Saturday, May 27, 2006


jang jIH ghorgh jIH ja', joH'a' vo' wIj QaQtaHghach.

Answer me when I call, God of my righteousness. Psalm 4.1a

(click for podcast version)

This is Klingon praying! David's words jump right in, no careful build up, no proper liturgical form. Answer me NOW!

Does this bother you? Our idea of worship and prayer is often formal and very "polite."

This isn't wrong - any more than manners and respect are wrong in a family.

But in a solid, secure, relationship we can express more than the quiet emotions. Sometimes we need to shout. Sometimes we have to call out with force.

Klingons certainly understand this range of emotions. Their idea of romance, after all, involves the male reading poetry - while the female yells and throws things.

And David's demand for an answer grows out of the memory of all the LORD has done for him, and for God's people. One ancient writer reflected on this Biblical faith, saying:

Then I remembered your mercy, O Lord,

and your deeds from long ago.

You rescue those who wait for you

and save them from their enemies. [Sirach 51:8]

The Hebrew word used here, `anah, is a common one. It is used over 300 times in the Bible and has a variety of meanings - it's a primitive root; properly meaning, to eye or (generally) to heed, i.e. pay attention; by implication, to respond. You can find it in the KJV translated as, among other things:(cause to, give) answer, cry, hear, say, (give a) shout, sing (together by course), speak, testify, utter, (bear) witness.

The sense here is "reply," just as it is in the Klingon term "jang." IF you wanted a grammatically proper Klingon rendering of jang jIH you would say HIjang! ("you-answer-me")

jang jIH ghorgh jIH ja', joH'a' vo' wIj QaQtaHghach.

Answer me when I call, God of my righteousness. Psalm 4.1a

Thinking about this Psalm, one writer noted the necessity of being bold enough to approach God in prayer:

Hear me when I call - No man has a right to expect God to hear him if he do not call. Indeed, how shall he be heard if he speak not? There are multitudes who expect the blessings of God as confidently as if they had prayed for them most fervently; and yet such people pray not at all! (Abbot)

Part of the practice of prayer is being clear. Vague ideas, aimless thoughts may work to have reverence toward God - but the command of Scripture is

Don’t worry about anything;

instead, pray about everything.

Tell God what you need,

and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6 NLT)

ASK - and don't treat it as a message tossed into the void. God WILL answer, maybe not as you expect, but he will answer.

So maybe, as you work toward being a prayer warrior, you can adopt just a little of that Klingon spirit. As you pray, perhaps you might try, along with the "amen", to every now and then throw in a heartfelt "HIjang" - "ANSWER ME!"

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