More Than A Song - Pray By Derek Charles Johnson

Pray - Derek Charles Johnson 

I have prayed full of faith but some days you don’t answer like I think you should 
Other times You’ve provided more than I ever hoped or dreamed you could 
But I never gave up on You 
‘Cause I know one thing is true 

You hear me when I pray 
Your Spirit comes to my defense 
You know my heart and mind 
Even when I don’t know what to say 
When I have no words to speak 
You know just what I need 
Yeah, I know you hear me when I pray 
You hear me when I pray 

You have given Your provision, You’re consistent even when I’ve gone astray 
You have kept me sure and steady you come and get me even in my darkest place 
You never give up on me 
Even in my unbelief 

You hear me when I pray  
Your Spirit comes to my defense  
You know my heart and mind  
Even when I don’t know what to say  
When I have no words to speak  
You know just what I need  
Yeah, I know you hear me when I pray  
You hear me when I pray 

You never give up on me 
Even in my unbelief 
I never give up on You 
‘Cause I know one thing is true 

You hear me when I pray 
Your Spirit comes to my defense 
You know my heart and mind 
Even when I don’t know what to say 
When I have no words to speak 
You know just what I need 
Yeah, I know you hear me when I pray 
You hear me when I pray 

Publishing:  © 2019 Centricsongs, Hip Elephant Music, Perfecttree Music 

Writers:  Ross King, Jay Speight, Derek Charles Johnson 

I firmly believe that songs that flow from a session of conversation and worship are some of the best songs we can write.  The times in which songwriters just talk about life, love and God…those behind-the-scenes dialogues lay a foundation for great music.  Those are the meaningful points underscoring the meaning of the work itself.  Sometimes a song doesn’t even get written.  But ideas get planted and those ideas can shape and form additional writing sessions and continue to move the ball down the field, so to speak. 

Such is the case with my latest single, Pray.  If you’ve followed this blog, you know the More Than A Song concept resonates deeply with me.  It can be extrapolated into so many things:  more than scenes from a movie, more than words on a page in a book, more than just a piece of artwork with paint and texture on a canvas.  So much of what we think, do and say as Christians becomes holistic and all-encompassing.  So every time I introduce a song it’s with the intention that “Hey, there’s more going on here besides just lyrics and melody.  Please listen and take note.” 

With the song Pray, co-writers Jay Speight, Ross King, and myself wanted to explore this big idea of prayer.  Quite honestly, prayer can be a somewhat ambiguous topic.  Sometimes I feel like I get and understand what prayer is, how to pray, etc.  But most of the time I feel as though I’m barely scratching the surface.  I can often believe that what I’m expressing to God goes no further than the ceiling.  All that I struggle with, all that I see others dealing with…where are the answers and what is the evidence that my praying (or anyone else’s) is really doing anything

You hear me when I pray 

To make a bold statement such as the chorus makes, I have to put faith to feet and believe that God is actually “on the other end of the line” hearing and receiving what I have to say.  Beyond that, He is moving in a way that goes beyond just my words and the Holy Spirit is working in and through my prayers.  One main passage we clung to during our writing sessions was Romans 8:26-27:  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.  This truth is a main underlying theme of the song.  And this song about prayer realizes that prayer happens often in a way we do not fully understand. 
What I’ve come to learn through the past few months and years is that there is much I do not understand.  Tragedies that seem so senseless and unnecessary.  Marriages that have been broken and families divided.  Churches left undone by pride and self-centeredness.  Friends who have gone down a road I never expected or imagined; with little hope of ever turning back to Christ.  All of these weigh on my heart to a point at which I don’t know where else to turn.  All of them seem too big to have answers and too far beyond any means of fixing. 
But then I remember the words of Romans 8 and realize there is a point at which we lay things before God in our naivety and lack of understanding.  “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” This reality often accompanies our prayer life.  We don’t know what to pray or even how to pray through a particular situation.  But God knows.  His Spirit surrounds us in those moments and even if we cannot utter a word, He searches our hearts and knows exactly what the need is.  And how to fix it. 

Your Spirit comes to my defense 

You know my heart and mind 

Even when I don’t know what to say 

I’ve been challenged to not just talk about Pray as my latest single and tout it as something primarily for promotional purposes; to build a platform and a career.  Please understand:  I LOVE music.  The creation process from start to finish is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things I’ve ever been a part of.  When you release new music, you feel like you are releasing a part of yourself; it’s your creation, your “baby” if you will.  But what I want more than any of that is for people who need the song to find it, hear it, and identify with it and be encouraged by it.  I do not believe that I am alone in my struggle to figure out how to pray at times.  I refuse to believe that other people don’t face the same difficulty from time to time and wonder how to bring something before the Lord.  But here’s where I take hope:  before we pray, God is already there.  He goes before us and He is already making a way through the situation; no matter how desperate and dire it may seem.
You have given Your provision, You’re consistent even when I’ve gone astray 

You have kept me sure and steady you come and get me even in my darkest place 

God is our keeper and sustainer.  He knows us better than we know ourselves.  With that reality in mind, we can look at prayer in one of two ways:  It’s either a senseless practice because after all, He already knows and controls everything so what’s the point?  Or prayer is an opportunity we get to partner with Him.  To align our thoughts to His.  And to be ready to receive the answer, knowing if we trust Him with our prayers, He is not going to give us what is bad or insufficient.  Believing that God is a good Father, we must choose the latter and be willing to submit our requests to Him in trust and confidence. 

Just look at these reminders: 

But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.  Matthew 6:6 

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  Matthew 7:9-11 

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.   James 5:16 

The Bible has so much to say about prayer but I hope I’ve at least planted the idea that our prayers are not wasted moments or opportunities.  They are essential to our lives as Christians.  I just want to thank those who have taken the time to listen to Pray and for many wonderful comments and feedback; likes and shares across social media and beyond.  I am extremely grateful and it is my prayer (no pun intended!) that God uses this song to influence and affect many.  What started as an idea in a room between a couple people is something that I believe can be helpful to a soul perhaps thousands of miles away.  Praising God in advance for the work He is doing and grateful to be where I am at, doing what I am doing right here, right now. 

As always, I love walking the journey with you. 

Let’s connect: 

Email:  info@derekcharlesjohnson.com 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/derekcharlesjohnson1/ 

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/derekcharlesjohnson

PRAY lyric video (video produced by Brandon Wood - Indie Bling Studio, song produced by Jay Speight - Bottle Rockit Productions):



Want to stream or download PRAY?

iTunes: https://apple.co/2MMfZ4L
Apple Music: https://apple.co/2yLHP8U
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2T9Rz6t
Pandora: https://pdora.co/2OFp6Xr
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2M3NfVM
Deezer: https://bit.ly/2ZErzCw
Artist website: http://derekcharlesjohnson.com/track/1777282/pray

Catch up on previous "More Than A Song" blogs: 

Leaning In by Carrollton

I Wanna Go Back by David Dunn

Endless Alleluia by Cory Asbury

Confidence by Sanctus Real

O Come All Ye Faithful by Derek Charles Johnson

Living Hope by Phil Wickham

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