A crazy thing happened this morning. I went to a coffee shop I frequent (there aren’t many places around here to sit, have a good coffee, free wifi were I can read or write…I come here two times a week).
As I drove in this morning there were more cars than usual. I recognized a local pastor. I came here to read a revival book, write a blog on prayer (ezekielregiment.wordpress.com) and drink coffee (of course). I came inside, picked a little table near a plug but not directly downwind of the air conditional (I rarely get cold but I’ve had to switch seats before).
Today I was writing about praying for spiritual leaders.
The whole church team, sat down at a large table right beside me. The pastor sat about five feet from where I am sitting.
They seem to be planning some kind of conference. I hear a worship leader explaining that he’s going “Old school; Very Old School….like songs he grew up on.” He was seriously under 30 year old. He’s not thinking, “How Great Thou Art.” He’s going to be singing “Shout to the Lord” and “I can Sing of Your Love Forever.” (not that those aren’t “old school” but someone maybe needs to sing “Amazing Grace”). His reasoning was there are too many new worship songs and no one knows them so they won’t worship to them. (insert eyeroll….worshipers worship, it’s what we do, if we know the song or not. And now days we have so much access to new materials that if we don’t know it, we will look it up…rant over. He doesn’t want to learn the new songs).
I’m not even going to go into the flaws of all of it, except to say, we don’t need another conference….we need a prayer room.
When it comes to “Old School” whether it is Christian circles or secular what it’s really about is the familiar. Any time I hear Air Supply, I think of my cousin Trent and listening to Air Supply at his house when I was maybe 13 years old. We liked Michael Jackson too, through in some George Strait and Lional Richie….we are Texans, we are diverse).
When it comes to “Old School” as it relates to my Christianity, it is more than just looking back. Those “Old School” songs were so popular for a reason. They defined the season the church was in at that time. Matt Redman wrote a song (I believe it was Matt Redman), “Heart of Worship”…lyrics were “I’m coming back to the heart of worship….it’s all about You, Jesus….” And we had been singing about Jesus for so long but not singing to Him. That song refocused many of us.
Sometimes “Old School” is a song that got you through…it helped you find your way back to Jesus. Mercy Me had one, “Bring the Rain”. That song still moves me…one line, “Bring me anything that brings You glory.” That has to be some of the most bittersweet words ever written….through being single, miscarriage, through adoption, through it all….I will serve Him in sunshine and rain and if it brings Him glory, then bring it. That’s a tough prayer. It helped me remeber it’s not about me.
If I look back, way back….there are songs I sing my kids from my childhood. This is “very Old School”… “Coming down, down down, coming down, down down, the glory of the Lord is coming down. When the saints begin to pray for the Lord to have His way, the glory of the Lord is coming down.” What a reminder to me….pray.
The truth about “Old School” when it comes to Jesus is, we aren’t longing for an old song we are longing for an old feeling; the feeling of the Spirit of God upon us.
We want to do “all new” things (seriously, the same worship pastor talking about small groups – or something – says he doesn’t want to see any of the same old group. He wants new ideas and new groups) and get see God move. I was in my 20s. I understand dreaming. I thank God for people in their 20s…they have the energy and passion to push us. Yet, we know as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “…there is nothing new under the sun.” There is not a completely “new” way of doing something that is going to move us into the glory of God. There is no “new” plan for revival.
If we want an “Old School” experience we cannot sing an “Old Song” to get there…new songs will work fine. “Reckless Love” moves me every time I hear it. God is giving us new songs. If we want an “Old School” experience we have to do an “Old School” thing….PRAY; most of the time we need to do two things, REPENT and PRAY.
If we want to see God move on us, in us and through us, we have to get back to the prayer room.
When I was in my 20s, we prayed. There was a season of prayer in the 90s that drew us in. We didn’t learn prayer as a discipline, unfortunately. Life has disciplined us…things happen drawing us back into prayer. The subject of our prayers is mostly self-centered. It’s time to expand those prayer more…praying for our church, praying for our places of employment, our cities, our nation….
Now many of us are looking for God in an old song but He is where we left Him on our knees.