There must be more than two hundred of them standing side by side at long padded tables. Children flailing handbells, banging out forte through the mezzo piano section. This side of the room a measure ahead of the other. Eager beavers jumping in a beat too soon, tortoises clanging a beat behind. They forge ahead and eventually music is rung out of chaos. A little music.
"Lord, creator of all that is beautiful, it is the desire of our hearts to do our best (Heavy emphasis on the do our best part.) that we may be pleasing to your ears. Help us to be pleasing to your ears."
A rough paraphrase but you get the idea.
And another performance. Play practice, hours on the stage. We push through rehearsals with the tech guys, with missing cast members, dance steps uncertain and lines unsure. We muscle through this gauntlet of misteps and misfortune by sheer willpower and we do not pray. Until Friday, because the performance is Sunday and suddenly we realize, This thing is a disaster. We can't do this on our own. God, help!
And today. A screaming fit, a little from the children, a lot from me. And suddenly I realize, (at 1:00 pm) I can't muscle these kids to obedience and the praying that I did yesterday isn't going to cut it for today. I can't do this on my own. God help! And right then, midbellow, I change direction and we bow our heads (Well, I don't because I'm driving) and do the thing that should have been done first when our feet hit the floor this morning.
Three hundred sixty-five. The number of times pray shows up when I type it into the keyword search on BibleGateway. Three hundred sixty-five. Pray continually. Pray fervently. Get up and pray.