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Monday, January 11, 2010

The Song of Our Lives

From The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg, page 51.

Through prayer, God invites us to sing the song of our lives to him--every word and every phrase--and he even enjoys the chorus. Prayer matters. Sometimes that's easy to forget, especially when I don't see any answers, or worse, when I receive an answer I didn't really want. Yet the invitation remains:

Sing it again.

I am beginning to believe the real beauty of prayer is not just in the request but in the repetition. Something wondrous happens when we respond to the admonition of Paul to pray without ceasing. Something enchanting happens when we ask God for something more than once, as if with each refrain, our heart aligns itself a shade closer to God's heart. It's almost as if something sacred happens in the echo of our prayers. Through prayer we become part of a greater story--the story of what God is doing in our lives, our families, our communities, and around the world.

Jean said:

I think I understand what Feinberg is saying here, Lord. I graduated from a prayer "list" to a prayer journal many years ago--I can't remember when. But every year the pages of that journal are embellished with the same names, the same causes, the same ministries, even the same problems it seems. This conversation time with You gets to be pretty repetitious sometimes. But there is beauty in that repetition for me.

Beauty in the fact that I know You never tire of hearing those same requests over and over again. You never get exasperated with my repeating those same petitions day after day.

Beauty in the process that occurs within me as I remember those same people, those same needs again and again. Somehow my heart becomes knit with other hearts. Somehow I am able to enter into their agony or confusion with them when I keep bringing them before Your throne--repeatedly.

That, I think, is what Feinberg means when she says, "our heart aligns itself a shade closer to God's heart." In a small way I become more like Christ who enters intimately into our suffering with us. In my finite way I am able to emotionally get under someone else's burden and lift a little of that load for them when I pray again and again for that person's need.

I wonder...could that be one of the reasons You often seem to take such a long time to answer some of our prayers? Could it be that struggling, and waiting in prayer for others enables me to become a little more like Christ?

"Sing it again."

And again. And again. Until my heart, and that other person's heart is perfectly tuned to Your heart.

Like a piano that is being prepared for a master artist's concert. An expert at tuning brings his or her tools to that piano and tunes each key by micro-degrees until the entire piano is perfectly pitched. Then, when the entire orchestra arrives every instrument can be perfectly tuned to that perfectly tuned piano. Then, and only then, can there be perfect harmony and the most beautiful concert possible.

Is prayer Your tuning fork for my life, Father?

God said:

I like repetition. Repetition is good. It's good for you, Little One. Look how many times I said the same thing over and over in My Word. Look how many times I keep echoing the same messages into your heart over and over again. That IS My Sacred Echo in your life.

And, for Me, the echos of your prayers are the music of heaven. Those repeated, heart-felt words of yours bounce off the walls of heaven and fill its corridors with the music of your heart.

Yes, Little One. Sing it again for Me.