Sunday Prayers

I have been studying the usage of a Hebrew word… Hineni (pronounced hee-nay-nee).  It literally means “Here I am; I’m here for you”.

“Abraham?”… Hineni Lord

From the bush: “Moses!”… Hineni HaShem (The Name)

A Voice in the night… Samuel: “Hineni!”

“Whom shall I send?”… Isaiah – “Hineni”!

God also uses it to us – Isaiah 58:9 (ESV): When you call, the Lord will answer; you shall cry and he will say… Hineni

It means more than just being present (that word is po ani – “Present!”).  It is very emotional… and carries with it the availability, humility, and resolute nature of one being called into something great.  For centuries, Jews have prayed the Hineni Prayer during holidays as a way of telling God – “Here I Am”:

Here I stand, impoverished of deeds, trembling and frightened with the dread of He Who is enthroned upon the praises of Israel.

I have come to stand and supplicate before You for Your people Israel, who have sent me although I am unworthy and unqualified to do so.

Therefore, I beg of you, O God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, HaShem, HaShem, God, Compassionate and Gracious, God of Israel, Frightening and Awesome One, grant success to the way upon which I travel, standing to plead for mercy upon myself and upon those who sent me. Please do not hold them to blame for my sins and do not find them guilty of my iniquities, for I am a careless and willful sinner. Let them not feel humiliated by my willful sins. Let them not be ashamed of me and let me not be ashamed of them. Accept my prayer like the prayers of an experienced elder whose lifetime has been well spent, whose beard is fully grown, whose voice is sweet, and who is friendly with other people. May you denounce the Satan, that he not impede me. May You regard our omissions with love, and obscure our willful sins with love. May You transform all travail and evil to joy and gladness, to life and peace, for us and for all Israel, who love truth and peace. And may there be no stumbling block in my prayer.

May it be Your will, HaShem, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the great, mighty, and awesome God, “I Am That I Am,” that all the angels who bring up prayers may present my prayer before Your Throne of Glory; may they spread it out before You for the sake of all the righteous, devout, wholesome, and upright people, and for the sake of the glory of Your great and awesome Name, for You hear the prayer of Your people Israel with compassion.

Blessed are You, who hears prayer.

Hineni Lord – Here I Am, I am here for you.  That is my prayer today.


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