COVID-19 Briefing 28/07

It was good to be reminded of the Lord calling the boy Samuel a few days ago as we immerse ourselves in this part of the Old Testament in Morning Prayer.  It is a story that I remember vividly from childhood and has always impacted me greatly.  It also struck me what a tough first gig it was for Samuel to have to speak words of judgement directly to Eli the priest.  Surely God could have warmed this new prophet up slowly, couldn’t he?  But no, Samuel was thrown in at the deep end.  Samuel’s short prayer, ‘Here I am’ is a beautiful yet simple prayer of humble submission to God.

As I have reflected again on that reading, I have been reminded of other times when this prayer has been on the lips of other faithful disciples.  Moses, as he is drawn towards the burning bush responds to God’s call with ‘Here I am’.  Likewise, Isaiah, prays that prayer as he reacts to an awesome and probably quite frightening vision of the holiness and majesty of God.  And then there is the simple humble prayer of a young teenager as she responds to the mighty work of God in her life as she is told that she, Mary, will give birth to the Son of God. 

These three simple words are often a response to a call from God.  As a DDO for almost 10 years, I have encouraged countless women and men to utter these words as they seek to discernment the Lord’s leading for their lives.  I am sure, that like me, you will have prayed such a prayer at different times over the years. 

So much has taken place over the last few months, so much has had to be learnt and responded to, so much has had to change, that now seems a good time to slow down, as we enter August, to take stock and to pray ‘Here I am, Lord’.  I have decided to intentionally pray this prayer, everyday throughout August.  As I do so, I hope that these words will allow me to empty myself before the Lord in humble submission that I might hear afresh the Lord’s call on my life.  I hope that I will gain a renewed understanding of who I am and what the Lord is calling me to, in the new season that is on the horizon. 
I wonder, will you join me in this prayer too?

Archdeacon Martin