Prayer and Praise – James 5

man standing worship - Prayer and Praise - James 5I think God’s trying to tell me something about praise.

As a worship leader at my church, I’m always trying to come up with ways to encourage folks to worship Him…not just with some songs sung on a Sunday morning, but all through the week, in different ways.

Just this Sunday, something that was said caused me to think a moment about worship as prayer. Most of the time, when I’m leading worship, the pressure is on me to make sure the flow is right. I’m focused on the instruments, what I’m playing on the piano, musical dynamics, the balance of the singers, which verse comes next, which song comes next, what to say (or not) to set up the next song, etc.. As a result, I sometimes don’t focus on my worship to God. Maybe it’s the fact that the team is still new and just we’re all just starting to get to the point where we anticipate each other. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a mild control-freak and I think God can’t do it without me (I’m working on that).

Sometimes I do get caught up in the worship and I end up skipping a verse or repeating a chorus more times than I said I would. This keeps the band and the tech folks on their toes for sure! I enjoy those times.

But for me, there’s nothing better than connecting with my creator in that moment, lifting up a song to Him. All else becomes unimportant. I find myself lost in the moment, in awe of my God.

I like “vertical” worship songs best – that is those with lyrics that are sung directly to God. For example, “You Are Worthy” and “You Alone” and “I Surrender” all can be sung directly to God.

All that to say – singing these songs can be prayers to Him. There’s so much more to singing songs than just words and chords. Something profound happens when we are able to block out all else and sing songs to God with our whole hearts – as if He was right there with us – as if it were the day we finally get to see His face.

Then, today I read in James 5 verse 13:

13 Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord.

Do you see how, in the same verse, James connects prayer and singing praises? It just jumped out at me as I read it. Our songs are prayers to God!

Probably a very simple thought – one that you’ve already discovered long ago. But for me it is as fresh as Spring. I will continue my meditation on this verse throughout the day and I think my worship will be forever changed.

Praise You, Lord!

peace,
e

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