Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hear My Prayer!

Qoy wIj tlhobtaHghach
hear my prayer. Psalm 4:1c
(click for podcast version)

Prayer. Or, tlhlobtaHghach, as rendered in the KLV, is a mystery.

If you are inclined to be overly analytical - maybe the kind of person who ponders "can God make a rock so big he can't lift it?" - you may ponder WHY prayer is needed at ALL. Doesn't God know what we need? Indeed Isaiah records God's word about that very point:

'oH DIchDaq qaS vetlh, qaSpa' chaH ja', jIH DichDaq jang; je qaStaHvIS chaH 'oH yet speaking, jIH DichDaq Qoy.

It shall happen that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Isaiah 65:24

And yet - we pray. In desperate straits David - and we - call out

Qoy wIj tlhobtaHghach
hear my prayer.

Well, of course. Prayer is a part of the life of believers. From beginning to end, it is the advice, the command of Scripture

In the first book of Chronicles we read:

Seek the LORD and his strength. Seek his face forever more. (1 Chr 16:11)

And James tells us:

Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praises. (James 5:13)

We pray - we plead, we ask. That is the heart of the Klingon word I've used for prayer: tlhob, to request, plead, or ask, plus taH (on-going) with the nominalizer -ghach. tlhobtaHghach - an asking or plea.

This is the single word used in my KLV for prayer, but there are many used in the original languages - remember, the KLV is a simple relexification - word-for-word replacement - of the WEB. It is more the start of a translation - an example of a pidgin-language that might be used in a world with multi-lingual Klingon and English speakers.

The Bible has something like a dozen words in Hebrew and Greek, that are translated as "prayer." In this passage, tlhobtaHghach represents the Hebrew word tephillah, used about 70 times in the Bible, a word meaning an intercession or supplication. The most common Greek word in the Bible translated prayer is proseuche, used over 30 times in the Bible.

We ASK as believers because we are confident, not of a power or machinery behind the Universe, but of a PERSON. A Personal God who is there to hear when we call - a God who wants our "joy to be full." Psalm 17 reads:

I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
Bend down and listen as I pray. (Psalm 17:6 NLT)

So, in delight or despair, joy or pain, we turn to him,

we ask,

we call out

Qoy wIj tlhobtaHghach
hear my prayer.

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