As mentioned in the last post I had a brilliant day today learning more about prayer. One of the very last questions that came up was about the 'modern world' and how the language of prayer which the early church was steeped in is a world away from our secular culture which has no prayer language. I was impressed (as we always are when people say stuff we were thinking ourselves) when the speaker said that there is modern prayer language, it's just often not knowingly directed at God. She mentioned specifically the love song as the vehicle for God language.
This is such a fascinating area for study, conversation and exploration. Just think about it for a bit - how many songs have you heard, loved, sung long to, songs of love fulfilled and love twarted - that say things like 'I would die without you' 'I am incomplete without you' 'there is a hole inside me because I am not with you' 'I would change everything I am for you'. Now, I'm not being funny, but on what date with a partner are these pearls dropped in? I say this because as the lecturer today suggested, much of this language is the kind of thing you would in reality run a mile if someone said to you. It is too big, it is too much, it is too far. Much of the love song language does not speak of healthy mutual loving relationships between two equals. I don't underestimate the depth of human loving here, but I think if you're reading this you may already have a song in your head that you think "yes, that makes much more sense if you think about it as a cry to God."
I'd also take this into other areas of popular music - I could go on about this at great length but for now I just suggest you have a look at a this as a very simple example - it's a psalm isn't it???? Gleekerama.