We have featured tracks from our friend Kat Mills from time to time in the past; this beautiful new song feels particularly poignant for the season that we are in.
When Kat was a student in Canterbury, she used to come to our house regularly to play the piano – so it seems fitting to feature this beautiful Youtube, The Piano, as a testimony to the therapeutic power of music.
May the Lord use the power of music and well-crafted songs to bring praise and glory, and also to help people get in touch with feelings and emotions that need bringing into the light.
Jesus, let Your anointing come powerfully in this coming year to release a fresh sound that will bring freedom to many hearts, and release many situations for His Light and Glory.
And, Father, will you bring strength and healing to Kat, that she may go from strength to strength, and the ripples spread further and further with each new song.
Praying for creative people who are facing scorn and opposition as well as other challenges
Most of us are aware of something of the challenges that creative people face handling their creative genius. I thought it would be good today to pray for a fresh touch on God’s creative servants – and indeed for all of us to develop the giftings that the Lord has entrusted us with.
We are also well aware that it is so often the fate of true prophets to be shunned and scorned – however much they are later praised and appreciated. The pressures and persecutions that prophets like Jeremiah lived under are well known to all who have this most intimately of the prophetic books, but just think of Moses and the other prophets. Hosea sums it up well in the phrase,
‘Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired person [the prophet) a maniac.’ (Hos. 9:7)
What was true for them was true for Jesus, who warned clearly that no prophet is ever accepted in their own hometown. It is a bonus when they are loved and treasured! (And then, of course, they need to take special care when everyone is speaking well of them that this does not turn their head and induce them to water down what God has given them! Luke 6:26)
We like to assume that they will be quicker off the mark to recognise true greatness and anointing, but in reality this is not always so. (see Matt. 23:30-31 and 37) Through over familiarity with the gospels, perhaps we forget sometimes the sheer courage Jesus needed to pursue His calling under the prying eyes of those who were watching His every step, ever ready to denounce what they did not understand.
What is true of prophets past and present is all too often true, too, of many of the really great musicians, artists and poets. The prolific Vincent Van Gogh sold but a tiny handful of paintings during his lifetimes, while Gerard Manley Hopkins agonised because no one read or appreciated his poetry. (See Gaius Davis, Genius, Grief and Grace) Even the great Johann Sebastian Bach endured the roughest of times during his long career at Leipzig, from people who regarded his music as being hopelessly ‘out of touch’ See this powerful article in Christianity Today.
How aptly the words of Psalm 69:20 apply to Vincent and Gerard, that ‘scorn broke their hearts and left them feeling sick, helpless and in despair.’ Of Bach one can only marvel that he somehow found ways to thrive despite and in the face of it, turning out not only an output that was not only astonishing in its scale, but, many would say, of the highest quality the world has ever known.
Even now, well into the 21st-century, many artists and musicians face being rejected in their own churches. The inner struggles so many go through in handling their calling can be daunting.
Let’s be in prayer today for the many creative people who are caught in an often vice-like struggle between doubting their own ability on the one hand, whilst recognising on the other hand that they have received a touch of genuine inspiration that sets them apart. Let’s pray for any known to us – and then for all those whom the Lord knows!
Father, right now we pray that You will strengthen and confirm Your special touch and anointing on those you have made especially creative. Grant them the encouragement that will enable them to fulfil their potential; the resources they need to equip them on their way, the courage to keep going – and outlets shaped and created by Your hand to bless and inspire many others. In the name of the creative Artisan of Nazareth.