November 29, 2016

New songs

Written by  Julia*

This article appears in the January/February 2017 issue of Missionary Messenger; sign up to read more articles like this one.

For several years, when people prayed for me, I heard this phrase often repeated, “You will write new songs ...” But it wasn't until we were living overseas, worshiping in a place that was longing for true praise of God to arrive, that I really began to see that promise come true.

One day as I was sitting in our prayer room worshiping with my guitar, I continued to play chords after the song was finished. New music just started flowing through me. First chords, then melodies, then words. It was beautiful to hear how the Holy Spirit would give different phrases and melodies to each team member, turning them into full, rich songs.

The time is ripe

Our prayer house is located beside a famous Muslim shrine where people come to pray and worship. Although in many Islamic countries music is forbidden, in our region of South Asia there is a form of Islam that embraces worship music to God and other prophets. In fact, this place was the birthplace of much Muslim devotional music, and a famous composer of many songs is buried here. I believe that is the reason that it is so easy for new songs to come: the atmosphere is just ripe for worship in spirit and in truth to be released.

One of our teammates bought a harmonium, often used in this kind of music, and learned to play. We began to use Scripture verses to write songs in Urdu. One day I was praying for our new disciple (whom we call Song, because we believe that God wants to give her songs). I thought, “If she were to sing a song of praise, what would she say?” As Song began to help us with the melodies, the songs came much faster!

A deep place

“God loves to create new songs that are specific to our place and time."

Just as music ministers to us and touches a deep place inside, God has also used these songs to minister to Song in times of need. I believe God loves to hear us worship and He loves to create new songs that are specific to our place and time. Allow those new sounds to come forth … you may also be a songwriter! mm

 Julia* and her husband Jack* are EMM workers serving in South Asia with their young children. They are jointly appointed with Virginia Mennonite Missions.

*Due to their sensitive location and the nature of their ministry, pseudonyms have been used.

Listen to music

Zabur 34

Allah Accha Hai

This article appears in the January/February 2017 issue of Missionary Messenger; sign up to read more articles like this one.