"Leaning In" -- A worship song offering a new way to pray

(CMP Lead Designer and blogger Bryan Sirchio)

“Leaning In”—A congregational worship song that is actually a new kind of prayer.  What’s new about it?   Here’s a quick attempt to explain…

Select here to listen to the song on the CMP website

Have you ever noticed how prayers we pray out loud for others in the context of public worship--despite our sincere and best intentions--often wind up sounding a bit smug or even condescending?  You know—the prayers for someone that can all too easily feel more like gossip than heart-felt expressions of concern?  And then there are the so-called “prayer chains” that sometimes feel like spiritually dressed up excuses to expose and talk about the problems of others behind their backs?  Or the prayers we pray publicly in which we are describing someone’s need in order to announce it to the community but doing so in the prayer itself as if we are informing God of the situation and letting God know what should be done about it? 

Again, the intentions are often good and sincere, but too often as soon as we start praying for someone we start objectifying that person or somehow diminishing that person's or that group's dignity.  We become the ones who are doing the giving and the “concerning,” and sometimes from a perspective of distance or invisibility or even some kind of presumed comparative wholeness or superiority.  And at times our language really gives away our arrogance and/or our insensitivity.  You know, “God, please help ‘the needy.’”  As if we ourselves don’t have needs?  If you’ve spent much time in churches and in groups of people who pray for others, you probably know what I mean.   Something about the whole thing often just doesn’t quite feel authentic or real, let alone respectful or truly loving or even healthy. 

Singer/songwriter and Professor of Preaching and Worship at Eden Theological Seminary Christopher Grundy has recently released a song which encourages us to pray in more respectful, humble, vulnerable, and ultimately more Real ways.  I love this song and CMP is honored to feature this musical prayer (audio recording and sheet music) on our website.  Christopher has an amazing gift for composing singable, accessible, heart-moving melodies with texts that are straightforward yet layered with deeper meanings. 

“Leaning In” is a musical series of prayers for others.  But notice the way every time a prayer is offered for someone else, we also own that we ourselves have the same needs in our own ways.  The mutuality and respect and honesty takes the petitions to places that our intercessory prayers all-too-often don’t often go.  And it’s even more powerful when we sing these heart-felt prayers.

Below you’ll find the words to “Leaning In,” and here’s a link to the CMP website page for this song where you can listen to it for free.   Enjoy!

Leaning In: A Prayer of Intention

by Christopher Grundy

©2013 Hand and Soil Music. All rights reserved. CCLI #

7007689

 

We pray for the lonely ones knowing that some of us are lonely

and we pray for the heartbroken ones knowing that some of us are heartbroken

All our hearts and minds are leaning in with clear intention

joining in your way of love in the world

 

We pray for the wounded ones knowing that some of us are wounded

and we pray for the regretful ones knowing that some of us are regretful

All our hearts and minds are leaning in with clear intention

joining in your way of love in the healing

 

We pray for the starving ones knowing that some of us are starving

and we pray for the imprisoned ones knowing that some of us are imprisoned

All our hearts and minds are leaning in with clear intention

joining in your way of justice in the world

 

We pray for the dying ones knowing that some of us are dying

and we pray for the newly born ones knowing that some of us are arriving

All our hearts and minds are leaning in with clear intention

joining in your way of love in the world

 

Amen.

 

 

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