One of the most awesome movements in The Church worldwide is the explosion of great Christian worship music and artists that has been taking place for well over a decade. Christian concerts are drawing massive crowds, attracting new believers, and many Christian musical artists have become profound leaders of discipleship for the present era of our faith. Many of the same songs performed before crowds of millions are also heard in local churches every week.
At Spiritually Hungry, we strongly believe that worship music plays an important role in our spiritual growth, and can help us in many ways to grow closer to in relationship to God. With that thought in mind, here are our five ways to listen, enjoy and use worship music in your walk with Jesus.
1. Understand The Lyrics
This one might be fairly obvious, but if you want to move your experience with worship music from listening to internalizing, the first step is to pay attention to the lyrics. A great beat and catchy hook are awesome, but it is the intention of almost all Christian song writers that their listeners really grab a hold of what they are speaking. If there is a song you’re really drawn to, try looking up the lyrics, make sure you understand them all, maybe memorize them, if need be. Could you sing your favorite worship song to yourself from memory while driving?
2. Find Out What Biblical Passages May Have Inspired The Song
The majority of Christian worship songs contain references, allusions, or direct quotes, from Scripture. However, it isn’t always obvious where the lyrics come from without digging into Scripture study a bit. If there is a line in a song that really strikes you, do some research and see if it is inspired by, or directly from, a Biblical passage. Then, do some study of that passage and learn more about what the Biblical account describes, using our tips from our post, 7 Tips For Studying Scripture. Are you familiar with the Biblical backing of your favorite worship songs?
3. Use The Song As A Prayer
Music and prayer have always coincided in our faith – that’s exactly what Psalms is, and it’s the longest book in the Bible! The faithful throughout history have often used lyrics as prayers, and prayers as lyrics – and we can do the same today. If you’re ever struggling to find the words for prayer, or simply looking for new ways to express yourself in prayer, try turning to one of your favorite worship songs for inspiration. Have you ever included a line from a worship song in your prayer?
4. Learn How Your Favorite Song Fits With Other Songs By The Writer
For many artists today, their albums are not just a random collection of worship songs, but rather a cohesive, overall presentation of their perspective on faith at the time the album was created. If you are drawn to a particular song by an artist, consider listening to the entire album it is contained within. Are there themes, or other lyrics, in that album that shed light on your favorite song?
5. Use The Song Lyrics In Your Own Discussions
In the same way that Christian authors and thinkers are routinely quoted in sermons, Bible studies and other Christian discussions, worship artists have much to contribute in the way of thinking about our faith. We move beyond simply listening to songs and into the realms of internalizing and outwardly projecting their message when we start using them in our communication with one another. Are there lyrics in your favorite worship songs that might be used to speak into a particular situation in your life, or the life of someone else?
Again, we really believe in the power of worship music for changing our hearts and minds, and giving words to the faith inside of us. For further examples of the way we at Spiritually Hungry think about and use worship music in our own lives, be sure to check out our Seven Part Devotional Series Based On “Oceans” By Hillsong United.