Prayer as Song

I’ve been thinking about prayer today, and the many ways we pray that are not simply meal-time prayers (God thank you for the food). I came across Psalm 104:33 in my reading this morning which makes this point clearly:

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;

I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

I like that for the Psalmist singing is living, it is being. And as long as we are a live we should be full of song, full of surprise and awe. Our lives will sing our prayers.

And then I remembered a favorite image from Abraham Heschel:

First of all, let us not misunderstand the nature of prayer, particularly in Jewish tradition. The primary purpose of prayer is not to make requests. The primary purpose of prayer is to praise, to sing, to chant. Because the essence of prayer is a song and men cannot live without a song. Prayer may not save us, but prayer may make us worthy of being saved. Prayer is not requesting. There is a partnership of God and men. God needs our help.

via The Spiritual Audacity of Abraham Joshua Heschel

-How can I learn to make my prayers like songs?

-How can I make my life full of singing and surprise?

Published by Wess

Teacher, author, Quaker, ​and public theologian. He works at Guilford College, enjoys riding his Triumph Bonneville, and listening to music.

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