Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Can Music Help Us Pray?

Last time I talked about how Brother Lawrence in his [really] old school book The Practice of the Presence of God taught us that prayer is keeping company with God who is already present. And I promised you a few ways I routinely experience this kind of prayer beyond the meal and outside of church. So here you go. The first way is through nature [see my post on Geocaching for more info]. The second is through providential circumstances [remind me to tell you about those some time!!!]. And a third [of at least six I experience all the time] is music. But not just church music. All music. Which was a huge epiphany to John Bunyan’s church in the 1600s.

Because until the 17th century people had sung only the psalms and paraphrases of Scripture. Hymns introduced secular poetry into the church. And they were convinced that was evil. Even if the poetry overtly talked about God! Apparently, they weren’t aware that the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible writers to add at least 4 pieces of "secular" poetry straight into the Bible. There are probably more, but scholars agree at least these four places in Scripture were based on then well known secular poems or songs. They are John 1:1-18, Philippians 2:6-11, Colossians 1:15-20; and 1 Timothy 3:16.

That's why on my iPod and on my blog, there’s a continually rotating playlist of all kinds of songs that remind me about Jesus. I added some of my Thanksgiving Faves this week. So click the triangular play button to the right and listen for some for some of your own since Psalm 40:3 says God will "Put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD." What songs have helped you practice the presence of God? How has music of any kind helped you speak and hear from God? Ask me about how God used a Bruce Springsteen song to speak to me!!!


Anonymous said...

Love songs touch me. Years ago I heard this Garth Brooks song. "You move me" THIS IS HOW LOVE WAS TO ME, I COULD LOOK AND NOT SEE. GOIN THROUGH THE EMOTIONS, NOT KNOWING WHAT THEY MEAN. I MIGHT HAVE STAYED THERE FOREVER IF NOT FOR YOUR TOUCH, SO YOU MOVE ME. YOU GIVE ME COURAGE I DIDN'T KNOW I HAD SO YOU MOVE ME. It goes on to say how "her" love moved him and changed him. Imagine my surprise when Susan Ashton also recorded it. I don't know who did it first. I remember hearing it driving down the road one day. It became a fav! God is everywhere, all the time, right on time. ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM!


Shannon said...

Music is a huge part of who I am, it runs in my head and through my heart and helps me feel closer to God. Sometimes it is the words, as in "How many fathers gave up their Sons for me" (Down Here's How Many Kings), sometimes it is the ebb and flow of the melody or rhythms (gasp!) that touch me the most.