Ears to Hear…A Prayer for Sunday 1/18/09

“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
The boy Samuel said those words to you, O God,
waiting in the darkness of the tabernacle,
and he truly did not have a clue what he was saying,
he did not know what kind of God you are.
Samuel was young,
but he was willing,
he was obedient,
he was pliable,
he was teachable.

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.”
The psalmist said those words to you, O God,
from the depths of his inmost thoughts and reflections.
Maybe he did have a clue,
maybe he did understand something about the powerful truth
that when you call us,
when you speak to us,
when you nudge us,
when you show us that you know us,
that’s a fearful and wonderful thing.
The psalmist was older and far more experienced than Samuel,
yet he, too, seems
willing,
obedient,
pliable,
teachable.

“Come and see.”
Philip said those words to Nathaniel,
standing there under the fig tree.
He said those words about you, Jesus.
Come and see what you are all about,
see what you can do,
hear what you can say,
watch – and maybe even experience –
how you can take a life
and turn it around,
upside down,
and inside out.
Philip and Nathaniel were in-between – young adults,
and they, too, show themselves to be
willing,
obedient,
pliable,
teachable.

That’s who we need to be, Lord,
no matter where we are,
no matter what our age.
Will you help us?
Will you remind us that we, too, are invited to
be with you,
to ‘come and see,’
to ‘come and be known,’
to ‘listen’ to your voice.

Help us to truly grasp what it means
to be seen by you,
as Nathaniel was;
to be spoken to by you,
as Samuel was,
to be known by you,
as the psalmist was.

Wherever we find ourselves in the week ahead,
whatever our hands find to do,
whomever we encounter,
LORD:
renew in us your strong call on our lives,
your call to
a life of worship,
a life of service,
a life of joy – even in the midst of sorrow,
a life of beauty and excellence –
even in the midst of:
exams and schoolwork,
sometimes messy family relationships,
continuing recovery and adjustment from the fire,
chronically frail health,
discouragement,
uncertain futures,
disappointment,
sorrow
and grief.

In the midst of it all,
may we be so centered in your call to us
that our lives are unmistakably marked by
willingness,
obedience,
pliability,
teachability.

And we are bold this morning to ask the same thing for our leaders:
for our new president,
for our new national leaders,
in whatever capacity they may serve,
for our state officials,
and our city council;
for our church council,
for our staff,
for our congregation.

Bless us with your presence,
bless us with your voice,
And give us ears to hear and eyes to see
for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

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