When my youngest son was in first grade, his class had a music teacher who truly inspired a room full of six year olds to sing. In fact, the whole class was likely to break into song at any moment, like characters in some pint-sized musical. It was so cute that their classroom teacher just let them go, and many times they would be working on spelling or coloring their papers and singing away. She also discovered that music and singing helped them focus and there was less distraction in the room when she let them sing.
The GPS guide this week will mention music, praise, and hymns in many different forms. Music, in the background or foreground, can be a great tool or even starting point for prayer. Sometimes the Holy Spirit uses music to speak to our hearts – to comfort, inspire, bring us closer to God in praise and worship. Sometimes music helps us block out the noise of our lives and focus our attention on being in the presence of God. Singing together in worship connects us in prayer and praise.
Do you have a favorite hymn or praise song? Try singing it, or playing it on the CD or MP3 player as a centering exercise when you begin to pray. Focus on the words and the music and let the song block out all the other sounds around you, including the “noise” of your thoughts. Most hymns and praise songs emphasize an attribute or attributes of God. What is your favorite hymn or praise song telling you about God? What do you want to say to God in response? There is the starting point for your prayer. You can continue in the same manner as the hymn or praise song, or move on from there to another type of prayer. Your whole prayer time can be filled with music, or it can begin there and move on. Music and song can also be a great way to end a prayer time of words and/or silence with praise and celebration of God who heard your prayers.
As it was for the first graders, music can be a tool for focus and connection.
Prayer Ministry Staff