones silence is a rare commodity. In order to hear there has to be a willingness to listen and in order to listen silence is an absolute necessity.

God calls our name every day. The only response necessary is–Speak, for your servant hears.

Prayer–it’s as simple as that.

thank you for calling out to me–
Speak–I am listening.

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