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Prayer Life – Scripture Meditation Songs
This music is different – written in response to the Sprit’s leading only – unforgettable and beautiful.
This message is different – a psychologist’s rich interpretations of scripture and wise observations of life, people, self.
This band is different -- different generations, different cultures, different cities, different professions (a psychologist and an engineer?!), different traditions (social justice activism and charismatic gifting). Nevertheless God brought us together and gave us some vastly beautiful music and profound lyrics.
This project is different – based on prayer, waiting, and radical trust vs. striving and strategy. We are seeking the big plan and the purpose for each song in someone’s life.
The result is: deep lyrics, gorgeous chords, unique vocals, intricate keys, enchanting flute, and luscious cello lines—we bring you music that stays with you and changes you.
John was a piano prodigy in high school. He still is. But he turned away from using those pro skills for any other purpose than serving God. He has a hip-hop band, too, called Kingdom Business, that he pursues for the same purpose.
Andrea studied classical flute for years but secretly wanted to sing. But some little things came first, like getting a husband, a Ph.D., and a family. Now is apparently the time to sing.
John and Andrea met up in the unlikely venue of Craigslist and became a powerful writing duo. We are also the most unlikely duo, having next to "nothing in common" (except the most important thing).....
Andrea's voice has been called "unique" and "special". John has crazy piano skills--a musician's musician. Andrea's lyrics are deep and poetic and enticingly lead people back to the scriptures. Our songwriting has jumped out and caught the attention of experienced industry people.
Patrick Siegel of New Artist Avenue heard us on Myspace and asked to produce our unique songs using a top CCM production team, namely multi-Grammy winners Bill Whittington and Blair Masters.
Keith Mohr, President of IndieHeaven.com heard us on the Fanfaves chart and said, "I am listening to your music, it’s real nice. Good songwriting!"
Blair Masters, prolific arranger/composer/programmer, said:
"Prayer/Life's music is unique in that it encourages space for prayer and meditation. Between John's inspired piano playing, and Andrea's creative melodies, I found the experience of working with them to be delightful."
Debra Byrd, vocal coach on American Idol, has enthusiastically supported the project and promises she will sing her favorite song on the debut album, “Your Mark”.
We can't wait for you to use this music in your own journey towards deeper connection to yourself and to God.
My spiritual life started early and oddly. Listening to my older sister’s vinyl collection, at age 11, I became very intrigued by the lead character in the rock musical, Jesus Christ Superstar. So I picked up a Bible and started reading the first book I could find about his life, the Gospel of Matthew. I read every word of this opaque biography and it drew me closer to the main character.
That same spring, a beautiful girl at my brother’s high school invited him to her church—of course he said yes. He ventured out to the small church and started to play some folk music there for Sunday evening services. The new, young seminary graduate arriving to pastor the small church explained the gospel to my brother and offered him the chance to become a follower of Christ—of course he said yes again. And a month later, in his newfound zeal and simplicity, he gave me a home-made birthday present: a “How to Become a Christian Kit”. True story. The kit came complete with a modern translation Bible, illustrated instructions on how to put your hands together (to pray), and the now often-mocked “4 Spiritual Laws” tract.
I was delighted. I read the little booklet explaining the Christian faith in simple terms all by myself sitting in the bathroom. (Another true story.) I wanted what the illustrations in the booklet depicted: Jesus on the metaphorical throne at the center of my life. And I wanted eternal life, too. So I prayed the printed prayer on the last page to “accept Jesus into my heart” and to follow Him right there. So on my 12th birthday, my life became centered on God. I began learning as much as I could through Bible study and I began trying to make choices in line with what God wanted me to do at most points along my path. Through middle, junior, and senior high, I worked really hard at my academics but I prioritized going to youth group, helping my brother and his friends conceive and produce urban outreach coffee houses, leading a clandestine daily morning prayer meeting “on school property”, and talking to people about my faith.
As a high schooler, I stumbled upon Sigmund Freud’s biography of Woodrow Wilson in the stacks of the public library and found his personality theory fascinating. I simplistically intended to “fix” his brilliant theory of human nature by integrating what I had learned about human nature in bibilical theology. So at age 17, I determined to study theology and psychology at Fuller Seminary where I had heard one could get a doctorate that integrated these two explanatory systems. I also looked around at the wonderful and inspiring people in my little church and understood that some people’s emotional problems got in the way of their Christian ministry effectiveness. So to help the church and improve its mission, I wanted to study to be a clinical psychologist so that I could provide psychotherapy that would help believers grow in their lives and their faith.
This project and its start? Well, I started writing poetry at age 5, and songs at 15. But then there was a very long interlude: studying classical piano for 7 years and flute for 9 years that didn’t allow much attention to songwriting….And family attention was not on my singer-songwriter self at all: so it took years to allow myself this passion….In the meantime, I developed more classical talents at my beloved college, Swarthmore. There I played flute in the orchestra, took up ballet and modern dance, and landed lead soprano roles in operettas. A short encounter with a psychology intern at the college counseling center, who essentially mocked my faith, made me interested in conducting research for my senior thesis on the prevalence and impact of value conflicts between therapists and their clients. This experience strengthened my intention to study to become a psychologist who could help believers with their personal growth and spiritual development as well.
