Song-writers (good song-writers) are thoughtful people. Music moves the spirit. So we should not be surprised if we find spiritual insights in contemporary and secular songs. We just need to be a bit careful in our reflection.

There are a number of songs that are helpful in prayer I think, also ones that get us thinking about our faith, and some in the oddest places. Oasis ‘Some Might Say’, for example. “Some might say they don’t believe in Heaven, go and tell it to the man who lives in hell”.

So how about this offering from Coldplay (This version is to keep the Wanderers fans happy). Have a listen and read the lyrics keeping in mind Luke 15:1-32.

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep Stuck in reverse
And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something, you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
And high up above or down below When you’re too in love to let it go

But if you never try, you’ll never know Just what you’re worth
Lights will guide you home And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
Tears stream down your face
When you lose something, you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face and I

Tears stream down your face
I promise you, I will learn from my mistakes Tears stream down your face and I
Lights will guide you home And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

(Christopher Martin, Guy Rupert Berryman, Jonathan Mark Buckland, William Champion)

Which songs mean a lot to you? So many deal with the deeper themes of life, death, forgiveness, hope, sadness, loss, love, etc.
Many are not written with a Christian insight, and some may even promote views which are contrary to our faith, but many will get us thinking and even praying if we let them.

Which songs and music have inspired you this week?


Someone once told me that it is possible especially at live venues if the beat of a song is intense enough your heart can actually beat in time to the music. It sounds dangerous but perhaps illustrates how music can affect us not just intellectually, and spiritually but also physically.

Music can and does change us. The beat within it mirrors the beat of our heart. It hits at the very centre of our being. The differences that we have about our taste in music don’t matter. We find common ground within music’s heartbeat. There is safety within the beat. This then can make it a spiritual experience and we can learn something of our shared faith through music. We can hear God in everything not just in hymns we sing in church. It is the romance with music that nourishes the soul. Music isn’t about good or bad – it’s about feeling. Behind the music is love, care, joy and optimism. Optimism in difficult times.

This week I have with that in mind tried to follow a theme of prayer moving from darkness to light, returning to the idea in Psalm 40 of asking God to raise us out of the pit, out of the miry clay, learning from our mistakes, being redeemed.

To have our feet set on the rock so that all may see, like a city on a hill.

Rise and shine for the glory of the Lord.

Praying through music is about hope and let’s face it, we all need to hold on to hope at the moment.

Revd Marcus Bulcock