18 January, 2017

Music and prayer

Today, on my way to a missionary women's gathering for prayer and encouragement, I read an article by a missionary about music and prayer. It had only landed in my inbox this morning. 

I didn't have much time to read it, but skimming was enough. The author's style is not one I'm particularly drawn to, but she made a point that I suspect many missionaries can connect with: that most of the time we're worshipping and singing in a language that isn't our heart language. The words are foreign and often the melody too. It can make worship dry and our hearts grow fatigued. Then, when we do have the chance to sing in English, the emotions can come pouring out with tears. 

Many of you may not know what it is like to not sing in your heart language at church regularly. I nearly made it through the whole Christmas season last year without once singing an English Christmas carol in fellowship with others.
Our gathering this morning was permeated with song.
I see it in my friends who gather with us once a year for fellowship, blessing and restoration. They lift their arms to the sky, singing in English for the first time in months.
As we gather together, I hear in their voices a year’s worth of prayers held together with tape and glue, tattered through treacherous dangers, embedded – as we are often reminded – in spiritual battle. We let our worship do the praying for us. The words we’ve been missing for so long don’t dare hide the promises of Scripture, or the God who sees and loves sparrows and wildflowers as much as the hairs on our head. From here.
There were more than this present, but I didn't try hard to take a photo, rather
I luxuriated in being fully present with these friends, new and old.
It's fitting that I was headed where I was when I read this. Together with other, mostly foreign, women I worshipped in English this morning. I'm unusually blessed in this business as I get to do this most months at our mission gathering. But many do not. 

Still, gathered in an unhurried way with other English-speaking women, my tears still spilled over this morning. I couldn't even tell you what exactly the tears were for. But I suspect, as the author of the article above suggests, that this was an outpouring of prayer, of love, for my heavenly Father.

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