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The Prayer of Music

But wait just a minute, isn’t music worship and prayer is talking?

No. Some might say yes. I say, no. 

Check out the Psalms. Basically these are songs but if you read them, sing them or speak them YOU ARE PRAYING. No question. 

I was speaking at a high school chapel on prayer and prayer rooms and one very sincere, very earnest student came to me afterward and said he struggled with prayer. I had just spent half an hour talking about creative prayer and outlining that God is not fixed on specific methods or forms of prayer. 

But this student was obviously struggling with how he could pray. I said, “what do you like to do, how do you like to express yourself?”

He enjoyed music, writing, playing and singing. I responded that what if he could write his prayers into songs or speak/sing his prayers as he played music. Or honestly God can be praised by instrumental music too! God isn’t dependent on our words to praise and pray to Him.

My new friend frowned. “But that’s worship, isn’t it?”

To which I asked, “Is it heartfelt communion or communication with God?”

He acknowledged that it was. So I suggested he not limit the ways he prays to God. That God desires to connect with him in real deep ways and music can be a prayer just as sincerely as kneeling in submission. It’s one of many options as we draw close to Jesus.

God wants heart to heart communion with you. 

One of my frequent ways to pray is with music or at least the lyrics of songs that draw me into the presence of the Lord. Repeating the chorus of a song, or even the whole song in a prayerful way (I don’t tend to sing it) helps centre me on Christ and submit to Him in prayer. 

Think of a favourite singer or songwriter whose  work  speaks to your spirit and draws you to Jesus. Pick one…….I’ll bet you can come up with a song or verse that you could use. You might speak them aloud or do it in your head in meditative silence. Or if you’re more musically melodious than I (and most people are) you might sing it out as a prayer.

A favourite for me is Step by Step by Rich Mullins or the classic hymn, Be Thou My Vision. You can use a benediction or even the doxology,

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;

Praise him, all creatures here below;

Praise him above, ye heavenly host:

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

It draws us to silence, reverence and gazing lovingly at our God. That’s prayer and communion with the Lord.

You can use pretty much any song that works for you. Whatever style works for you is good. God is not limited by form of prayer and worship.

So, take some time, think about a song or a couple of songs that you could pray to God.  Like the book of psalms, music can be a rich ground from which our prayers spring to eternal God.

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