By Karen Wilson, 2019
A number of years ago, Tim and I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Herrnhut in Germany. We travelled via Prague where we were unexpectedly given the chance to attend a concert at the Rudolfinum. As we sat in the beautiful concert hall, 6 violinists played- all with instruments of different sizes and tones and led by the lead violinist. The music was exquisite. I noticed to joyful partnership of the musicians and the quiet yet sure leadership of the head musician.
As I watched and listened, the Lord spoke to me and said, “This is what a corporate prayer meeting should be sound like.” I thought of the scripture in Matthew 18:19 that speaks of a symphony of prayer:
“Again, I give you an eternal truth: If two of you agree to ask God for something in a symphony of prayer, my heavenly Father will do it for you. For wherever two or three come together in honour of my name, I am right there with them!”
So, how do we pray together in such a way that our prayer sounds like a beautiful symphony?
One thing we must understand, is that to do this we first lay down our own agenda and come with this attitude- I lay down my life for the Lord’s purpose and I lay down my life for the good of everyone else present.
Humility is needed. Each person has a ‘sound’ that is significant. Each person’s heart and voice is part of the symphony.
Honour is needed. In Prague each violinist honoured the part the others had to play and new the only way to make a beautiful sound was to be playing as ‘one’ in order for the sound to be in harmony and to be complete.
Respect is needed especially for the leader. If the lead violinist is playing one tune and one or more of the other musicians decide that they want to play a different tune, the sound will be painful to listen to! We never want to sound like that to the Lord!
Later, when I had returned home I was thinking about what the Lord had said and He gave me an illustration that has been very helpful. It went like this:
Imagine a train moving along a track, occasionally stopping at stations. The train represents those gathered to pray. The track represents the immediate assignment the Holy Spirit has for the group in prayer. This will be discerned. (Note, Holy Spirit works in themes, not jumping all over the place.) The stations represent the part each person has to add to the train journey (or the ‘sound’ each person has to contribute) specific to the track the train is on. The train driver is the leader and simply helps to keep the train going on the right track. When the train reaches the destination and there is a sense the assignment is complete, the train can change tracks.
This simple picture helps us to see a way of flowing in the agenda and purpose of God as we are all lead by the Holy Spirit, in an atmosphere of honour, trust and humility. This way we know we are making a beautiful symphony of prayer.