Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Simple Prayer

As I was looking for a praise song for my cell group, I read of a story about a young woman from Oregon who was raising a toddler with poverty as their backdrop (Our God Reigns by Phil Christensen and Shari MacDonald). Her family had to stretch the $400 monthly allowance of her husband who was still in college. That time, they lived in a trailer park, away from families and friends. There was no church near them as well. If ever they planned to visit or make long distance calls, they would have to sacrifice their own food or the milk of the baby. She felt like the Lord was telling her “I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her” (Hosea 2:14).

One morning, Laurie woke up feeling empty and depressed. She knew that she had nothing to offer to the Lord, so she asked God if He would like to hear her sing.. “if He would just give me something He would be in the mood to hear.”

The following lines emerged spontaneously from her lips, “I sang the first half and put the chords with it with no effort.”

I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice
To worship You, O my soul rejoice.

She thought maybe she should write it down. When she did, the last two phrases came just as easily.

Take joy, my King, in what you hear,
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.

Laurie’s husband, Bill, appreciated the simple beauty of the song and he encouraged her to sing it to the local church and the visiting musicians. This song eventually landed in different churches and albums including Maranatha Praise.

We might expect that Laurie is now teaching people to write songs, creating seminars and all that. But no. She says “I don’t feel like I know how to do it.” Regarding “I Love You, Lord,” she continues “It just leapt out of my mouth. I simply had my mouth open at the right time and God filled it.”

This story is somehow parallel to that of Solomon, the son of David. God told Solomon to “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon didn’t ask for money, power, his God’s best, fame, and greater kingdom. He only prayed for one thing, wisdom. Solomon wanted to have the wisdom to lead God’s people. And God was pleased with his prayer, for his prayer was for the benefit of others. God gave Solomon the wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore (1 Kings 4:29).

This allowed him to build the temple for the Lord, his own palace, and have strong and peaceful alliances with other nations. But by the time he started worshiping the idols of his wives, everything changed. That’s another story.

What a splendor of God's grace. :)

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