I have a song that Jesus gave me,
It was sent from Heaven above;
There never was a sweeter melody,
‘Tis a melody of love.
I love the Christ who died on Calvary,
For He washed my sins away;
He put within my heart a melody,
And I know it’s there to stay.
‘Twill be my endless theme in Glory;
With the angels I will sing;
‘Twill be a song with glorious harmony,
When the courts of Heaven ring!
In my heart there rings a melody,
There rings a melody with Heaven’s harmony;
In my heart there rings a melody;
There rings a melody of Love.
Hymn by Elton M. Roth (1891-1951)
My grandfather had perfect pitch–he could hear a musical note and tell you what the note was or whether it was “in tune”. He loved music and taught himself to play several musical instruments, including trombone, ukulele, auto harp, thumb harp, saxophone, violin, flute, banjo, dulcimer, trumpet, penny whistle, ocarina, and harmonica. My grandmother played piano, organ, and a host of percussion instruments.
My grandfather could hear perfect pitch, but he rarely sang. He could make wonderful music with instruments, but not with his own voice. He might have done so, but he never bothered to practice. In fact, while he could play a multitude of instruments, he never became proficient on any of them.
Prayer is accessible to anyone, as is music, but tuning and practice are required if we want to pursue prayer as a discipline and a means to develop a more harmonious relationship with God. Prayers that are out of tune can be sharp– nagging, complaining attempts to bargain with God; or they can be flat– lifeless and empty of trust and affection. Prayers that lead to growth, healing, and change are those that are “attuned” to the heart of God. What a sweet song of praise when we live in harmony with God and others– working, growing, sharing, and singing together.
I don’t have perfect pitch– I can usually hear if my voice or my flute seems out of tune with another instrument or other voices, but sometimes I need help. The same is true of my pursuit of prayer. I need help to keep in tune– a prayer journal is one tool I use. But it also helps to have a prayer group or prayer partner, a prayer list, or a book of prayer. For more ideas, see: Proactive Prayer Points and Prayer Journal.