By Branon Dempsey ~
“How do you encourage your band to worship during the music?” This was a highlighted question from a worship leader. My response: “Pray as they play.”
There’s no doubt that our minds can become distracted when playing/singing in a band. Our thoughts can drift due to the technical to the terrible. So how do we focus on the spiritual?
During rehearsals and run-throughs, I remind my team: I’d rather them miss a note in worship, than to miss worship when playing. You are praying, not merely playing.
Without Jesus, our music is only noise. God wants our hearts, not just our music. I find that when we align a great rhythm, chord or melody at the right timing of the lyric, something special happens.
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called.”#Eph 4.3-4
This is no different from composers of the classical era. They gave certain notes or lyrics to convey imagery and emotion – it was called text painting.
The whole idea is to pray through the music. It is as simple as agreeing with the lyrics in the music making, albeit that the lyrics are biblical and edify the church. Your soul is meditating as you groove.
This also helps the band on a practical point: they are following the lyrics and melody. Instead of thinking chords and counting, their minds become aware of the words. This gives musical direction of the song and to the player. We then match what the text of the music is saying, we compliment the message.
When you can spare about 10 minutes, try this at rehearsal: Take an easy song that has good biblical content and that you can play in your sleep. Play the song over and over and begin to pray with the lyrics. You will soon realize that the song takes on a much grander form. The Holy Spirit begins to move as you worship in unison. Make note of how much richer the song becomes as well as your praise. Think through the notes, beyond the music and join in the prayers of the song.
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” #Psalm 19.14
As one team, come together as one Body. As one Body, pray together through music. Pray as you play.
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