I can still remember the night. I was in high school and convinced that the world revolved around me. Earlier in the week, my dad asked if I would sing Be Thou My Vision in our worship service the following Sunday. I happily agreed without a second thought. And now it was time to practice. I had sung this hymn a thousand times before, it seemed.
But that night, for some reason, it was different.
I read the lyrics verse by verse, and on this night, verse one really stuck out to me:
Be Thou my vision
O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me
Save that Thou art
Thou my best thought
By day or by night
Waking or sleeping
Thy presence my light
I like to think that God, being the gracious Shepherd that He is, reached out His hands, lifted up my head and opened my eyes to see that I was missing something. I was missing out on the fact that the God of the Universe, the creator of all things, earnestly desires to be the Lord of my heart. He wants me to cherish Him above all else.
That night reading those words, I realized that Be Thou My Vision is a prayer, a prayer of a child of God asking her Father to be everything to her. And telling Him that He’s the best thought she could possibly think about. Day or night. There’s nothing better than thinking about Him.
When I was 16 years old preparing to sing Be Thou My Vision the next day, I realized that there was a prayer that I hadn’t thought much about praying on my own. “O God be my vision, give me eyes to see things the way you see them. You are the Lord of my heart and there is nothing else on this earth that matters to me as much as you do. My mind can’t fathom a better thought than You and Your steadfast love. You are the One who guides my path and there is no one I cherish above You.”
Here’s the thing about musical worship. It’s more than just words set to a melody with different tempos and different keys. Oftentimes it’s a prayer. Sometimes musical worship can give you the words to pray when you don’t even know where to begin. When your circumstances seem so out of control and painful, you can barely think straight.
Something powerful happens when we meet together and lift our voices in worship. Not only is it edifying to the Body, as we affirm and remind ourselves of the truths of the gospel, but it also shapes our hearts to be in a posture of prayer.
Audrie Appel is our Worship Associate here at The Church at Brook Hills and has been a member of our faith family since 2012. She and her husband, Josh, lead a couples small group. In her spare time, Audrie baffles everyone with her uncanny ability to parallel park. For an opportunity to worship and pray together, join us this Wednesday, November 4, at 6:30pm in the Main Worship Room for our Quarterly Corporate Prayer Gathering.