Friday, May 23, 2008

Song Prayers-May 23

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Have you ever had one of those weeks when you heard from many friends who had sudden problems in health, circumstances or family? This week was one of those. Through the prayer requests, I learned a different way to pray and remember others.

When aiding another with comfort, I like to pass along a word from the Bible—some truth or faith builder that will give them confidence in God’s care. This week, the two scriptures that came to mind were Numbers 6:24-26 and Zephaniah 3:17.

In the book of Numbers there is a well known blessing given by God to the Hebrew priests, who in turn pronounced the same over the Israelites: “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

God said the blessing would net big results, “So, they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them” (vs. 27).

The other blessing was spoken by Prophet Zephaniah, who said to a discouraged people, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (3:17).

In the past, songwriters adapted both of these scriptures into lyrics and set them to music. Have you experienced hearing a tune and then it stuck in your mind for days? That’s what I found happening with the two songs based on Numbers and Zephaniah scriptures.

When those recurring melodies surfaced while driving or sweeping, they became reminders to pray. While running errands or doing chores, I hummed the blessings or sang them aloud. The frequenting melodies triggered thoughts toward my needy friends, some in dire needs, both physical and spiritual.

Keeping other’s prayer requests in mind is sometimes difficult. Most of us have multiple incoming attention-stealers—cell phones, pagers, email, regular mail, 24 hour news. Or we may have health issues, long work hours, or stresses that drain our outward charitable thoughts. All of these can detract and derail good prayer intentions for others.

This week I still prayed in my usual ways, but some of my prayers were sung, asking God to bless Lynne, Brenda, Roland, Eric, Kristi, Leslie and others. I envision those prayers more like a pitch pipe, a starting note that prompted God, the real healer, the real singer to quiet these folks with his love.

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