Remember radios? We used to ask what do you play (speaking of instruments) and if you didn’t play the “clever” reply
was radio! I don’t have a lick of talent with instruments, or singing, but I can still play a supporting role to music ministry.
Buddy Greene (harmonica and fiddle player) gave me some new ideas how:
My toe was tapping with Buddy Greene’s ministry of gifts of music, and I thanked God for him and his talent.
Buddy Greene and I had a common prayer concern. Our parents were at the age where we would soon begin to need caregiving , so when I prayed for my mother, I prayed for him and his family as well. You see Buddy is a very important part of my life because he regularly ministers to me through his music, and because scripture encourages me to pray for those who minister to me.
Buddy asked me to share more about my prayer ministry on a walkway between the hotel and the mall following a “Praise Gathering” concert several years ago. When I saw him walking alone, my conscience first wrestled with his probable desire to have a break from fans and the desire to pray to specific need. Chastening myself to be brief and then disappear, I approached him and explained that when I prayed for those that minister the Word of God to me through preaching, teaching, singing, or music, Buddy’s name was included. His eyes brightened and after sharing some personal concerns for prayer he invited me to continue to walk and talk with him.
He agreed with what I call imagination-prayers – praying as I would for my own family if they were in a similar ministry… safety in the long hours on the road, one-ness of mind and heart with all the staff that work and travel together, purity of thoughts and actions while away from families and loved ones both for the traveler and the spouse or loved ones at home, scheduling to fulfill their ministry, yet be home for important events in the lives of their families. Common prayers I would pray for my family members become personal for their families as, for example, I might pray for their teens to develop a heart for God, to be in fellowship with other believers and to be guided to the right life-partner.
Then we talked about the music-prayers. You probably already pray the words of songs for your loved ones, but I think the enemy loves to challenge our heart-cry and mock our calling, so I specifically will take a song that personally touched me (one of Buddy’s is Grace for the Moment) and pray that song for that person. If God sent it through them, I know it is His will to work it out through them as well. You can listen here: Grace for the Moment)
That providential meeting confirmed for me that the calling to be in prayer “at all times” and to give thanks for “everything” includes praying for the gift that God gave these performers. That prayer springs from the encouragement and direction I have received from the words and music God gave them, and the media advancements that allow me to have easy access to others’ spiritual gifts, bringing with it, not so much a responsibility, but a wellspring of thankfulness. I am thankful that through these God-directed details of my life, I have the privilege of being a part of the whole ministry (performer, the players behind the performer, sound and other support staff, and their bus drivers and families) through prayer.
It is fairly rare to meet the well-known ministry people I pray for, but, when I have, they always and without exception quickly responded with prayer requests and words of appreciation. The contacts I have had gave me a greater passion for prayer as a surprised pause, a brightening of the countenance and a grateful sharing made me feel transformed from fan status to friend and sister-in-the-Lord. It is not difficult to ‘think of things’ to pray for when you realize they are family.
Things that are happening in our own lives are clues for prayer that are likely happening in theirs as well. My son played in a band during his teen years as he sought God’s plan for his life, and that inspired me to pray for the children and grandchildren of those musicians who blessed me. The Murk family (now called Myrrh) has been on my heart since we saw them perform at a local church when the children were small and I was thrilled to meet Brianna all grown up, at a writers’ conference. (Click on Myrrh above to hear sample of world class violinist Bill Murk).
I’ve never met Benjy Gaither, but as I’ve become a grandparent, and appreciate the shared prayer-concerns of other grandparents, I know Bill and Gloria would appreciate God’s prompting me to pray specifically for Benjy over the past 25 years, along with prayers for their family and their ministry! When I see my son ministering with his musical talent in the local church, and serving with other talents and skills in the dailiness of life, I pray for him, and include Benjy and others who similarly minister in their ministries while fulfilling hectic schedules. As I pray for our grandchildren, I also pray for grandchildren like Benjy, that they might realize God’s direction for their own personally fulfilling ministry without feeling they are in the shadow of their “famous” family members.
Our grandson had cancer and although there is nothing physical I would not have given up for him, God has seen fit that I minister through prayer, and He has comforted me greatly through a song by the Isaacs which says in part ‘since I can’t take it, I’ll make it yours – and mine.’ – You can be certain our David and his family are never far from my thoughts and prayers – and neither are the Isaacs.
Steven Curtis-Chapman was another illustration to me that my own families prayer needs will not be neglected – but more likely be heightened because of musical prayer. He made a comment at the last Praise Gathering referring to his “different” appearance and music, (as compared to mostly older-than-he gospel music performers), but I had to smile inside. My son is a great fan of Steven and we experienced a concert together to show Mom what blessed my son’s life. What a surprise – the message I heard of physical and spiritual adoption amid what I’d been tempted to turn away from as “noise” touched me deeply. As I grew to trust the heart of the messenger, I listened to the message, and in the melody heard his heart – and God’s. Our granddaughter Kristin, who lived next door, told me when I played “Live out Loud” she could not only hear it in her bedroom across the driveway from my exercise/music room, but her window rattled from the “noise”! I pray the message of that song will be “heard” not just through Steven Curtis-Chapman, but through me and the generations of both of our families. I’m sure Steven would chuckle back to know that “noise” is what now reminds me to have the courage to “tell all my neighbors” and to pray for his family and his ministry to be free from distraction and temptation so he also can continue to live his faith “out loud!”
Internet is alive with other ideas for prayer. Most music ministries have newsletters that give specific prayer requests, or websites that detail concert schedules and portions of songs, so if you haven’t previously thought of praying for those who minister to you, next time you hear a favorite song, simply ask God to make these words a part of your life and then thank him for those who brought you the message. Just as when we get to heaven we’ll find we’ve been spared from a multitude of disasters because someone was praying for us, I believe the messengers God brings to our lives are not incidental – or just so we can be ministered to – but because He has chosen us to minister to them as well.
Trust me, they will appreciate it. Buddy told me so, Steve Green told me so, and
Babbie Mason told me so too!
What musicians have encouraged you and ministered to you? Do you pray for them?