From the Pastor
Author Rick Hamlin suggests that singing is a way to pray. At times I’ve heard people say they can’t pray or they don’t know how to pray or they don’t have words for their prayers. Sometimes, too, I’ve heard people say that they don’t believe in prayer.
If singing is one way to pray, I’m praying pretty often; and, I imagine, many of you are praying often as well. Some of us are singing praying in the shower and in the car and when we’re changing diapers. Just me? (I’ll keep my made-up diaper ditties to myself.)
In his HuffPost article, “To Sing is to Pray,” Hamlin says, “Praise is healing. Praise takes you out of yourself and puts you back into God’s world. Praise is a song.” Do you agree that praise is healing? Praise has been healing for me. When I’ve found myself in seasons of grief or in times of trial, songs have encouraged me and sustained me.
This July marks 15 years since my father’s passing. I remember the days and months following his death: I didn’t feel like I could pray and I couldn’t sing but I surrounded myself with the songs of others.
While single scripture verses require an understanding of their context, I love citing the power of song in Acts 16:25-26: “Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. All at once there was such a violent earthquake that it shook the prison’s foundations. The doors flew open and everyone’s chains came loose.”
Wow. Prayer and song shook the foundations of a prison, freeing everyone from their chains.
I believe in the power of song and the power of prayer. Perhaps singing is a way to pray. Perhaps silence is prayer. Perhaps “prayers fly from all directions,” as Mary Oliver posits.
Also from Mary Oliver, this poem titled “Praying:”
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
Grateful for the songs and prayers of the church,
P.S. I’ve enjoyed leading worship this month. Our songs series wraps up and we turn our attention to movies. But first, check out some song favorites from church members on page 5.