There are few things more powerful than music.
Music makes us laugh.
It makes us cry.
Simply put, music makes us feel things.
I’m guessing that for each of us, there are certain songs that when we hear them bring back very vivid memories—some good, and some bad.
For me, whenever I hear the song that goes, “keep your hands to yourself … I got a little change in my pocket…” I think of my babysitter. She was a high-schooler, and I would have been about 5 years old at the time. She would play that song while she was babysitting 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 God’s truth into our bones.
Singing worship songs has helped carry me through some dark seasons by reminding me that God is always with me. On Sundays, I’ll often listen to worship music on my drive to the church, increasing my passion for God and the expectation for the day ahead. Throughout the week, I’ll sing along to worship music in my house—the volume at full blast. I’m not sure if my kids enjoy this passion of mine as much as I do, but they’re not covering their ears (yet) at the sound of my Mack Brock impression, so I think we’re good!
Looking for some worship songs that will bring you closer to God, and that you’ll actually want to sing along to? Here are 11 worship songs that have opened my heart and strengthened my relationship with God in a whole new way.
1. “Man of Your Word” – Maverick City Music
I can’t get enough of Maverick City in general. They’re a breath of fresh air when it comes to new worship. “Man of Your Word” in particular is amazing! “I know all things are possible … when we believe … and old chains are breakable … when we receive.” Amen to that! God is, above all, a God of His Word, and what He promised will come to pass. Worshipping to “Man of Your Word” will remind you of these awesome promises.
2. “Available” – Elevation Worship featuring Tiffany Hudson
Wanting to be used by God, to open up your life and heart to His plan? Listen and worship to this song! “I hear your call… I am available… I say yes Lord… I am available.” Often we hang onto our lives so tightly, forcing things to work out the way we want them to, not necessarily the way God intends them to. Whenever I find myself trying to control my life and the people around me, worshipping to this song is so helpful. “Use me how you want to God … have your throne within my heart.” P.S. Tiffany Hudson’s voice is incredible!
3. “Graves Into Gardens” – Brandon Lake
Ever been through a season of heartache, pain, or loss? Have you walked through—especially in this last year—a season of grief or disappointment that you never thought would end? This song is full of hope if you’ve been through, or are currently 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… you’re the only one who can.” I’m not exaggerating when I say those lyrics almost make me cry every time I hear them. There’s so much truth in those words, so much hope—something we can all hold onto right now.
4. “Still In Control” – Jesus Culture featuring Mack Brock
Need a song for 2021, this is it. “My God is still in control… and still he reigns on his throne… though mountains may tremble and sea billows roll… I’ll sing it is well with my soul.” It might be hard to believe with everything that’s going on in the world right now, not to mention our own lives, that our God is still in control, He’s still there, and He’s still all-powerful. Sometimes we need to sing it to believe it. “It Is Well With My Soul” is one of my favorite hymns ever, and this is a pretty awesome way to revamp those still-true-today lyrics.
5. “Famous For” – Tauren Wells featuring Jenn Johnson
This new song from Tauren Wells is above all else a testament to God’s absolute power and control in the world. “Shut the mouth of lions… bring dry bones to life and… do what you are famous for.” We serve a God that is famous for parting the waters, breathing life into people that were dead, and performing miracles around us every single day. “Famous For” reminds me of what I should be aware of every minute of every day—our God was, and is still, famous for literally bringing dead people back to life.
6. “You Are The Lord” – Passion featuring Brett Younker and Naomi Raine
Passion kicked off their annual conference this year with this anthem to who God is and all that He does in our lives. What better way to start off a new year than by declaring this over our lives! “You are the Lord… forever lifted high… you are the Lord… compassionate and kind.” Sometimes we just need to stop and really remember that God is who He says He is. This song does that for me. “There’s no one like you God… there’s none like you.”
7. “What A Savior” – HTB Worship
This is just a fire worship song, pure and simple. We serve such an amazing Savior, at times it’s hard to put words to how awesome God is, but this song does just that. “The grave could not answer… his glorious mercy… as light broke through shadow, creation cried… behold now the Savior.” If you’re looking for a worship song that just reminds you who the God is that we serve, crank this one up!
8. “Holy” – Justin Bieber and Chance the Rapper
For all you hymns-only people, this probably isn’t your idea of a worship song. And while the Biebs and Chance aren’t exactly worship leaders, I still find myself putting the praise hands in the air whenever this comes on the radio. “Holy” is most likely about 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 also points to the greater relationship we have with God the Father. Human relationships give us a glimpse into God’s great love for us! Yeah, this song reminds me of getting married to my wife— “runnin’ to the altar like a track star”—but it also shows me how amazing the Father’s love for His children really is.
9. “Child of the King” – Fresh Life Worship
God is, above all, a Father to us, and this song reminds us of that truth perfectly. “I only need to trust that you mean what you say… I only need to tell you in me have your way.” 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 mess up or drift from Him, but the whole time He’s there, just waiting to welcome us back home. We are children of the King, and that truth changes everything.
10. “Truth 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 expected to tell everyone—including ourselves—that we’re doing totally fine, even when we’re clearly not. We’re all broken in some way, we’re all going through something, and the sooner we admit that—to ourselves and the people around us—the sooner we can step into healing. God already knows all our brokenness; He’s just waiting for us to come to Him and let Him carry what we were never meant to carry.
11. “Hallelujah For The Cross” – Chris McClarney
This song is a couple of years old now, but it’s still such a good one to worship along with over and over. Chris is one of my favorite worship leaders and an even better dude. Ever felt like you don’t deserve the kindness and mercy God has shown you? I’ve been there. We serve a God who chases after us even in our darkest moments, and this song proclaims that over and over—thanking God for all that He’s done for us on the cross. “Hallelujah, thank you Jesus… I was a prisoner, now I’m not… with your blood you bought my freedom… hallelujah for the cross.”
Photo Credit: Hannah Busing/Unsplash
Adam Weber is the founder and lead pastor of Embrace, a multi-site church based out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He’s the author of Talking With God, and Love Has A Name: Learning to Love the Different, the Difficult, and Everyone Else (WaterBrook, available 8/25/20). He also hosts a podcast called The Conversation with Adam Weber. Adam still cheers for the Cincinnati Bengals but no longer drives a Rambler. He’s married to his wife, Becky, and has four kids: Hudson, Wilson, Grayson, & Anderson. He also has seven chickens, two dogs, & three fish, but what he really wants is a sheep. Follow Adam on Instagram (@adamaweber) and Twitter (@adamweber), or find out more at adamweber.com.