“Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made. Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God.” – Matt Slick (CARM)
What images come to your mind when you think of prayer? Folded hands, bowed head, closed eyes, bended knees and a sombre mood. This is the most common list. The Bible also describes various contexts in which prayer is said or expressed. One of these expressions is through music, such as the Psalms of David. However, what struck me most about the lyrics to Adawnage’s Naomba is the attitude expressed in the words of the prayer-song. I will translate a few lines for the sake of illustration;
The song begins by expressing an Isaiah-like realization of our own uncleanliness, and what a distress this is to God;
“I never thought I had caused you so much grief. My sin is too much, I can barely pray, forgive me Father. I am weak and tired, there’s no peace in my heart. I pray that You give me joy, forgive me, show me the light. Wherever I go, whatever I do from now on, open my eyes. So that I may see, feel and receive your anointing.”
This verse is an insightful illustration of the entry point of faith and a right attitude in all our prayers. We come before God as sinners in need of a savior. We approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). This confidence is not in any inherent worth that makes us deserving, but it is our confidence in a high priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses. The first verse of the song also reminds us that God is our light and the only one who can give us true sight.
The chorus is also self-explanatory;
“Father, I am praying, with my hands lifted up. Hold me Father, hide me in your hands. Show me your goodness, make me your vessel. I pray, Father, I pray.”
The final verse returns us back to the only place where every Christian should never dream to leave, at the feet of the crucified Jesus. However, I believe that the first line of the verse may be revealing a misinterpretation of Hebrews 6:4-6.
The line says, “I did not realize that every time I slip, I crucify you all over again.” Implying that we crucify Jesus each time we fall into sin.
However, Hebrews 6:4-6 talks about apostasy; “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”
This scripture only applies to the situation where a person has out-rightly rejected Jesus (as Lord and Savior) and fallen out of repentance. It applies to when we fall away from Saving Grace. When that happens, we cannot again be brought back to repentance because that would mean crucifying Jesus all over again, and that cannot happen. Jesus cannot be crucified again for sin. He died once for all. “And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.” [Heb 10:18] I am persuaded that it is not biblical to even assume that we crucify Jesus (in our hearts) every time we sin as Christians. Believers may grieve and quench the Spirit, succumbing to sin, but we do not crucify Jesus.
Apart from this scriptural interpretation error, the rest of the prayer-song is a call and prayer for God to restore us, revive us, give us joy, open our eyes, guide us and anoint us in all that we do. I have to confess that I have personally found such songs, psalms and hymns particularly helpful in those times when I find it difficult to pray. God does indeed use music to connect our hearts to His, but it is also important that the mind not be forgotten in the process. Our prayer-words must submit to the truth of scripture. Like Paul, “I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.” [1 Cor 14:15]
Thank you Adawnage, for this beautiful, imperfect offering of a lyrical prayer 🙂 I have been encouraged to pray.
And for those of you who are yet to listen to the song, here’s a link to the video.
In His service and for His glory,