There are few things more powerful than music.
Music makes us laugh.
It makes us cry.
Simply put, music makes us feel things.
I guess for all of us there are certain songs that when we hear them bring back some very vivid memories, both good and bad.
For me, every time I hear the song that says, “Keep your hands to yourself… I have a small change in my pocket…” I think of my babysitter. She was a high school student and I was about 5 years old at the time. She was playing this song while she babysat me nonstop!
Music is a powerful thing. It moves us. It moves our soul.
Speaking of our soul, music can also bring us closer to God. Especially when it comes to worship music – the melodies and lyrics of worship music have a way of getting the truth of God into our bones.
Singing songs of worship helped me through dark seasons by reminding me that God is always with me. On Sundays, I often listen to worship music on my way to church, increasing my passion for God and expectations for the day ahead. Throughout the week I’ll be singing to love the music in my house, the volume blazing. I don’t know if my kids love my passion as much as I do, but they aren’t (yet) covering their ears to the sound of my Mack Brock impression, so I think it’s okay!
Are you looking for songs of worship that will bring you closer to God and that you will really want to sing along to? Here are 11 songs of worship that opened my heart and strengthened my relationship with God in a whole new way.
1. “The man of your word” – Maverick City Music
Can’t get enough of Maverick City in general. They are a breath of fresh air when it comes to a new cult. “Man of his word” in particular is incredible! “I know anything is possible… when we believe… and old chains are breakable… when we receive. Amen to that! God is first and foremost a God of His Word, and what He has promised will come true. Worshiping to “the man of your word” will remind you of these awesome promises.
2. “Available” – Elevation Worship with Tiffany Hudson
Want to be used by God, to open your life and your heart to His plan? Listen and love this song! “I hear your call… I am available… I say yes Lord… I am available. Often times, we hold onto our lives so tightly, forcing things to turn out the way we want them to, not necessarily the way God wants them to. Whenever I find myself trying to control my life and the people around me, loving this song is so helpful. “Use me as you wish God… have your throne in my heart. PS Tiffany Hudson’s voice is amazing!
3. “From graves to gardens” – Brandon Lake
Have you ever been through a season of grief, pain or loss? Have you gone through, especially in the past year, a season of heartbreak or disappointment that you never thought would end? This song is hopeful if you’ve been through, or are going through, a disappointing or spiritually dry season in your life. “You turn graves into gardens… you turn bones into armies… you turn seas into highways… only you can do it. I’m not exaggerating when I say these words almost make me cry every time I hear them. There is so much truth in these words, so much hope, something we can all hold on to right now.
4. “Always under control” – Jesus Culture with Mack Brock
Need a song for 2021, here it is. “My God is always in control… and he still reigns on his throne… even though the mountains may tremble and the waves of the sea roll… I will sing it is good with my soul. It might be hard to believe with everything that’s going on in the world right now, let alone our own lives, that our God is still in control, He’s still here, and He’s still almighty. Sometimes you have to sing it to believe it. “It Is Well With My Soul” is one of my favorite anthems, and it’s a pretty awesome way to revamp those lyrics that are still true today.
5. “Famous For” – Tauren Wells with Jenn Johnson
This new song by Tauren Wells is first and foremost a testament to God’s absolute power and control over the world. “Shut the lions’ mouths … bring dry bones to life and … do what you’re famous for.” We serve a God who is famous for parting the waters, breathing life into dead people, and performing miracles around us every day. “Famous For” reminds me of what I should be aware of every minute of every day: our God was, and still is, famous for literally bringing dead people to life.
6. “You Are The Lord” – Passion with Brett Younker and Naomi Raine
Passion kicked off its annual conference this year with this hymn to who God is and all he does in our lives. What better way to start a new year than to declare it in our lives! “You are the Lord … lifted up forever … you are the Lord … compassionate and good.” Sometimes we just need to stop and really remind ourselves that God is who he says he is. This song does that for me. “There is no one like you my God … there is no one like you.”
7. “What a Savior” – Cult of HTB
This is just a fire worship song, plain and simple. We serve such an amazing Savior, sometimes it’s hard to tell how great God is, but this song does just that. “The tomb could not answer … his glorious mercy … as the light passed through the shadows, the creation wept … now here is the Savior.” If you’re looking for a worship song that just reminds you of who the God we serve is, turn this one up!
8. “Holy” – Justin Bieber and Chance the rapper
For anyone who’s just hymns, this probably isn’t your idea of a worship song. And while Biebs and Chance aren’t exactly cult leaders, I still find myself raising my hands in the air whenever it comes on the radio. “Holy” most likely relates to a relationship between two people (“the way you hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me … feels so holy, holy, holy, holy, holy”), but it indicates also the greatest relationship we have with God the Father. Human relationships give us a glimpse of God’s great love for us! Yes, this song reminds me of marrying my wife – “running to the altar like a track star” – but it also shows me how amazing the Father’s love for his children really is.
9. “King’s Child” – Cult of the Fresh Life
God is above all a Father to us, and this song reminds us perfectly of this truth. “I just have to believe that you mean what you say… I just have to tell you that I have what you want.” Sometimes it’s easy for us to forget that God is a loving Father who wants the best for us. We doubt His love when we go astray or move away from Him, but all the time He’s there, just waiting to welcome us home. We are children of the King, and this truth changes everything.
10. “The truth must be told” – Matthew West
This song by Matthew West is vulnerable and honest. “Hey, I’m fine but I’m not… I’m broken.” West sings about how we’re all supposed to tell everyone, including ourselves, that we’re great, even when we’re clearly not. We are all broken in one way or another, we are all going through something, and the sooner we admit it – to ourselves and to the people around us – the sooner we can enter into healing. God already knows all our ruptures; He just waits for us to come to Him and let Him wear what we were never meant to wear.
11. “Hallelujah to the cross” – Chris McClarney
This song is a few years old now, but it’s still so good to worship over and over again. Chris is one of my favorite cult leaders and an even better guy. Have you ever felt like you did not deserve the kindness and mercy that God has shown you? I was here. We serve a God who pursues us even in our darkest times, and this song proclaims it over and over again, thanking God for all he has done for us on the cross. “Hallelujah, thank you Jesus… I was a prisoner, now I am no longer… with your blood you bought my freedom… hallelujah for the cross.
Photo credit: Hannah Busing / Unsplash
Adam weber is the founder and senior pastor of Embrace, a multi-site church based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He is the author of Talking with God, and Love has a name: learning to love the different, the difficult and everyone (WaterBrook, available 08/25/20). He also hosts a podcast called The conversation with Adam Weber. Adam still encourages the Cincinnati Bengals but no longer drives Ramblers. He is married to his wife Becky and has four children: Hudson, Wilson, Grayson and Anderson. He also has seven chickens, two dogs, and three fish, but what he really wants is a sheep. Follow Adam on Instagram (@adamaweber) and Twitter (@adamweber), or learn more at adamweber.com.