Listening Through Lent: When I Pray

It is a season of longing and looking toward, even though we know how this story ends. There is a Japanese worship song that captures this emotional tension for me in powerful and personal ways I have seldom experienced while singing in English. A student once told me that she couldn’t tell me what this song meant, only what it meant to her. She went on to explain that she didn’t feel she could translate the Japanese to English in ways that honored her personal connection and emotion, but she could describe the effect it had on her when she sang it. Here is someone’s translation attempt:

A Little Prayer

All of the fears and suffering of my heart
Please remove it from inside of me now

Looking up at the sky as a young child
Please give me the same peace I felt then

When I prayed, the clouds above me
began to dissolve to reveal the clear sky

Even as I see the big empty sky
I know I am in the arms of a bigger God
Right now, it is only
Because of your strength that I live
~Chiisana Inori

Kono kokoro no osore ya, kurushimi no subete o
Ima watashi no uchikara, tori nozoite kudasai
Zutto osanai koroni, sora o miage nagara
Kanjite ita heian, ataete kudasai

Inori motometa toki, menomae no kumoga
Tokete yuki, tadano sumikitta sora

Konna ni ookina sora no shitade
Sora yori ookina Shu no futokoro de
Ima watashi wa tada, anatadake no
Chikara no naka de ikasareteru

小さな祈り

この心の恐れや 苦しみの全てを
今私の内から 取り除いて下さい
ずっと幼い頃に 空を見上げながら
感じていた平安 与えて下さい

祈り求めた時 目の前の雲が
溶けて行き ただの澄み切った空

こんなに大きな空の下で 空より大きな主の懐で
今私はただあなただけの 力の中で生かされてる

I will provide two video versions of this song. The first was done by classmates of our son Chris back in high school
~Brian Vander Haak

and this is a full choral version:

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