By Becky Harling, Crosswalk.com
We were designed to praise and worship God. The Apostle John, in the book of Revelation, wrote, “You are worthy, Our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:11).
Why did God design us to worship Him? Is He some egotistical, insecure being who needs our approval? No. God created us to worship Him because He knows that we become like what or who we admire (Psalm 115:8). As we worship God, we become more like Him.
Why Are Praise and Worship Vital to Our Faith?
The extraordinary power of praise is that as we worship and praise God, we’re changed in the process. Dr. Carolyn Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist specializing in cognitive and metacognitive neuropsychology, teaches that our brain chemistry is actually altered as we praise and worship God. In other words, science is now confirming what God said in Scripture long ago. You can’t praise God and not be changed. With mental health issues on the rise in the wake of COVID19, we need to learn to unleash the power of praise now more than ever. As we praise Him, fear turns to courage, anxiety to peace, weakness to strength, and depression to joy.
Here are 10 powerful worship songs that I suggest you listen to:
1. “Turn Your Eyes” by Natalie Grant and the Belonging CO
This powerful song by Natalie grant came out during the peak of the pandemic. It’s a beautiful new twist on an old song. After the chaos of 2020, we need the reminder to lift our eyes to Jesus. As Natalie progresses through this song, her words become a prophetic voice that points to the fact that when we fix our focus on Jesus, He breaks chains and brings healing. As you worship Jesus Christ and lift your focus to Him, you are going to experience the presence of Christ through this powerful music. Honestly, Natalie Grant crushes this! Her passion shines through every word.
2. “First Love” by Kari Jobe
Every now and then we need to take stock of our affections. It’s easy for idols to captivate our hearts. Our idols may even be good things. Things like children, spouses, homes, jobs, or politics. However, an idol is anything that takes priority over our love for Christ. In this sweet yet powerful worship song, Kari Jobe reminds us to verbalize to the Lord that He is our first love. It’s easy at times to worship the Lord but forgetting how important it is that we verbalize our affection for Him as our One true love.
3. “Fresh Fire” by Maverick City
Maverick City worship is a dynamic group from Atlanta. As we continue to contend with the global pandemic complacency can easily set in. Our heart cry needs to be for a fresh fire to light our passion for the living Christ. God is using this song to call people to intercede for revival. Revival beings in the privacy of our hearts when we cry out with passion, “Lord, I need fresh fire from your Holy Spirit!”
4. “Faithful Now” by Vertical Worship
In light of the events of 2020, we need the reminder of God’s faithfulness in our lives! It’s possible that you’ve lost loved ones due to the pandemic or perhaps you’ve lost a job or home due to the failing economy. In these trying days it’s easy to forget that God has been faithful in the past and He will be faithful today and tomorrow. “I will speak to my fear, I will preach to my doubt, You were faithful then you’ll be faithful now!” Sometimes, when life closes in we need to have a little self-management meeting. As you worship to Faithful Now, let the words remind you, God won’t fail now. No matter what current events look like, God Himself is faithful and He will be faithful to the end!
5. “Be Still” by Red Rocks Worship
When life feels confusing or chaotic, we’re tempted to take control. Certainly, many of us have felt that “out of control” feeling during the pandemic. This beautiful worship song reminds us to be still and trust that God is working even when we don’t see it. It is a declaration that we will wait on God rather than taking matters into our own hands.
6. “Nothing Else” by Cody Carnes
For many of us, worship on Sunday morning has become focused on which band we preferred. This profound worship song reminds us to come back to the heart of worship and to savor God’s presence. The song leads the listener in a powerful confession of the times when we’ve made our worship about our agenda rather than God’s. As we echo the words, “More than anything that you can do I just want You!” there’s a powerful transformation that takes place in the depth of our soul. I can’t recommend this song enough. Let it transform your soul and draw you into a deeper union with Christ.
7. “Fresh Wind” by Hillsong Worship
This brand new release from Hillsong worship cries out for a fresh movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In the aftermath of 2020, the COVID pandemic, racial injustice, political polarization, and general unrest in the church, the words point us towards repentance. “As we repent, turn from sin, revival embers smoldering. Breath of God fan us into flame.” While we receive the Holy Spirit when we come to Christ, I believe there is always room to cry out to be brought more in line with Him. “Pour your Spirit Out” is a cry for more of the rule and reign of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This song is a beautiful invitation for the Holy Spirit to take more control of your life so that you burn with passion for the things of God.
8. “The Great I Am (Live)” by YWAM Kona
One very practical way to structure your worship is to praise God through His I Am statements. In this powerful new worship song, we are reminded to praise God for being constant and unchanging, the great I Am. The Psalmists often used word pictures to describe God in their songs of praise. Many of those word pictures are included in this song; “rock, refuge, portion, and cup”. Each of the images reminds us of the unchanging and unfailing love of God. He will be our victory in the end. If you’re walking through a season of discouragement, I highly recommend this new worship song!
9. “Behold the Lamb” by Shane and Shane
This brand new song from Shane and Shane reminds us of Jesus as the Lamb of God who was slaughtered and crucified for our sins. Often as believers, we take the crucifixion for granted because we’ve heard the story so often. This worship song is a beautiful reminder of the victory that Christ won through His sacrificial death. As the lamb of God, He deserves all of our praise. We have hope because of the victory Christ won through His crucifixion and resurrection. May we never take that victory for granted! As you listen, I encourage you to ask God to increase your awareness of what the crucifixion cost Christ.
10. “No One Beside” by Elevation Worship
This has been one of my favorite songs to worship to, early in the morning, during this past year. What a profound reminder that no one other than God deserves all of our praise, worship, and adoration. As you allow the words of this song to prompt your praise you’ll be reminded that God is both the redeemer and the One who rules over all things.
How to Use Praise and Worship Songs to Encourage Your Daily Walk with Christ
The question is how do you incorporate worship into your everyday life? One of the best ways to do this is to download worship songs on your phone. As you listen, allow the words of the worship songs to prompt your praise. I recommend starting each day intentionally with worship. I have practiced this for the past 20+ years and it has radically changed my life.
These worship songs are some of my favorites, but add your own to the list. Become intentional about setting aside time every day to praise and worship God. As you do, your heart and life will be changed. The truth is you can’t genuinely worship God and not be changed.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/FTiare
Authentic. Passionate. Funny and Biblical all describe Becky Harling. A best-selling author, Becky is a popular speaker at conferences, retreats, and other events. She is the author of 11 books, including Psalms for the Anxious Heart, How to Listen so Your Kids Will Talk, and The Extraordinary Power of Praise. Her newest Bible study, Our Father, comes out this Spring. Becky is a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team and a seasoned Bible teacher. You can connect with Becky at www.beckyharling.com, www.harlingleadership.com, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/beckyharlingministries, Twitter, @beckyharling, or on Instagram at Becky Harling