It starts with a simple prayer from Abraham, who said “Here I am” to God.
It is one of the most frequent prayers—perhaps the most common—in the Bible.
Yet it may be a prayer you have never prayed, or even heard. But it is a good one—a useful one—nonetheless.
Abraham prayed that simple prayer. Genesis 22:1 (NIV) records, “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied.”
Later in that same chapter (but days later in the sequence of events), at a decisive moment on Mount Moriah, Genesis 22:11 (NIV) relates, “But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied.”
Many years later, Abraham’s grandson, Jacob (also called Israel), had a similar exchange with God. Genesis 46:2 (NIV) says, “And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, ‘Jacob! Jacob!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied.”
When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, Moses answered, “Here I am” (Exodus 3:4, NIV). When the Lord called Samuel, though Samuel didn’t even recognize it as the voice of God at first, he answered, “Here I am” (1 Samuel 3:4, NIV). The psalmist David voiced a musical prayer: “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll” (Psalm 40:7, NIV). And when Isaiah the prophet heard God asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” he answered, “Here I am. Send me” (Isaiah 6:8, NLT).
You don’t have to audibly hear the voice of God to pray, “Here I am.” It can be a simple prayer of presence. You might say it upon waking up: “Here I am.” You may pray the words when you enter a church service or your personal time of prayer and meditation: “Here I am.” Try it as you set out for a walk: “Here I am.” You may pray it when you are preparing for a journey or a task to which you believe God is calling you. You can even pray your presence when you have no other words, whether because your soul is at rest or because you are in turmoil: “Here I am.”
It also works as a prayer of surrender: “Here I am.” However and whenever you pray that simple prayer, you are in the company of patriarchs, prophets and poets who showed up and let God use them. More importantly, of course, it is a reminder that you are in the presence of God, and you are consciously present for Him.