LORD, LISTEN TO YOUR CHILDREN PRAYING                               written in 1970

The Story

Kenneth Peter Medema (1943 – ) was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a composersingersongwriter who has been performing in the United StatesCanada, and Europe for more than 40 years. Some of his best known songs began as live improvisations.

Ken was born almost blind; his eyes let him tell light from shadow and see outlines of major objects. He began playing the piano when he was 5 years old, and 3 years later began taking lessons in classical music through braille musicplaying by ear and improvising in different styles.

In 1969, he majored in music therapy at Michigan State University, studying both piano and voice. Afterwards he worked as a music therapist in Fort Wayne, IN, and later at Essex County Hospital in New Jersey.

In 1973, he began performing and recording his own songs while at Essex County Hospital. “I had a bunch of teenagers who were really hurting,” he says, “and I started writing songs about their lives. Then I thought, ‘Why don’t you start writing songs about your Christian life?’ So I started doing that, and people really responded.”

His lyrics generally provide social commentary on themes such as justice, hunger, poverty, homelessness, and Christian charity. He has published a total of 26 albums, the first of which he recorded for Word and Shawnee Press, and then went on to found Brier Patch Music in 1985.

Performances regularly include songs improvised both musically and lyrically by accepting audience recommendations, sermon topics, or guest speaker stories as their basis. He performs in national and worldwide (church) congregations, campuses, youth gatherings, and annual assemblies. He lives near San FranciscoCalifornia, with his wife Jane.

I first sang this song as part of youth choir at Hope Reformed Church in Grand Haven, Michigan.

I got to see Ken Medema perform live for a statewide Baptist Student Union Rally while I was in college. He took several random nouns as suggested from the crowd, and then wrote a song around them. He’s a true talent!

The Song

            Read this simple song, and – today – pray it as your personal prayer.

CHORUS

Lord, listen to Your children praying,
Lord, send Your spirit in this place;
Lord, listen to Your children praying,
Send us love, send us pow’r, send us grace!

Something’s gonna happen like the world has never known,
when the people of the Lord get down to pray.
A door’s gonna swing open, and the walls come a-tumblin’ down,
When the people of the Lord get down to pray.
O when the people of the Lord, O the people of the Lord,
When the people of the Lord get down to pray.

A door’s gonna swing open, and the walls come a-tumblin’ down,
When the people of the Lord get down to pray.

All the people sang: (Chorus)

And He’s gonna take over, and He’s gonna take control,
He’s gonna move the mountains, make the waters roll,
When the people of the Lord get down to pray.
O when the people of the Lord, O the people of the Lord,
when the people of the Lord get down to pray.

He’s gonna move the mountains, make the waters roll,
when the people of the Lord get down to pray.

Sing it children: (Chorus)

You’re gonna know it when the Lord stretches out His hand,
when the people of the Lord get down to pray.
There’s gonna be a brand new song of vict’ry in this land,
when the people of the Lord get down to pray.
O when the people of the Lord, O the people of the Lord,
When the people of the Lord get down to pray.

There’s gonna be a brand new song of vict’ry in this land,
When the people of the Lord get down to pray.

Sing it children: (Chorus)

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