This is the 22nd in a series of Friday posts on congregational song.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21, NIV)
I urge… that requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for … all those in authority. (1 Timothy 2:1-2, NIV)
We all have to work with other people, whether on our jobs, at home, or in the church. Some are our co-workers. Some are our supervisors. In both cases, our work is interconnected with theirs. If the other person doesn’t do a good job, our work is damaged.
This is particularly true in music. Singers, instrumentalists, writers, directors–none of us is an island. The quality and effectiveness of our work is dependent on other people. That can be very stressful!
In dealing with such situations in my own life, the Lord has brought me back to what the Bible says about submitting to one another and praying for one another. I’m discovering that is great, practical advice.
Instead of fretting about whether another person will do a good job or whether a supervisor will make the right decision, I’m learning to pray for them. I pray that God will guide them and work through them to accomplish His will.
Then, having prayed for them and trusted the Lord to work through them, I can more easily rely on them and be submissive to them. And when I still feel I must disagree, I can do so in a non-defensive, non-territorial manner, remembering it is God’s work, not mine, and He will accomplish it.
Sometimes we feel that if everyone would just leave us alone, if we weren’t so dependent on others, everything would be terrific. The Bible declares that that simply isn’t so. Each of us has a particular role to play. By ourselves, we are so limited. We were designed to work most efficiently and productively in relationship to others. We are each like one part of the body that must work with other parts if the whole body is to function successfully. God created us to be dependent not only on himself but on each other.
Prayer is the best way to make such relationships work. Through prayer, we lift up those on whom we are dependent. Through prayer, we maintain the right attitude toward them. Prayer for fellow workers fosters the unity and interdependence essential for all of us to be and do our best together.
And through prayer, we keep our faith focused on God’s will and on His ability to accomplish that will through us, not just through me.