My new favorite song these days is Better Than a Halleluja by Amy Grant. Not only is the melody beautiful, the words are just so mournful and true. If you haven’t heard it before, you can check it out by clicking on the song title.
I have followed Amy Grant for years and even saw her in concert with her husband Vince Gill. Her voice is so clear and warm; it draws me into her song every time.
Most of my favorite music is sung by individual singers.
But I do have a soft spot for harmony. Crosby, Stills and Nash sing a song called Teach Your Children. As teenagers, my two sisters and I would sit with our guitars in a circle in the living room. We’d play and sing that song, trying to recreate those heavenly harmonies. We sang it again at my daughter’s wedding.
Just like the songs of the soloist, the words and music are beautiful. But it’s the harmony that makes me soar.
Prayer is a lot like music.
Solo prayer is the communication between God and me alone. I speak with my own voice, telling the Lord what I am doing, how much I love him and tell him about my friends and family who need healing.
The lyrics of my prayer might be mournful, or they might be joyous. They express my faith and need in a way that is unique to me. Our Father loves this intimate song between Father and daughter.
He leans in close to hear my prayer. He looks at me and I recognize the expression on his face. It’s the same way I looked at my own babies. I see love shining in his eyes.
God loves harmonies too. He loves to hear his children singing together. That harmony comes from group prayer and praise.
It might be a small group, or a large congregation. The size doesn’t matter. It matters that God’s children are coming together to have a family reunion. And let me tell you, the Father loves family reunions.
The prayers we pray and the songs we sing together, as a community of faith, do come from individuals. But we are coming together to create a unity of believers.
As our prayers and songs are knitted together, they create a symphony of love. We do not only belong, as individuals, to God; we also belong to each other as parts of the Body of Christ. Family prayer becomes complete in union with our brothers and sisters.
And the Lord leans toward his family with eyes sparkling like jewels. His desire for peace and love between his children is fulfilled in his sight. And all that love just sounds like a song.
Solos and harmonies. Beautiful ways to express our praise. Both of these forms of prayer are loved by the Father. I don’t think God wants me to choose one or the other.
I think he wants me to love both. I know he sure does.
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