How Music Can Speak For You When You Are Too Discouraged to Pray

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“When the sorrow’s heavy on your soul
Carry on and sing it like a soldier
Saying, “Come on! Come on!
We’re gonna make it home!”

—“Looking for Some Light,” by Colony House

 

It’s been a tough few years. Several friends and family experienced sickness and loss. I left a stable job to start a small business, and I expected God to bless me as I took this leap of faith. I felt God was calling me toward helping Christians learn discernment in popular music. But I experienced a lot of doubt and disappointment. I started to question whether the work I was doing really mattered. Had I even heard God correctly? I felt frustrated that God would plant this desire in me and then not support me in the ways I thought I needed. Maybe it was time to admit defeat and find a safe job with a good salary. One particular evening these feelings flooded over me, and tears began to flow.

God’s response that night was an unexpected gift: an album that allowed me to pray when prayer felt like the last thing I had energy to do. In an effort to distract myself from how I was feeling, I put on my headphones and opened up Spotify. I’m not exactly sure why or how, but I chose to listen to the new album Leave What’s Lost Behind from a band called Colony House. I had only recently discovered the band through the Spotify algorithm and was not at first a fan.
That night, though, every song I heard became a prayer from me to God. Rather than the music speaking to me, the music began speaking for me. Line after line felt as if it was written for how I was feeling in that moment. When the band asked, “Are you listening?” in a song, I questioned God: “Are you listening?”

I became the main character of the songs, calling out to God to recognize me.

Song after song helped me ask God to be with me, to comfort me, and to give me hope. Other times I felt the band rallying around me in my discouragement even though we had never met.

My situation has not changed much since that night, but I feel different. God heard me, and I feel less alone. When I listen to Colony House’s album today, it doesn’t speak to or for me in the same way it did that night. Yet in a particularly challenging moment of life, God gave me a gift that I could use to call out to God. So “when the sorrow’s heavy on your soul, carry on.” Keep asking questions and searching for God. God will provide unexpected gifts that help us pray. Maybe it will be a song or album; maybe not. God wants to connect with you, and God can use anything.

About the Author

Micah van Dijk is a popular music expert who speaks and writes to help audiences understand the impact popular music has on their faith and identity. www.micahvandijk.com

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