Playing while praying

Mikey raises the question1, on Christian Reflections, about whether its ever acceptable for a muso to start providing prayer muzak.

I say no.

I’d love to read your thoughts over there too.

1 Though he calls it something very different -“the post-sermon prayer tinkle” which to me sounds a little like a post sermon bathroom break, analogous to the obligatory pre-sermon bathroom break (if you don’t know about this, don’t ask. I think it’s called “Preacher’s Belly”… or it should be.


Ben McLaughlin says:

I don’t feel strongly either way.

To be honest with you, I kind of wince when I read stuff like this. It seems like you can’t do anything without someone tut tutting you. Like most things in Christian life, some people like it, and some don’t. That’s okay. Why does every church have too fit in to a certain mould?

For me this wouldn’t even make it to the catagory of ‘disputable matter’ because that’s kind of more for things that at least matter a bit!

Am I being too harsh? I don’t know. I just get a bit down in Christian circles when it feels like you get jumped on for not conforming to some cultural norm. And I’d say I’m a pretty ‘straight’ sort of church goer. If I feel frustrated by these supposed boundaries, I imagine more ‘expressive’ churchy dudes would be even more so. Why chase people away over things that don’t really matter.

Nathan Campbell says:

I don’t think anybody in the discussion is taking it particularly seriously. Well, I hope not…

But my favourite example of “playing while praying” was one time when my minister was taken completely by surprise when the band started up during his prayer.

Ben McLaughlin says:

Yeah, you’re right. I was being too serious and grumpy about it I think. Re-reading the post and it’s comments, it was pretty lighthearted.

I’ve never really done it, but I remember once being urged to by someone else in the band, and so I gave a little tentative strum, and several members in the congregation looked up from their quiet prayer, as surprised as if I had have launched into Back In Black. The first and last time.

KIM says:

You mean it’s not normal??

simone says:

Nathan – shame you missed church this morning. You should have heard my lilting melody during the closing prayer. You’d have been moved.

I missed Holy Spirit tingles during prayer!!!