Thursday, April 08, 2021

Music and Prayer


Sometimes I find myself struggling to focus my thoughts and settle down enough to really pray. Often in our Wednesday small group Bible study we will end the study by singing a hymn together, so today I thought, why not try singing to get my heart tuned to pray this morning? 

Recently our church produced a hymnal just for our congregation, full of old and new hymns that our congregation use for worship.  It's divided into four sections: Call to Worship, Confession, Christ, and Gospel Response.  This morning I took one from each section and sang through them and between that and my morning Bible reading I found it a refreshing way to spur me on to pray richly. 

I was struck this morning by how many of our hymns point us toward the fact that death has lost its victory and sting, how many of them talk about how life will not end our song, we will get to sing for eternity, singing forevermore. That, my friends, was a beautiful thought, especially as I'm missing my mother but finding joy in thinking about the fact that she's getting to hear the music of Heaven now. 

There is something deeply powerful about music, don't you think? It moves us on a level much deeper than merely our intellect, but down in the depths of us. When coupled with beautiful words that point us toward Christ and are full of biblical truth, there is something truly mysterious and wonderful about music.  

When I think about beauty, I am mindful of just how beautiful our God is.  He could have given us a world that was merely functional, but he didn't stop at that.  He made a world that is gloriously beautiful, full of light, and brilliance, and color, and music, that help us to contemplate the immense greatness of the God who would create such beauty. And all the beauty we behold is shadow, seen through a glass dimly for now.  Imagine the beauty of the new heaven and new earth and the music that will be there. I don't think we can even comprehend it….yet. 

So, today I'm thankful for rich hymns. Even sung alone, a cappella, they drew my attention to my Savior and helped me to pray, at a time when I'm feeling so mentally scattered. What a gift music is, and what a gift godly hymn writers have been to the Church through the ages. God is abundantly good to His people.