Morning Retreat: Hineni, Here I am

The theme for this retreat is going to be around the Hebrew word Hineni, which means "Here I am". This is the word used in response when God called people in the Hebrew scriptures. 

The retreat will have two movements, which can be done over two mornings, or in one longer retreat:

  1. Part 1: inward movement (contemplation),

  2. Part 2: outward movement (hearing the call / preparation for action).


Throughout this retreat I encourage you to use the word "Hineni" as a kind of mantra, a reminder to return to presence, quietness, openness, and availability to God.

Part 1: inward movement (contemplation)

This inward movement will be an opportunity for you to spend some time abiding in the Divine Embrace, bringing your mind into your heart and saying "Hineni, here I am" in the stillness of your heart. As you do this, listen for God's "Hineni, here I am" in the silence.


This is an important movement in any spiritual calling, the return to abiding and resting in the Beloved, attuning ourselves to the Presence with us and within us. Isaiah 30:15 states this beautifully: "In returning and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength." This kind of time is an opportunity to clear the rubble from our inner well, letting go of all of the places that have made demands on us, and the identities that have erroneously named who we are, and returning to the quiet unknowing of trust, and to drawing on God as our Source.


Below are some ideas for music, reading and reflection, but allow plenty of time in between for leisure where you simply abide in a relaxed way, enjoying the quiet freedom of the time that you have taken for this retreat.

Opening Music: Come Back to Me

As you listen to the following song by Enya, hear the call of the Beloved "Come back to me"

Dark Sky IslandEnya
00:00 / 05:00


Listen to the waves speak up
The blue voice of the sea
And they whisper as they touch the shore
Come back to me
Come back to me

Boat by boat upon the waves
All come to find the light
In the darkness of the sky above
Come back to me
Come back to me

Capella, Auriga
Eta Carinae, Sagitta
Aquila, Alpha Centauri

Twilight comes to close the day
And let the night break free
And from deep blue skies the heavens rise
Come back to me
Come back to me

Capella, Auriga....

Moonlight brings the ocean's storms
Like waves upon the sea
And the midnight shore calls out once more
Come back to me

Come back to me

Guided prayer: Hineni

The inner call of Hineni is the call to return home to yourself, here and now, and to rediscover the sweetness of the life-giving Source within you. The following is a guided prayer around this theme:

Hineni, Here I amGuided prayer
00:00 / 07:00

Music: Come my love

The following song is based on a prayer of surrender that was written by Thomas Merton

Come my loveJohn Michael Talbot
00:00 / 05:13


Come my love, pass through my will
As through a window
Shine on my life as on a meadow
Like the grass to be consumed
By the rays of the sun
On a late summer's morning

Come my love, all through the night
I lay longing eagerly to wait for love's union
Like dawn's flower awaits
for the wedding with the sun
Consummated in the light

Your light, my love is stealing my heart
As a secret I'm left
Like a vanishing form that leaves no shadows
Exposed, naked, alone between
The heavens and the earth
Lifted high on the cross with the Savior

Oh life-giving tomb
Prepared through the night for dawn's dying
Like a womb, like the mansions of Heaven
Await the rebirth of a child, New Jerusalem
So come to my life, light of Heaven

Come my love, pass through my will
As through a window
Shine on my life as on a meadow
Like the grass to be washed
In the rays of the sun
On the late summer's morning

Walking meditation

For around 20 minutes take a slow mindful walk, and whenever you realize that you have been taken off into your mind and are on auto-pilot, come back to being present, open and awake to God by simply saying "Hineni Here I am." You could stop walking in that moment and echo your words with a bodily gesture. Then continue your walk.

Contemplation and scripture reading:

Spend 10 minutes in silent prayer now (you can click on the link below if you want a 10 minute timer with a gong at the beginning and three gongs at the end)

Ten minute silence timerSilence
00:00 / 10:25

Read the following passage slowly, twice or three times. Listen for a word or phrase that stands out for you.

Isaiah 30:15-21 extracts

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

“In returning and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength.
The Lord longs to be gracious to you;
    therefore the Beloved will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
    Blessed are all who wait for the Beloved!

Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Take 10 minutes for quiet reflection on this scripture passage, inviting the Spirit to breathe life into any words or phrases that have stood out for you.

Ten minute silence timerSilence
00:00 / 10:25

Written response

Spend some time in free writing, expressing your response to what you sensed the Spirit revealing from the scripture passage. Allow your writing to flow in the form of a prayer, psalm, poem or prose, giving honest expression to your heart response, be it delight, longing or uncertainty.

Music: Song for the bride

The following song is based on the Isaiah 30:15 passage that you have reflected on:

Song for the brideBrian Doerksen
00:00 / 03:23


I have longed to hold you in my arms
And take all of your fear away
I will take your filthy rags
And make them clean
If you receive my love
If you will receive my love
Return to me
And hear my spirit say

In repentance and rest
Is your salvation
In quietness and trust
Is your strength
Return to me
Return to me
And hear my spirit say
Return to me
Says the Lord
Let me love you once again
In repentance and rest
Is your salvation
In quietness and trust
Is your strength