"Prayers of the Saints Live" by Sovereign Grace Music
Album: Prayers of the Saints Live
Artist: Sovereign Grace Music
Release Date: November 17, 2017
My Format: Apple Music
The past month has been a musical dry spell for me. I basically haven't listened to anything for the past few weeks. Nevermind posting reviews of albums I've been listening to (that drought goes back to last year...!) But the one exception has been Prayers of the Saints Live.
Recently, I helped my friend Matt set up a site to share some of his music, and a few of the songs were a part of this project. As I was working on the site I listened to the songs, and I really liked them, but it took singing some of them on a Sunday evening last month to really focus in on them (pause here for an argument in favor of printed song sheets when possible...physically holding and reading lyrics before, during, and after singing them allows deeper reflection and meditation!)
Each listen through I have a new favorite song. Right now it is the Celtic-tinted "We Look To You" with a focus on the struggle we face every day and the encouragement to remember this life is not our ultimate reality. Other days "A Christian's Daily Prayer" accompanies me through morning, daytime, and evening, reminding me to rely fully on God when my limited strength expires. Or "O Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer", which surprises me over and over with a melody that drops back down after hinting at a build, a subtle nod to the peace that inhabits our lives when so often we were looking for overwhelming joy and emotion instead. God is faithful, and in our "ruined life" we can rejoice in the fact that Jesus rose, and while full realization of life is still to come, we can still have beautiful peace and contentment in the waiting.
One last thing. I know there is always a danger of production and manufactured emotion with modern worship music, especially with live albums and music videos, etc. etc. But, I keep coming back to "Lord, Have Mercy", and how Charity Mick barely keeps it together at the end of the third verse. She leads the song, painting a clear picture of our continual bent to sin, and the faithful grace of God that we can lean on through it all. The third verse:
We fix our eyes on You, our prize
Jesus, the Author of our faith
Till You return or bring us home
You strengthen us to run the race
O Lord, forever faithful
All glory to Your Name!
We have no other Savior
Our great Redeemer, God and King
Jesus, Redeemer, God and King
Building from the case laid out through each line of the song, the weight of this glory and grace catches up at the end - Jesus, our Redeemer who has saved us, our God who created us, our King who rules with righteousness while showing us mercy we don't deserve. The break in her voice echoes in my head each time I hear and sing it myself. It calls to mind a tweet I saw Lin-Manuel Miranda retweet earlier this week: