Paths of Mercy ~ Comforting Christian Prayer Songs

Suzanne Davis Harden

Paths of Mercy: Comforting Christian Prayer Songs is the fifth published album in the Paths Collection of Prayers Songs that the Lord has blessed me with. It features 19 original prayer songs, plus the traditional hymn, “Oh For A Thousand Tongues,” penned by the great hymn writer Charles Wesley.

One night a few years ago I was out with my husband and friends who’s son was performing on the vibes at a local cafe. It was getting late, some young women soaked in perfume came in and sat near us. I immediately prayed that the Lord would protect me from getting a migraine. Scents are one of my fiercest migraine triggers. Suddenly as I was listening to the music, I became aware of all of the colors in the cafe; then everything I saw and heard poured like an uncontrolled river into my brain simultaneously.

I had no ability to focus on anything I heard or saw.

Now the cafe loomed up around me like a room crowded with thunder and giants in a blaze of unrestrained colors. I seemed to see every minute detail of everything ~the people and what they were wearing, every nuance of every color in the room, the windows, what was outside them, what was on the walls, the globe lights ~ and I could smell every odor~ the food cooking, the smoke from the grill, the smell of people and their colognes, shampoo, soap, as well as whatever they were drinking or eating ~ all of which was profoundly nauseating.

And all the while the music poured into my ears along with all of the other information without a director to focus my thoughts. It was like being in a madhouse. As panic arose in my heart, I prayed for the Lord to rescue me. Suddenly I felt His presence holding me close. Although my brain was still in a state of uncontrolled sensory input, now I was no longer afraid for the Lord was guarding my thoughts and helping me to view the experience from a different perspective.

For the Lord had suggested to me, “Isn’t this fascinating, you don’t often get to see and hear things like this. Just think of it as a story you are writing.”

So then I calmed down and was even able for a few seconds at least to focus on bits of conversations around me. If raucous laughter was like nails piercing my ears, even the barest whispers were strangely loud for I seemed able to hear every noise in the room along with the music.

One moment I was mesmerized by someone’s drama only to be attracted by someone else’s saga behind me, and then the music, then the colored lights, then BANG went my head exploding in pain, and the room went spinning and I almost passed out. I don’t even know how Mark got me home. I vaguely remember our friends asking if I were all right. Then Mark saying we had to leave.

“Hush, Be Still, Be Silent...” that is just the right prayer song for a migraine sufferer. :) There are just so many prayer songs on Paths of Mercy that are just right for someone who needs to calm down, to get quiet before the Lord, to return and rest in Christ.

From the beginning the Lord impressed on my heart that He wanted His children to be able to read and meditate upon the words of the prayer songs and the scriptures that inspired them, and to be able to pray them for themselves, applying them to their own circumstances.

I had desperately wanted to publish my Paths of Grace Illustrated Prayer Song Book (my prayer song album was released in 2018) ~ before releasing this Paths of Mercy album, but the Lord had other plans. It took me over a year to create my Paths of Hope illustrated Prayer Song e-Book after publishing my Paths of Hope Prayer Song music album ( 2017), and then a whole other year to publish the print version of my Hope prayer song book. For creating illustrated prayer song books, whether ebooks or print, requires an enormous amount of my very limited energy.

Though it is the Lord’s will for me that every time I publish a prayer song album that I should also publish a companion book with the lyrics ~ it is not His Law. In other words~ He does not ever keep me to any strict rules or deadlines with any of the projects He inspires me to do, for we are under His grace and mercy. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13 KJV

The Lord in His great mercy somehow eventually helps me get everything done that He wants accomplished. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ...” Philippians 1:6 KJV

And as I wrote in my previous album notes, with each subsequent album release, my auto-immune illness and chronic migraines grew worse until I became housebound and mostly bedridden.

I accepted by faith that I always could only do what the Lord Jesus Christ did through me, as Jesus said, ““I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5 KJV)

Christ’s words became a miracle I had to walk by faith in if I were ever to allow Him to accomplish His work through me. Nothing was easy.

Every day, every moment became a steep mountain I had to climb. What Christ had said to Paul when he begged the Lord to remove his painful, strength limiting thorn became true for me too, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV

The prayer songs on this album are some of the most encouraging songs that my Savior has ever inspired. Sometimes people ask why they have to suffer. There is a passage in the Bible I cling to that helps me put my own suffering in perspective every time I listen to the comforting prayer songs, poems, and music the Lord gives me.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. " 2 Corinthians 1:3-6 NIV

“Oh Lord, You Know The Way I Take,” is a prayer song that reflects my challenges in just showing up to any task by faith when I barely have any strength to get out of bed.

The“Prayer Song to Jesus My Good Shepherd,” is one I love to listen to and sing often because it encompasses so many of my challenges and presents my needs upon Christ’s Altar of Mercy and Grace.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 KJV

“Hush, Be Still, Be Silent...” the prayer song I referred to earlier, is one I praise and thank my Lord for always. This song truly presents my needs to God when I have migraines and all my thoughts are whirring about in my brain like a blender out of control, and only the Lord can push the stop button and reassemble all the fragments and corral them back into the fold of rationality.

And which of us cannot say that we don’t need to seek the Lord now while He can be found?

I know I harp on this but All of these songs were inspired by the Holy Spirit and the scriptures.

They came to me as gifts from the Lord and I am profoundly grateful and humbled by them.

God's gifts more than anything remind me of the truth of the scriptures that God indeed has no favorites. For if He can give such holy gifts to someone like me who is crippled by migraines and often experiences profound moodiness as a consequence~ He will give anyone any good gift He pleases.

16 "Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:16-17 NIV

Why do I admit these faults and weaknesses?

Because some may imagine that God only bestows His favors upon those who live up to certain standards.

And I want you to know that I'm not some perfect saint that God gives His holy gifts to because I am somehow so very good.

No, I am a sinner just like everyone else~ I am far from perfect. Though I keep my eyes on Christ and try to follow His will daily, just like so many other Christians, I still stumble and fall and make many mistakes and have to go to Christ's Altar, confess my sins, and repent and ask my Lord to help me by His almighty grace not to make the same mistake again.

I know our Redeemer loves us all or He would not have died on the cross to save us from our sins. The prayer song on this album, "There is No Condemnation," is a perfect reminder of the suffering of Christ and how it cost His spotless blood to purchase our forgiveness and redemption.

God doesn't have any perfect children. just broken souls He needs to fix. He is using daily migraines right now to fix mine. It is very much a challenge to be sure. Yet I know He loves me. The pain won't last forever, but His love will. I focus on His beautiful love.

And as for the Prayer Song Book that accompanies not just this album but the one I still need to do for Paths of Grace, the Lord is helping me to get them done slowly but surely.

For it truly is the Lord’s will that His children be able to know and pray the scriptures that have inspired these encouraging prayer songs He has given me to share.

I ask you to keep me in your prayers always even as you are ever in my prayers. May God bless you and keep you ever in His holy love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

All praise, thanks, honor, and glory be to my Heavenly Father, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and Lord Holy Spirit forever for every comforting song on this album and for the holy scriptures that inspired them; may they ever glorify God and bless and encourage His people, in Jesus’ name, amen.

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