I had a recording session tonight to record my interpretation of Jesus Messiah. I sang it twice through and stopped to ask a question:
“How much reverb’s in the headphones? I need to turn it down a little because I really need to hear the truth so I can tell what I need to work on.”
And then someone said: “There’s no reverb in the headphones, we didn’t add it yet.”
I was speechless. (I know. me. speechless. I can’t believe it myself.)
After a few seconds of what I’m sure was a completely dumbfounded look on my face, I said: “no. WAY!”
God is so good! I should NOT have been able to sing at all tonight. I’m exhausted and on the mend from a sinus infection. I have four more days of antibiotics. I stayed up till 4am on Wednesday night, got up at 6:30am and went to bed after 11pm last night, getting up at 6:45 this morning. I taught three classes this week, talking for hours at a time on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I should sound like Carol Channing right now.
As tired as I was and with a lot on my to-do list, I didn’t go back to bed this morning after I drove the kids to school. After such an exhausting few days, the first thing I needed to do was to sit down on my loveseat with my coffee, my Bible and my prayer journal. Afterward, I decided to type up part of my prayer and write a “four minutes with God” devotional.
If you read any of these devotionals, you know they consist of four parts:
a quote (from one of the many books I’m in the middle of reading)
my prayer (often an excerpt from my prayer journal for that day)
the Word (a bible verse)
the lyric (song lyrics)
I believe the Holy Spirit led me to write this particular devotional but I didn’t figure it out until the end. I’m so glad I yielded or I would have missed the blessings. (CLICK HERE to read the prayer and how God answered it and skip how the Holy Spirit led me to post it on the internet in the first place)
So I typed up the excerpt from my prayer journal and thought, okay, I need a Bible verse to go with it. I turned to the book I was going to quote and the author had referenced a few verses near the text I was going to quote. I immediately chose 2nd Corinthians 3:4-5 (“Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. “) and typed it into the devotional template.
Next I needed a lyric and immediately, the song “Like Incense” came to mind, so I pulled up youtube and left it playing while I copied and pasted the share link, grabbed the Amazon link and Googled the lyrics to copy the verse and chorus I wanted to include: “Because You gladly lean to lead the humble, I shall gladly kneel to leave my pride. Oh God, You are my God, and I will ever praise You. Oh God, You are my God, and I will ever praise You.”
Next, I turned to the quote. I was just about to type it in the blog draft when I realized it didn’t fit with the prayer I had typed. Neither did the Bible verse or the lyric. They all went with my prayer from that morning, just not the part that I had typed up in the devotion draft. The part of my prayer that I had intuitively built a devotion around was still in my journal.
I don’t always listen when God tells me to do something, but I definitely got the message. So I saved the draft of the prayer I had already typed up and replaced it with the prayer that fit with the Word, lyric and quote I had unconsciously put together. I originally didn’t use that part of this morning’s journal entry because it was so unique to me, I couldn’t see how anyone else other than me would get anything from it. Maybe so, but I believe I was led to the quote, the lyric and the verse by the Holy Spirit so, as much as I thought the prayer was all about me, I posted it anyway.
Tonight, at the session, all three parts of that prayer were answered. Here it is again, in case you missed it:
Lord, as I go into the studio to record tonight, please bless me with your interpretation of Jesus Messiah. Please help me to sing it the way you want to hear it. Please lead me to put harmony where you find it beautiful. Please show me how to make the song pleasing to your ears, not my own.
The session started late and the first half hour was filled with technical problems. I quickly realized there wasn’t going to be enough time to put in all the vocals I wanted to include. I had to leave out the lowest harmony and a soft bridge under the third chorus. The guys asked me about it and I said, “I don’t know if ya’ll are Christian, but this is an answer to my prayer today. I asked God to make this song something he wanted to hear, not what I wanted to sing, so I figure that’s what he’s doing.”
Please bless my voice and tonight, through your Holy Spirit, please remove the limitations I’m experiencing because I’ve been sick this past week. Please equip me for service because without your help, my voice is even more inadequate than it usually is.
I thought I had too much reverb on my voice and there was NONE? seriously? I still can’t believe it. And I usually have to fix lots of little spots in multiple takes. They call it “cutting in” and it’s when they replace a word or a line in one of the takes. Usually it’s more than a few fixes per take. I don’t remember doing any tonight. I had to have done some. I think. And I recorded at least four takes of each vocal and my voice didn’t give out. NO cracking. No breaking. No sharps or flats. There’s no way I did that on my own. I was equipped for service by the Holy Spirit tonight.
Please bless the studio session and make me aware of any opportunity to be used by you. Please make me sensitive to the individual needs of those who are there. I don’t know them Lord, but you do. I want to be available for your service, no matter that I’m there to get something done – for myself. Please help me to see with your eyes, my vision is weak and self-focused.
I always pray for the people who will be at the recording session. Tonight there were 8 guys. I always introduce myself and ask their names. Then I spend a minute or two on a memory trick to remember their names while they finish getting ready. (Dustin, Chris, Oscar, Joey, John, Jordan, Jericho and one other “J” name I’m ashamed to admit I did forget) I try to interact with them individually as much as I can even though I’m behind glass most of the time. And I always thank them by name if I get the chance. I was blessed tonight. They were a great group, very involved and gave lots of thoughtful feedback. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, as he was leaving, Jordan said “thank you. I really needed the encouragement tonight.”
Thank you Lord for letting me serve you tonight.