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MISSIONAL ANTHEMS OF SOLIDARITY and MUTUALITY BY SANDRA MARIA VAN OPSTAL Discovering the power of sung prayers as participants of a global worshiping community. Communal Prayer Have you ever walked into a flood of prayers being offered to God? Or ex- perienced passionate waves of interces- sion rising and falling on a community? Korean Christians have a prayer tradition called “one voice.” It is a form of com- munal prayer in which the individual prays on his or her own, but at the same time as all the others in the room. It is typically initiated by an exhortation and then an invitation such as, “Let us pray.” Its beauty is found in the murmur as each person lifts up his or her individual voice to the one voice of the community. It is not merely a collection of individual prayers, but the collective voice crying out before God in harmony. This practice values freedom in prayer. Led by the Holy Spirit people can pray at their own pace 30 as they listen to prayers of others. Some call this “Korean style” prayer. Communal prayer may differ from community to community comprising of: • Written prayers that are read to or by the congregation • Popcorn prayer (short spontaneous prayers by individuals one at a time) • Praying around a circle • Praying for or with someone next to you Community-Shaped Prayer Why “one voice”? This collective audible prayer originated in the great Korean Revival of 1907 which missionaries de- scribes as an outpouring of the Holy Spir- it.¹ Their experience of collective trauma over the loss of their nation shaped their prayer. Dr. Jong Chun Park of Methodist Theological University in Seoul describes W O R S HIP L EAD ER J AN UARY /FE BR UARY 2016 it this way: Many Korean Christians internalized the national crisis and carried the burden into the depth of their own sense of guilt. This “hidden guilt” emerged in Tonsung prayer and was dra- matically expressed in the groan of the Spirit of God present among the people crawling over the hill of suffering (Rom 8:26). The voices of this early community were diverse—men and women, rich and poor—and together in unity, they cried out in “one voice.” Singing One Voice Our prayer tradition may not mirror Ko- rean style prayer, but isn’t that what we do when we sing congregational worship songs? We gather together to sing our prayers of lament, devotion, and praise to God. Worship leaders are prayer lead- ers. We create spaces and places where