Tuning In: Music as Prayer

Grayson Roraff

Grayson Roraff

On Wednesday, April 28, 2010, the Vis Sisters hosted their third and final “Following the Spirit” Discernment Workshop of the spring season. On this occasion, Sr. Joanna O’Meara invited North Minneapolis neighbor, and fellow-discerner, Grayson Roraff to play a selection of his recorded music to ground the convening group in prayer. Vis Companion and lay blogger Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde was present for the experience. On the heels of fellow blog-writer Beth Eiler-Sullivan’s post about sound as a discernment tool, we post Grayson’s music and biographical info (with his permission) for your own prayerful reflection and musings. Tune into Grayson’s cover of Robert Robinson’s “Come Thou Fount“! Enjoy!

Click here to Play Song

Interview with Grayson Roraff

Name: Grayson Roraff
Age: 26

Q: How long have you been singing and playing?

A: I’ve been singing since I was little; I was in kids choirs for a few years in elementary school. My dad is the choir director at school, so I learned from him! I started playing guitar at 21. I’m self taught in everything for the most part. I learned a few chords, then learned some worship songs from those chord progressions. I started writing my own music three years ago. I was getting bored playing other peoples’ songs, and was looking for ways to remember things I’d been going through;  and song seemed like a natural way to do it for me, because it seemed like a good way to compact things down to a simple way of remembering!

Q: Where do  you live and play music? Why do do sing and perform?

A: Currently, I am living in North Minneapolis. I try every once in a while to play music at open mics around the Cities… I feel I do this because it is a gift — one I feel God has given me– and it is needed to be shared, not hidden. I hope that through the music that it can somehow maybe strike a chord with people and be a positive thing for them, too!

Q: How did you come to know the Vis Sisters and join the Discernment Workshops?

A: I came to the Visitation Sister’s Discernment workshops through two ways. One was through an Urban Homeworks’ invitation. They were the ones that I originally met the sisters through, and got an email invite to go to the class.  I also heard about these classes from “House Church,” a home church I am going to on Sunday nights here in North Minneapolis. Some of the people I know there, Kim specifically, have gone through a similar class and had recommended it!

Song: “Come Thou Fount
Composer: Robert Robinson, c. 1758

Lyrics:

Tuning into Prayer: Grayson and Fellow Discerners

Tuning into Prayer: Grayson and Fellow Discerners

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I’ll raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’m come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wand’ring from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my feeble heart to Thee.
“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,”
Long I cried to be made pure;
“Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Work in me Thy double cure.”

Hallelujah! I have found it,
The full cleansing I had craved,
And to all the world I’ll sound it:
They too may be wholly saved.
I am sealed by Thy sweet Spirit,
Prone no longer now to roam;
And Thy voice, I’ll humbly hear it,
For Thy presence is my home.

For more info on Grayson, and to download any of his music, click here.

2 Responses

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  1. Grayson, Since we ended the 3rd session, and a bit before, I’ve been on, lets say, “special project”, so have been unable to get back to you to say this. I really appreciated what you added to the Discernemnt series, every time, and in particular, the last session, the one when your music was our prayer! Hope to keep up with you. Come pray at the monastery when we do chanting of the psalms and share scripture. (see our website for times we daily gather). thanks, again, Sr.Katherine

  2. Music is often a prayer form for me. Such talent!

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