Though I have always loved music, I never had the dexterity or determination needed to learn an instrument, so all I can play is the radio. As a result, I missed out on being part of a garage band—until recently.
Technically, we’re not a group, I suppose, because none of us actually bring an instrument. And we don’t sing. But when we meet at our church early on Wednesday mornings, we’re a lot like a bunch of teenagers getting together with learner guitars and cheap amps.
I call it garage band prayer.
It’s actually the weekly men’s prayer meeting, which I began attending a couple of months ago, after moving closer to the church.
We gather near the altar with coffee, some kneeling, some sitting, some standing. For me, the sanctuary becomes God’s garage, where we get to practice and He listens.
It can all a bit ragged, like youngsters rehearsing a cover song. Some of us come in after it’s started, and others leave before it’s finished, but it doesn’t seem to matter.
The thing chugs along, and as it does you can at times pick out a familiar refrain, recurring concerns and requests as we pray for each other, and others in the church.
Sometimes it’s a bit like a jam. Someone mentions a Bible verse, then another shares a thought they have had, and a few moments late a third speaks of a particular personal need. Some days these contributions remain seemingly random notes, going nowhere. Other times we suddenly seem to have a melody and a chorus, something that comes together.
We’re not would-be rock stars, though we are truly a motley crew—minus the big hair (or any, in some cases). Any past excesses are not tattoos to display proudly so much as stamps in our passport to grace, to be shown quietly by way of encouragement to fellow travelers.
There’s no thrashing of guitars or twirling of microphones. The most action is when someone who’s been kneeling too long stands up to stretch his legs.
But like teenage rockers lured by the energy, the hope, and the expectation of their rehearsal, the dream of some day making it, we’re drawn by the promise of what might be when we come together.