So I went from Swarthmore to Fuller Seminary, a perfect place to accomplish these goals. After a summer mission trip to Mexico City, I turned the focus of my study toward preventing mental health problems before they start by working to promote healthy parent-infant relationships. After my studies at Fuller and post-doctoral fellowship at Brown, I returned to Pasadena, CA to build my private practice and raise two children. My research and clinical work focused on helping adults repair their early attachment or relational experiences, helping parents foster healthy attachments in their own children, and using highly attuned relationship to help children with autism to develop language, joy, spontaneity, and creativity. These pursuits kept me busy for a little while….
Of course I sang and played music at church, but gradually I started to feel a call and a desire to make more music; it seemed obedience to this call required action. I lamely placed an ad on Craigslist for musicians to start a CCM band. The first week I posted the ad, John Stallworth replied. Thus happened the meeting of 2 people who have next to “nothing in common” (except the most important thing). The meeting turned into songwriting teamwork that was miraculously productive, as you’ll hear in concert, where we share more about how each song came to be.
John Stallworth was born on May 31st 1986 in Fontana California. He was raised in San Bernardino with three brothers, of all whom pursue musical involvement. As a child, John was influenced by many things, but none sparked his interest more than music, specifically the piano. As a quiet and shy individual, John's hidden talent was not even discovered by his parents until he was 14 years old. John's interest in the piano began in 8th grade (March 2000) in a junior high 3-month music theory class. His music teacher there really inspired him to play and pursue more in depth, because she realized the potential Even though the class was not at all centered on playing the piano, the teacher allowed free time for the students to play.
From that moment on John knew that this is all he wanted to do in life. About six months later after graduating from Junior High (Dec. 2000), John received his first keyboard, a Casio to be precise. So excited, John began to progress on the keyboard at unbelievable speed. The first song John learned to play was Beethoven's Fur Elise. Once John's parents showed interest and gratefulness in his playing, John began to learn at even more rapid speeds. This awarded him the opportunity for his mother to buy him an 88 weighted key digital piano (September 2001). That motivated him even more to play. John's main focus at the time was only to learn songs back to back. His only interest was in classical music.
But just as the motivations came, so did the discouragements. After a while family started to pay less and less attention to his playing, and he became upset. Some even made negative comments about his playing. These discouragements prompted John to become more private with his playing, so he began to use headphones. Even though these discouragements affected him for a while, John once again began to progress to a great measure. The year of 2002 would be considered one of John's most productive years.
In September of 2002, John was a Junior in High School. He switched schools to a newer school that was built less than half a mile from where he resided. He was excited to find out that the school offered a beginners piano course. While taking the course, John was surprised he knew everything (he is self-taught till this day). The positive of taking the class though was the fact that his exposure was excellent. John became known around the school as an amazing pianist. Then came the time for his first ever concert. In December of '02 John played in the theater of the school. Being a cold night, John's fingers were frozen, and on top of that he was extremely nervous. But his playing ability still showed, and he sent shockwave's through everyone who heard him play. Him being a quieter individual never exalted or showed his true talent to anyone until that performance.
The next day John was on every television in the school all day, and people came up to him that weren't even at the show to congratulate him. This was a true motivation for John, especially knowing that his first performance was a definite slam dunk. Now the following year in 2003, John had his focus on school for music. He made up his mind to attend Julliard Music School in New York. After applying, John prayed that he would make it night after night. Finally the letter came in but was the opposite of what he expected. John was not admitted, but was praised by the school leaders for his remarkable talent. He was encouraged to apply the following year, but to work more on his technique. Knowing that only three and a half years of self-taught playing almost landed him a spot at Julliard excited John, beyond his being upset about not making it in.
Besides music, John had another interest as well. As a young creative child, John loved to build and construct. So following after not being admitted to Julliard, John decided to take another approach. He went to school to study general engineering in Phoenix, Arizona right after graduating high school. Most who knew John, including his mother, were upset at his decision because they knew his heart was more into music. But John knew in his heart that God led him to make the decision.
During his years in college, John really began to develop more as a composer than a pianist. His love and dedication to God was taken to another level, and John made the decision to only dedicate music to worship and praise God. John grabbed hold of his purpose, even though being in a place he originally thought would never happen, he knew that God worked in mysterious ways. So John joined Living Word Bible Church as one of the pianists. There, he began to develop a more personal relationship with serving the Lord, and at the same time he gained his first real experience with playing with a band (most all John did previous to this was solo work). So at the same time studying engineering, John was able to develop more as a musician.
Growing up in a Baptist church, John was familiar with the music styles that were used. But John decided to take his music knowledge to the next level, by studying other styles besides classical and gospel. After receiving his associates of science degree in general engineering, John moved back to California to work. There he met Andrea Davis, and the two added a bass player and a drummer to the band. At the time they didn’t have a name, and after numerous long discussions, finally came up with Prayer/Life. All of the music written for the group was directly spiritually and biblically inspired. John began to compose music on his piano, while Andrea wrote the lyrics to the songs. The two became a great team, producing a very unique sound that can really be called original.
After moving back to southern California, John was hired to do electrical engineering. John was able to balance then his love for music and also engineering. He also joined his old church and began to play as a support keyboardist. John’s focus then became music directing, and composing, and he began writing music of all genres.
Today, John continues to work in engineering as well as performing and composing music with Prayer/Life. All John’s music is very spiritually inspired, and deep, as he focuses on God being able to bless him with ideas in music writing. John continues to play and write music for his church, and continues to grow in both spirituality as well as musically.