The idea of this is to sing a song (we've often used the Taize 'O Lord Hear My Prayer'), and then have the sound effects start, unannounced, underneath (download the mp3 from the box above). As the singing is 'interrupted' by the sounds of war, poverty and suffering, the idea is that the congregation are moved to remember that many people all over the world are worshipping with chaos and strife all around them. As the sound effects fade you can move into prayer - spontaneous, pre-written or in small groups.

The idea was born from reports from Christians we knew in Sri Lanka, who emailed during the civil war to say that they were worshipping with the sound of gunfire in the background. Sam and Sara's friend Tim suggested we get some sound effects to play in our own services, but we never got around to the idea. However, Damian picked up the idea, and created a soundtrack using effects and news reports. We can't share news reports due to copyright (and in any case, the news by nature gets old), but this is a copyright free, sound effects only version.

We've used this on a number of occasions. It always provokes a response - mainly to prayer, but also sometimes annoyance. Some people struggle with the idea of worship being 'interrupted' by 'worldly sounds'. But this is specifically the intention - to break into our cosy services with the reminder that in God's world many people are experiencing great suffering. These kinds of ideas should never be used to distract people from God, but we would be happy if they distracted people from their own selves for a while and caused us to call out to God for a suffering world.

The sound effects are from the website, and are used under a Creative Commons License. Thanks for Damian for making this available, and to Tim for the original idea.