where Emeli Sande and I write a prayer for the church (me and you)

The first time I really appreciated Emeli Sande was during her incredible performance of “Abide with me” at the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics. Since then, she’s been a welcome voice in my ear. In fact, her music has often been a channel for me to worship God. I guess I’m a believer that we can worship God through any songs  – “secular” as well as “Christian”, as long as we’re honouring God through them. One particular Emeli Sande song has become my running sound track, and in time it’s developed into a prayer.  As I’ve been running up and down the streets of Sheffield I’ve felt God speak to my heart through this song, and over time I’ve prayed this not only for me but for “us” – the wider church in general.

Here’s the song if it’s helpful to listen to it as you read….

So here goes….

“You’ve got the words to change a nation
But you’re biting your tongue
You’ve spent a life time stuck in silence
Afraid you’ll say something wrong
If no one ever hears it how we gonna learn your song?”

You know what? We have some good news. Really good news. I forget that sometimes – maybe you do too. Lots of us have been biting our tongues, stuck in silence…quietly treasuring this Good News in our hearts. I get it, I’ve been doing the same thing myself. But if no one ever hears it, how will others learn our song? Our song of salvation, our song of lives transformed, relationships reconciled and hearts healed. Our song of forgiveness. Our song of the never-stopping, never-giving up, unshakeable love of the Father.  Maybe like me, you’re afraid you’ll sing something wrong. Maybe we’re worried it won’t quite come out right.  You know what? We will do that sometimes.  Our song won’t be perfect. Our lives won’t be perfect. We might get a word or two wrong, or we might start in the wrong key, or we might not quite reach those high notes. But if we never sing anything at all, who will ever learn our song? So, God, help us pass on this Good News, this Jesus-life: take our efforts –  our lives, our words –  and lead and empower us as we try to sing this song.



“You’ve got a heart as loud as lions
So why let your voice be tamed?
Maybe we’re a little different
There’s no need to be ashamed
You’ve got the light to fight the shadows
So stop hiding it away”

Do we realise  – I mean really realise –  that in our hearts, lives the Lion of all lions? He is the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And His Spirit lives in you and me. He is both Lion and Lamb.  And our cracked and crumbly jars of clay leak out His light everywhere we go. So let’s not let our voices be tamed. Let that lion heart out, and love fiercely, and fully and with all that we have. Let’s not hold back, shrink back or think it’s not enough. His love is all-consuming, all-powerful and more than enough.  We’ve got a heart as loud as lions. Yes, maybe we’re a little different, maybe we’re against the flow.  Maybe. But we don’t need to be ashamed of that. We’ve got a light to fight the shadows so let’s stop hiding it away. It’s a good thing, this light. This light – this Jesus – pushes back darkness. So  wherever we see injustice, and darkness and death He wants to bring His justice, and light and life. And He wants to do that through plain old me and you, His church. If we’ll let Him. So, God, help us to really comprehend that you live in us, and that your power in us is greater than the power in the world.

“Let’s get the TV and the radio
To play our tune again
It’s ’bout time we got some airplay of our version of events
There’s no need to be afraid
I will sing with you my friend”

So, let’s use every medium to creatively share our version of events, whether that’s with our friends at work, on our walk to school, on the bus or wherever.  Let’s re-tell the story of God and his love for all people, in whatever creative way we can. Let’s tell our storiesLet’s tell His version of events. Let’s live out our version of events. It’s such a good version. Amy Carmichael, William Booth, Elizabeth Fry, Smith Wigglesworth, Jackie Pullinger, William Wilberforce, Mother Teresa  and so many more: you all chose to tell your version of events. And the world is a better place because of it. You all chose not to be defined by the can’ts, the won’ts or the shoulds. You chose to live out the goodness of God, telling His version of events.

So let’s do this together – I’ll sing with you my friend. I’ll be praying with you whilst you’re sharing and living out the goodness of God wherever you are  And I know you’ll be praying for me as I try to live out the goodness of God wherever I go. Thank you for singing with me,  my friend – my brothers and sisters. And know that I’ll be singing with you too. We’re in this together. So God, help us to faithfully tell and live out your version of events, together.

Emeli Sande photo Source: http://goo.gl/ln2hmY