A few weeks back I was asked a question about a prayer by among the criminal I satisfy with at a surrounding prison. We have actually been researching together for a pair of years now, and also meet every various other week in the prison chapel because that a Messianic company where we use a Siddur to go with a liturgy, song some prayer songs together and read the weekly Torah, Haftarah and new Testament portions. Mine friend want to know just how to say “I love you, Lord” in Hebrew when he prayed.

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Resources are minimal for this incarcerated men and also I am typically asked questions favor this. Many of lock – perhaps many of them – ns am can not to answer with complete certainty top top the spot. If I perform have much more than adequate resources on which I might have come to be too dependent, i am can not to take them with me as soon as I enter the facility. I had actually to call my friend that ns would uncover the answer and also get ago with him.


When i got earlier home, i did an web search because that “I love you” in Hebrew. Together I can have guessed, there are multiple ways to speak this depending upon the context and who is gift addressed. Most all of what I discovered was, as I expected, based upon the Hebrew indigenous ahav. However I essential to be sure I was using the suitable parsing.

When I desire to it is in absolutely details of the correct phrasing because that a prayer, blessing or song in Hebrew, I frequently search because that the indigenous in Scripture. So utilizing my scriptures software programs, ns did a search for a variety of variations top top the phrase, “I love you, Lord.” I came up with just one instance anywhere in the Bible:

“I love You, O LORD, my strength” (Psalms 18:1).

But when I confirm the Hebrew text, ns did not find the indigenous ahav. Instead, the Psalmist offered the word racham. My software program tells me this is in the imperfect tense, Qal stem. Right here is the meaning of this word from Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon:

H7355 רחם râcham1) to love, love deeply, have mercy, it is in compassionate, have tender affection, have actually compassion1a) (Qal) to love

The imperfect tense, first person singular action (I love) with a 2nd person singular object (I love you) is a single word in Hebrew, transliterated in Psalm 18:1 together ’erchamªcha.

I knew once I uncovered this the I had actually heard that word before, however I did no remember where. I wrote down what ns had discovered to give to mine friend.

Preparing for Sabbath

This past week i was make preparations because that the residence fellowship group my wife and I to be hosting ~ above Sabbath. I selected a couple of songs taken indigenous the week’s portion readings, and also then went searching my arsenal for various other songs that can seem proper for the worship time. Amongst those was a tune by Michael map from ago in the 1980s, El Shaddai. I had actually thought about it native time to time but hadn’t yet sung the in our home fellowship team meetings.

I listened come a recording of El Shaddai, and also there to be the word! Not simply the word, but the entirety phrase my friend want to pray. Ns pulled out an old songbook simply to make sure. The transliteration was spelled a little differently, yet it was the very same word:

El Shaddai, El Shaddai, erkamka na Adonai(God Almighty, God Almighty, ns love you, Lord)

A Heart’s Desire Given

Our next business in the prison would certainly be on Friday, the day before I would usage this tune in our Sabbath residence fellowship prayer time. I easily printed the end the lyrics so the I might show lock to my friend and also we might sing this beautiful song throughout our service. What happened following is truly an amazing display of ours Father’s love towards his children.

Delight you yourself in the LORD;And the will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

My girlfriend plays guitar and bass and sings top top the praise team in the prison chapel. That was acquainted with the tune El Shaddai, and also told me the he had actually been to sing it in his exclusive devotion time the past week or so, for no particular reason various other than he chosen the song and felt compelled to sing it. That knew the meaning of most of the Hebrew words in the tune – El Shaddai (God Almighty), El Elyon (God many High), and Adonai (Lord, regularly used in ar of the magnificent Name, Yahweh). But he go not understand the definition of words erkamka. Not until now.

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I assured mine friend the he was no singing El Shaddai, El Shaddai, erkamka na Adonai “for no specific reason.” His desire to be to pray, in Hebrew, the native “I love you, Lord.” The Ruach HaKodesh – the divine Spirit – had granted him the desire the his heart even prior to I could give that the answer to his question.