Heart of Worship
Private prayer: Its sometimes really hard to do. Our thoughts can cause us to be unfocused on our time with God. Praying a rosary, for me, can sometimes be a battle of willpower to try to focus on the prayers. I will hold the beads until my fingers are numb. I will try and say the prayers loudly, or sometimes quietly to encourage myself to listen carefully. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I have also taken up writing a prayer journal, just between me and God. I will write things down, trying to just spill everything out to him while trying to quiet myself inside. Recently, though, I have taken up prayer in song, and there I have felt and experienced a spiritual fire inside rekindled.
I had been a part of various parish choirs as I grew up. I had been in the children’s choir, the life teen choirs throughout the years, and then several choirs with different leaders as the years went on. I never volunteered to do solo songs because I actually suffered from some pretty significant stage fright. Singing as a group I was fine with, because the attention wasn’t all on me. I didn’t feel like I was alone in front of a crowd. I did make some attempts to sing alone, but every time I felt like everyone was watching me and me alone, my mind would become clouded with fear and I was just a mess.
As my faith grew and my love of God increased, I found a way of being able to sing solo: I transformed my song into a prayer. It wasn’t about who was watching, but it was an attempt to call others to pray out loud in song with me. I would close my eyes, focus on just Him, and like a little girl before her father, I would sing, trembling in voice and holding tightly my hands. In my mind, I would repeat over and over that the song was for Him and my fear of publicly singing was an offering to him.
A true song of worship will glorify him. We will feel our spirits bow and we will be humbled. Our prayers should help us to encounter Him and speak to him. They should help us truly open our hearts and make them vulnerable to His love. In the words of St.Augustine: “For he who sings praise, does not only praise, but also praises joyfully; he who sings praise, not only sings, but also loves Him whom he is singing about.” There are songs out there that cause me to pray with such tremendous joy. They are the songs that reflect on His glory, love, power, and mercy.
Now, when I am alone and just sitting in front of a Crucifix, I will open up a hymnal and just sing to Him. Sometimes I can’t find the words myself, but music helps. While it is good, it can’t be the only thing that we do.We can’t forget to read scripture, to quiet ourselves and simple listen, and simply speak to God, whether in our hearts or vocally. Its really about finding the right combination that works with us and helps us pray. For me, I have to do a little bit of everything. Sometimes it depends on the day and how I’m feeling. All I can say is that prayer in song has been an uplifting and refreshing way to keep my prayer life active. Give it a try. It might be just what you need to add to your daily prayer time.
Posted on November 10, 2014, in Catholic, Catholic Music, Christian Music, Devotion, faith, Love, Mass, Music, Trust and tagged choir, devotion, fear, Jesus, music, offering, Prayer, private prayer, stage fright, trust. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.