Lost & Missing Sung Prayers: One Generation to Another

By Josh Lavender

“Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! 

No one can measure his greatness. 

Let each generation tell its children of your 

mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.” 

Psalm 145:4 NLT

Some of my earliest memories of my grandpa are hearing him whisper words under his breath like, “We honor You;” “You’re worthy;” or simply, “Thank You.” Whether he was washing the dishes or walking through the halls, if you were listening carefully you could hear his three-word prayers softly fill the room. As a kid I’m sure I thought more than once, “Who is he talking to?” It didn’t take long for me to learn not only Who he was talking to, but what it looked like to “pray without ceasing.”

At my church in Indianapolis, Trinity Wesleyan, we have had many special Sundays when we invite a choir of kids to sing with the worship team for the morning. When our team gathers to plan those services, we aren’t really looking for the most melodically elegant or theologically dense songs; instead, we try to sing the gospel in the simplest ways we can. One of the songs we chose for a morning like this was the chorus of Hillsong’s “This I Believe.” A couple practices and some hand motions later and we were all singing:

I believe in God our Father

I believe in Christ the Son

I believe in the Holy Spirit

Our God is three in one

I believe in the resurrection

That we will rise again

For I believe in the name of Jesus

Moments like these remind me of the beautiful simplicity of the gospel. I’ve seen the gospel proclaimed when parents explain to their children what it means to eat bread and drink juice in the service, or when our church sings a version of the Apostles Creed together, or when my grandpa whispers breath prayers around the house. I think these are the kinds of things David was talking about when he wrote the last of his Psalms in our Bible: “Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.”

The gospel is both intricate and accessible. We need wise mentors, parents, and grandparents who explain the deep truths of the gospel and disciple the next generation, or just pray without ceasing around the house. 

We also need thoughtful worship leaders, writers, and planners who present the deep truths of the gospel in a simple and singable way that engages multiple generations. 

This is my encouragement to the worship leaders reading this: 

1. Keep looking for the moments to include the whole family in worship, whether in the church or the home. 

2. Keep praying in the kitchen or singing in the shower. 

3. And keep telling the next generation how amazing God is.

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