Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Music and the Power of Prayer

Prayer for me begins and ends in music.

Tonight I am sharing that with some of my friends in my treatment program.  When they talk, I hear music.  I've long believed it is how the Holy Spirit talks to me.

This is the song list and the lyrics that compelled me to include the song:

Glorious Day by Casting Crowns
One day the led Him up Calvary's  mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me.
I was feeling rejected and reviled by the people who should have been loving me most.  And then I heard the lyric: hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree and took the nails for me.  My prayer that night was for forgiveness.  I was taking the responsibility for everything that was going wrong without understanding that my husband and my friend were actively engaged in a relationship and in trying to manipulate the people in my life for their own gain.  Still, for what I brought to the table, I was blessed with forgiveness.

Worn by Tenth Avenue North
I'm tired, I'm worn; my heart is heavy
From the work it takes to keep on breathing
I've made mistakes; I've let my hope fail.
My soul feels crushed by the weight of this world.
Oh man!  I was crushed, broken, and bleeding - figuratively at that point.  I sent a link for this song to my husband when I was on a mission trip in Duluth, Minnesota.  He forwarded that song to his partner in infidelity.  Did they enjoy my pain?  My sense of being lost?  The feeling there was nothing left to even inspire prayer?  I sure hope not, but if they were, the Adversary certainly won a victory in them - though not the battle, I hope.

MUCH later, the other lyrics came to the forefront:
My prayers are wearing thin; yeah, I'm worn
Even before the day begins; yeah, I"m worn
I've lost my will to fight; I'm worn
So, Heaven, come and flood my eyes…
Let me see redemption win!
Let me know the struggle ends!
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise from the ashes of a broken life
And all that's dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that's dead inside will be reborn.
Hope, my friends, is priceless when it feels like everything is lost.  Shame on my husband for sharing the vulnerability I offered him.  My vulnerability is mine, and only mine, to share.

Feel the Nails by Ray Boltz

I was continuing to make bad choices.  I understand now that I would still be making bad choices if not for new things I've learned.  And my heart ached for Jesus - the broken and beaten Jesus who stretched his arms…
It seems that I'm so good at breaking promise
And I treat His precious grace so carelessly
But each time He forgives what if He relives
The agony He felt on that tree?
Does He still feel the nails every time I fail?
Does He hear the crowd cry "Crucify!" again?
If He does, how can I continue to fail?

Find My Way Back to You by SALT

My band had a great song about being lost.  I listened to it often to hear these words over and over:
Lost and broken, seems like my whole life just gives me pain
Spend my time just looking' for an answer in this rain
Lord, send me someone, a Friend of Yours, to help me through this day
To take my hand, to dry my tears, to help me find my way…Find my way back to You!
Ironically, the vocalist is the same person who was sleeping in my bed with my husband and puppies and lying to my family, including my children and my father.  But you know? She had my husband sleeping in her bed too, while lying to her family, including her children - two young people I loved their entire lives.  Maybe she really meant the words she sang.  Maybe that's our ongoing prayer; she needs to find her way to God or back to God.

Regardless of her needs, I know I wanted to find my way back to the loving embrace of our heavenly Father more than anything!

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

And this song gets the full boat - the entire lyrical prayer:
Lord, I come, I confess, bowing here, I find my rest.Without You, I fall apart; You're the One that guides my heart.
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You.  Every hour I need You.My one Defense, my Righteousness.  Oh God, how I need You.
Where sin runs deep, Your grace is more.  Where Grace is found is where You are.And where You are, Lord, I am free.  Holiness is Christ in me.
Lord, I need You, oh I need You. Every hour I need You.My one Defense, my Righteousness.  Oh God, how I need You.
Teach my song to rise to You when temptation comes my way!And when I cannot stand, I'll fall on You; Jesus, You're my Hope and Stay.
Lord, I need you, oh I need You.  Every hour I need You.My one Defense, my Righteousness.  Oh God, how I need You.
After that heartfelt cry for mercy, that submission to the will of my Father, and that complete relinquishing of control of anything I thought I controlled, my heart turned to songs of redemption and hope.  

But that's part two, and a story for another day.


Found in Part Two:

He Will Carry Me by Mark Schultz
Blessings by Laura Story
Jesus, Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns
You Are More byTenth Avenue North
Your Grace is Enough by Chris Tomlin
Whom Shall I Fear? by Lincoln Brewster
Arms That Hold the Universe by 33Miles
Thrive by Casting Crowns
Greater byMercyMe
Fight Song byRachel Platten

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