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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Quiet Time: Soul Singing

Soul Singing

Read: Psalm 42:6-9

The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life. – Psalm 42:8

Could it be that one reason God created music was to give man a language that speaks straight from the heart?

“The music reminded us that there is always beauty to be found in life – even amid the ashes,” said Ernest Gordon, author of Through the Valley of the Kwai. He was recounting the night a sick party of emaciated and jungle rot ridden men were marched into the camp where he was imprisoned. As they stumbled toward the cookhouse for a bowl of rice, the men heard the makeshift orchestra from Gordon’s prison camp playing Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. This stopped the haggard troop in its tracks. Ernest continues, “While they listened, faces came to life… I thought to myself, ‘Aren’t there two kinds of food – one for the body and one for the soul?"

I vividly remember a time of personal struggle and turmoil as a teenager that often woke me up in the middle of the night. My parents, as leaders, had a key to our church which was located just a block from our house. Unbeknownst to them, I would often slip out of the house and into the sanctuary during the early morning hours. I left all of the church lights off except for the one over the piano. In that cavernous darkness, illuminated by a single lamp, I sang my prayers to God. You know, I can’t remember a time that I felt more intimate in my walk with Christ. In a small way, I think I can relate to Psalm 42.

The Psalmist understood the pain and pressures of life. He knew what it was like to be persecuted for his faith and overcome by sorrow (Psalm 42:6). It was as if his problems were conspiring to crash upon him as a tumultuous storm (Psalm 42:7). Yet, in the midst of the tempest he finds strength and confidence in the Lord his deliverer and lifts up a prayer of praise (Psalm 42:8). Oh, and by the way, the Psalmist wasn’t afraid to ask God, “Why” (Psalm 42:9).

Music helps voice the hurts of the heart. May I suggest, if you’re a musician or vocalist, why not try developing a prayer song during your next devotional time with God. But then again, aren’t the arts for everyone; therefore, anyone can put prayer/praise into practice.

After all, prayer is simply the soul’s song, so, sing it out.

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