"To Sing Is to Pray Twice"

During my daily subway prayer time, I heard a woman singing a favorite hymn. I couldn’t help but sing back to her.

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Posted in , Jan 30, 2012

Prayer blogger Rick Hamlin

Ever heard that old saying, “To sing is to pray twice”?

I was thinking of it this morning on my subway ride to work. As I’ve said before, I use my subway commute in the morning as a time for prayer. This morning I was going through the words of Psalm 95, a psalm I’ve been working at memorizing. Then I prayed through the names on my list of people who have asked for prayers or are going through some trouble.

Probably like your prayer list, mine is always changing as people’s needs change. The more I know about a situation, the easier it is to pray for someone. I’ve been praying for a friend’s ailing newborn grandson for a while. Just the other day he posted a picture of the kid on Facebook. Wow. That sure made a difference to my prayers.

Seventh Avenue, 47th Street, 42nd Street ... still with my eyes closed, I was aware of the passing stops. Then above the rumble of the train barreling down the tracks, I heard a woman singing in my car, “Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty.” It’s one of my favorite hymns, but the tune was unfamiliar. (The hymn has that wonderful phrase “which, wert and art and evermore shall be,” which my friend Van Varner, former Guideposts editor-in-chief, used to tease would be perfect for naming a trio of dogs: Which, Wert and Art.)

She was a handsome West Indian woman in a black fake fur coat, singing as she handed out tracts. “Read the Word of God,” she said, pausing in her song.

My stop was next. “I love that hymn,” I told her, “but do you know this tune?” I sang it back to her, as much as I could before I had to get off the subway.

“Amen, brother,” she said.

“Amen to you too, sister,” I said. At 34th Street, I stepped off the train and waved to her as the doors closed. “Holy, Holy, Holy” sung on the New York subway. What a perfect way to start a week.

Tags: Blessings
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