The word band, when used to discuss singing and prayer bands (and later shouting bands), should not be confused with the kind of band you might find in contemporary worship. A praying band is more like the band or society of John Wesley’s time. Prayer bands more closely resemble a covenant group than a musical ensemble. Their end goal is not just prayer and song for a particular occasion. These are women and men who view prayer and song as their sacred duty. …
The prayers and songs of the prayer bands, offered to God in deep woods and the brush arbors, connected them to one another, to their culture, and to God.
—Safiyah Fosua, Robert McMichael III, and Cynthia A. Wilson, Reflect, Reclaim, Rejoice: Preserving the Gift of Black Sacred Music (Discipleship Resources, 2015)
What parts of your church’s worship services connect you to one another, to God, and to your culture? Join the conversation.
O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord; bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
—Psalm 96:1-2 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Bread of heaven, feed me until I want no more. Help me to understand that without you, it is impossible to survive in this world and its experiences. Thank you for being present with me in all circumstances. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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