Confessions from a Kia Spectra on Prayer & Preaching


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OK, so its not a Kia – but man, it WAS cheap!

Do you pray in the car? I do. I love it. For some reason my mind is just free to pray when I’m driving. And it has the added advantage of not letting you fall asleep!

While we’re here in Minneapolis we rented a little Kia Spectra to drive around. And it is great fun. A wonderful little car. It really is. I wonder if Pastors can get endorsement deals like sports figures do?

Anyway, today, while driving down into Minneapoils, looking to try and drive by John Piper’s Bethlehem Baptist Church (while Sky is slaving away at work) – that old tune came into my head “Lift up your heart”. Great old hymn. Though the words are a little stilted. Hard to grasp right off if you don’t think in poetspeak. So I let my mind wander about trying to sing my own praises in the process.

I love hymns. Don’t get me wrong, there are some wonderful new worship songs being written as we speak. In fact, in praying for revival I find myself asking for God to raise up a new generation of hymn writers. Men and women with such a sense of His majesty and glory and goodness and grace that it spills out into new music that leads others to see and revel in the same.

On a side note here, I am learning about the value of speaking the language of the people in preaching. A recent biography I read on Willaim Grimshaw (17th century England) noted how he was Cambridge trained – and a “man of letters”, but when he got transferred to a church out in the backwater – he decided he needed to preach in what Ryle calls the “market language” of his area.

Oh boogers, let me just go get the book and give you more of the quote. Here it is. “The style of preaching which Grimshaw adopted was peculiarly well suited to the rough and uneducated population with which he had to do. He was eminently a plain preacher. His first aim undoubtedly was to preach the whole truth as it is in Jesus; his second was to preach so as to be understood. To accomplish this end he was willing to make many sacrifices, TO CRUCIFY HIS NATURAL TASTE AS AN EDUCATED CLERGYMAN WHO HAD BEEN AT CAMBRIDGE, AND TO BE THOUGHT A FOOL BY INTELLECTUAL MEN.” (Caps mine).

Now that’s good stuff! I am beginning to see that often in my own preaching, I am so enamoured with the likes of Spurgeon and my heros of the past – that I don’t preach to the people who are right in front of me, as much as to the congregation I imagine out of my reading. This isn’t good!

I’m not talking about dumbing down the content, but I am talking about translating it into the vernacular.

The same thing can cross over into music. I mean, there IS something about the old hymns. Sad to say, the wording trips people up in the modern age. We aren’t much for poetic langauge anymore – unless its rap and then most of it is unrepeatable.

So, praying in the Spectra, cruising the inner city streets of Minneapolis, and needing to get alone with God (by the way, Piper has an inner city church – NOT in a nice neighborhood) – I started messing with an old hymn. “Lift up your heart”. And I set a few new verses to it.

See what you think. I’d love to know. I based my new verses on these from Eph. 1. I hope it blesses you today.

Eph. 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Let Christ be all your good
His righteousness, your own
Accepted by the Father for His sake alone
Let Christ be all –
Let Christ be all your righteousness for ever more

Let Christ be all your joy
Your happiness in Him
Delighting in your heart and mind now saved from sin
Let Christ be all –
Let Christ be all your joyfulness for ever more

Let Christ be all your hope
The futureís sure in Him
When in the darkness of lifeís night the light grows dim
Let Christ be all –
Let Christ be all your hope and trust forevermore

Let Christ be all your peace
His blood has paid the cost
To reconcile you to the Father at the Cross
Let Christ be all –
Let Christ be all your peace with God for ever more

Let Christ be all you crave
And then youíll want no more
He is the fullness of the bank of Heavenís store
Let Christ be all –
Let Christ be all your heartís desire for ever more.

Let Christ be all in all
In majesty on high
In wisdom ruling all, the King now glorified
Let Christ be all Ė
Let Christ be all in all for you for ever more

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4 thoughts on “Confessions from a Kia Spectra on Prayer & Preaching

  1. Love the sound words to that hymn you wrote, though I’m unfamiliar with the tune. Tried to find the tune on line, but unsuccessful. Hope you’ll introduce that to your congregation!

    I wonder about some of the newer praise and worship songs as they are sometimes shallow, repetitive, and lacking good theology. So much sound doctrine can be learned and brought to mind when thinking on and singing to oneself the older hymns. These days it’s rare to find younger Christians who even know the old standards.

    It would be great if godly modern hymn writers (like yourself?) could inspire the current generation without losing the depth of the older hymns ~ maybe by combining the old (theology) with the new (tunes)? I’ll still treasure the old hymns…like “The God of Abraham Praise” which is rich with theology.

    Did you know you can look up any hymn in the Trinity Hymnal on line and see the words and HEAR the music too? Great site! http://www.5solas.org/trinity.php?id=32

    Keep writing (and singing) to the glory of God!

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