Prayer Song by Danny Flowers

by Sister Julie Ann on January 1, 2008

Danny FlowersDanny Flowers may be best known for having penned the classic, “Tulsa Time” (Don Williams, Eric Clapton), or as author of such soulful cuts as, “Before Believing” (title cut for Emmylou Harris’s Pieces Of The Sky) and “Gulf Coast Highway” (Nanci Griffith, Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson, Evangeline), among others, but as a solo artist, his bluesy blend of raw emotion combined with a heartfelt yearning will speak to your very soul. Danny’s instrumentality has also earned him a high level of notoriety in the industry. Visit Danny’s website at:  http://www.dannyflowers.com and at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ1Oj76qaD0 Danny FlowersA couple of years ago I was in Sundance, Utah playing a series of songwriter performances. Every time that I walked down from my cabin to one of the main buildings I passed a statue sitting next to a creek of a Native American elder sitting cross-legged, with his head lifted up to the sky playing a drum & singing. Each time I walked by I would stop & stay a little longer as if my feet had suddenly become too heavy to move. The grace & elegance of the statue was mesmerizing. I found a little card in my room with some information about the statue including a brief quote from the dedication ceremony. I found out that it was sculpted by a great Native American artist named Allan Houser. Mr. Houser had done an enormous amount of work in his life including drawing, paintings & sculpture. His works are displayed in many prominent places throughout the world & are even featured in the Native American Museum in Washington, DC. This particular piece was called Prayer Song. I couldn’t get the statue out of my mind. I got my guitar out & wrote this song in one sitting having been inspired by this amazing work of art. Prayer Song invokes the Heavenly Father to “let there be life” & makes a strong statement about war & the senselessness of it all & how “no one is right”. My dear friend Emmylou Harris was gracious enough to sing harmony with me on the recording & my brother Bill Miller came over as well & played flute & added the second vocal harmony & chanted as well. I hope this song touches you in your heart & inspires you to join me in the affirmation” let there be life” until it truly comes to pass. Thanks for listening.

4 thoughts on “Prayer Song by Danny Flowers”

  1. Sister Marsaia says:

    PRAYER SONG – A statue (sculpted by Allan Houser) of a Native American warrior playing a drum and singing

    The Place: Sundance, Utah beside a rushing stream

    The Experience: Danny Flowers walking home from a guitar gigue comes upon the statue. He says his” feet became so heavy he couldn’t walk”. Danny stopped to see, to listen, to contemplate, to respond to the challenge of the sculpted warrior.

    The Result: PRAYER SONG, a song prayer that we can share.

    As we listen to this music, we are transported to the wild West. We hear the flute’s haunting wind and bird songs calling us to sit down and contemplate.

    Then the guitar solos a bit leading us into the lyrics so scripture-like: “O come to me He who lives his life unseen” “Show me the way…O giver of this breath of life today…” If we stay long enough we watch the “radiance of the sun” shine “its light down” (on the statue and on) “everyone” and we too want to respond with the prayer “Let me begin to begin to shine the whole day through.” Staying yet longer, we kneel with the warrior “at the dawn of the night.” And we too pray: Let my prayer song to you take flight. Let there be life.”

    In the third stanza we face the deepest challenge in the poet’s words. And there must be challenge in his words if it is to be good literature and especially if it is to be good prayer: “There is war in this sacred land we fight” (We’re all in the land, we’re all in the fight) “And” (Oh, God, you know this is hard to face!) “no one is right, no one is right. Help us remember that we are all His child, I pray. Show us the way…”

    Great song! I like the harmonies of the other singers. But what really makes me feel I’m there in Utah is when, near the end of the song I hear the sounds of cowboys in the background. Having lived and taught five years in Arizona myself, it felt really good to go back out West for a little while. Thanks, Danny, for the chance for us to go there, be there and contemplate with the praying
    warrior.

  2. What soul rendering feelings this music evokes! A combination of melodious ancestral recorder chant and deep country plucking guitar sounds create a song of strong intercession for light and peace from God. It is my hope for 2008. Thanks, Danny for sharing your prayer with us!

  3. Sister Pam says:

    One of my first years of teaching as a Franciscan Sister was spent working on an Indian Reservation in Arizona. After my experience there, I know I’ll never be a “desert rat” because I don’t love hot weather, sand or cactus. But one thing I’ll never forget is the beauty of standing in the middle of the desert at night.

    In the desert, the horizon seems to go on forever and when you are out at night you feel like you are embraced by a blanket of sky. The stars are a sight to see because there are no artificial lights to distract you from their brilliance and beauty. They are bright and magnificent and seem close enough to reach out and touch. One experience of the desert sky at night and you can understand why the Magi navigated their caravans over that ocean of sand by these brilliant stars and learned to read the sky as well as some of us can follow a road map.

    As I think about this song and Epiphany, who were these travelers and why do these Magi catch our imagination every time we hear their story?

    I think it’s because they were searchers and seekers. They were struggling to find their way and didn’t have all the answers. They took
    a long and difficult journey to another country in search of the Christ. They struggled to find the way to Jesus and they never gave up. They never turned back in spite of the dangers and the risk of the journey, in spite of the unknown that lay ahead of them. They kept on the road and never gave up the search.

    Like the Magi we are searching too. We have questions. We are harassed by people like Herod who seek to destroy us with selfishness, anger and resentment. We worry about family life, crime in the streets, illness,cancer, war, and death. Some days we get discouraged and feel hopeless and wonder if anyone really cares about us. Like the Magi, we struggle through the hot desert with only a hope and a vision to guide us. And like the Magi we also search TOGETHER.

    We can’t search, we can’t travel, we can’t make our way ALONE. We need one another and that’s why we’re here. This is why we “come to church.” We can’t walk this journey, be on this search alone. Alone, we lose our way, get discouraged and may even give up. We need the wisdom and support of each other. We need the prayers and encouragement of those around us. There’s more than just a group of people gathered when all of us sing together or listen to the Scriptures together or say, “Lord, hear our prayer.”

    We are a caravan. We are a Church. We listen together. We pray together. We are strengthened and comforted by each other. There’s no other way to travel.

    The Magi didn’t have all the answers. Neither do we. They had a wicked King after them. Some days, so do we. But during their life travels what the Magi DID have was each other AND the light of Christ to guide them. And so do we.

    They trusted in that light and it never grew dim. That star never stopped shining and leading the way for them. Day after day the Magi kept following the light of that star and at last they found what they were looking for.

    And if we do the same so will we.

  4. After having a blessed opportunity to return to the Tohono O’odham reservation for a brief time recently, I couldn’t help but be reminded of “Prayer Song’s” lyrics and call to be peaceful, gentle, life-giving followers of Jesus. The opening melody is truly Franciscan (earthy and heaven-bound all at the same time!)

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