SONG #6 OF 50: “FLOOD THIS CITY” A PRAYER AMIDST VIOLENCE

SONG #6 OF 50: “FLOOD THIS CITY” A PRAYER AMIDST VIOLENCE

Last fall a young man named Marshawn Frazier was shot near the churches offices where I work. My friend Jeff, a fellow pastor, is neighbors with the Fraziers and conducted Marshawn’s funeral.

Just a couple months later, Amanda Blackburn was murdered in her home just a few blocks away from where we live. Several of our friends know the Blackburns, and the story flooded the chaotic stream of national media.

These situations caused a lot of mourning, prayer, and fasting. But they also caused a deep anxiety in our community.

My wife was understandably freaked out. Most pastors wives were afraid. Most pastors were afraid. The community was juggling the dual blow of losing a beloved friend and being worried for their safety. It took me awhile to admit it, but for the first time I was legitimately scared for my family’s safety in our own home.

I wrote this song as a means of processing what was happening around me. The day Amanda died I sat and sang this song through many tears, grieving for the Blackburns and a community devastated by violence. The prayer of “come quickly Lord Jesus!” was very real in those moments. This song was cathartic in that it helped me to express hope even within those moments of hopelessness. My prayer is that it can be a song of redemption amidst violent communities, broken families, and the anxieties that plague our existence.

Would you join me in praying for your own community, that the Kingdom of God would advance the Gospel of peace in the spaces we occupy? Feel free to use the comments to write out a prayer for your community.

Lyrics.

There’s violence in this city / There’s hate within these streets / There’s fear among this people / Lord we need Your peace

There’s worry in our spirit / Despair within our souls / There’s grief within our hearts / Lord we need Your hope

Let Your Kingdom come and flood this city / Pull us from the valleys we’ve made / Oh Jesus, Healer of the Nations / Bring us Your salvation in this place

There’s tension in our families / There’s pain within these wounds / There are lies within our stories / Lord we need Your truth

There’s peace within Your Kingdom / There’s truth within its claim / There’s hope among us it’s people / Lord we need Your reign

How I wrote it.

“There is violence in this city.” That’s the phrase that haunted me for weeks after Marshawn’s death. I never figured I could use it for a worship song.

About a month after Marshawn was killed, I was on a men’s retreat with our church. During some down time these lyrics started coming quickly. I’d forgotten to bring a guitar (major songwriter fail) so I started making notes of lyrics and chords I thought might work. I took a long hike, praying and journaling lyrics as I went. Most of the song was finished before I had a chance to get to a guitar.

 

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Comments (2)
  1. Mike Morrow February 11, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    You are a bright voice in the darkness Nick! I needed this for this morning.

  2. Carrie Joslin February 12, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    I love the song, Nick. I especially love the “open/free space” within the song. What a beautiful way to invite each person singing the song to lift up their own prayers. How personal and meaningful this song becomes to each individual, and what a holy, corporate-and-yet-individual moment before the throne of God. Very touching.

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