Confession: I’ve found that I enjoy songs by seasons. When I was walking through miscarriage six years ago, I found I was listening to angry songs, and they helped me process and survive. When we gave up foster children, I had a grieving soundtrack. These days, I’m mixing songs of brokenness with songs of faith.
My current playlist covers widely diverse styles, from Mennonite choral to Christian contemporary to Russian youth to black gospel. For one reason or another, each song connects with me and keeps me going.
(When my friend Anita wrote about her playlist, it got me thinking of sharing about mine.)
One thing that has opened my heart to various kinds of worship is the joy of experiencing it in person with other believers, who do it different ways.
You don’t have to like the songs. And I’m not fond of the hoopla of a few live performance videos. But many other music videos on the list add something truly beautiful to the pieces.
You can listen to a YouTube playlist of these songs here. And following are my descriptions.
This is a song I found through dear friends from another church. I love the strength it pictures of being in Christ. And the harmonies just make me happy.
Graves into Gardens (Dream Media)
I don’t love how this one goes on and on, and I usually skip forward eventually, but it met me when I was broken. God is the only one who can turn “bones into armies, seas into highways, shame into glory.”
Lay Me Low (Laudate Mennonite Ensemble)
My prayer. “Where the Lord can own me…” I love how other songs on this list talk about fighting hard and taking a stand, and this piece talks about laying it down and humbling the heart. Each is true, and a piece of what I long for.
Like David who faced a giant, like Moses who clung to hope in the wilderness, we have the resources and person of God to empower us when we face the things that are too big for us.
Fear is a Liar (Zach Williams)
I like the video. And the lyrics here are so very powerful. “Cast your fear in the fire.”
Truth be Told (Matthew West)
This song is the one I already told you about. It has become a theme for this year, bringing me back again and again to what I believe in and care about. Are we “fine, fine, fine” or broken? What is church supposed to look like?
Praise You in This Storm (Casting Crowns)
Here’s a reminder that Jesus is present, even when he doesn’t step in to rescue us at the moment we want him to.
Dem Bones (Delta Rhythm Boys)
Pure joy. I love the old-fashioned voices and jazz. Dem dry bones gonna walk around.
The truth of this song is one that could be taken wrongly – that we are now perfected and above reproach. But beneath misunderstandings, there is the bedrock certainty that Jesus declares his people righteous.
The Unmaking (Nichole Nordeman)
When all I have worked so hard to build crumbles about me, then what? Who was I building it for, anyway?
We Are Not Alone (Oasis Chorale)
Gorgeous voices, glorious truth. God is WITH US!
Ceasefire (For King & Country)
How will fighting each other for the things we believe gain us anything? We only win when we see our own fallibility, and lay down our swords.
Prayer for Strength (Oasis Chorale)
Longing for the presence and heart of the Father.
Glorious (For King & Country)
The miraculous inbreaking of Jesus into our world… “He is the chorus of every song that we were born to sing.”
O God Forgive Us (For King & Country)
Forgive us for the division and doubt that have divided us into camps, disregarding each other while saying we’re turning our hearts to God.
Beloved (Jordan Feliz)
Are we doing enough to be loved? Are we measuring up? Or is there a reality that goes beyond that? Jordan Feliz is a singer I heard in person, and since then I’ve been interested in his stuff – especially his lyrical depth and heart toward God.
I Can Only Imagine (MercyMe)
This famous song takes me in my imagination to the moment of finally standing before Jesus in the flesh. What will I feel, and do?
Light of a Clear Blue Morning (Laudate Mennonite Ensemble)
It’s been a dark night, but we can see the breaking of dawn…
God be With You Till We Meet Again (Simon Khoroloskiy)
This Russian performer is worth noting. He sings most of his songs in his own tongue, and quite a few of them with his many sisters. Brilliant vocals, and excellent ideas for expression. I love his music videos, interpreting the meanings and allowing you to see the singers.
Never Too Far Gone (Jordan Feliz)
We can “never outrun” his love, no matter what we’ve done.
Satisfied (Jordan Feliz)
Turning from the many distractions and siren calls, here is the song of a heart focused on Jesus.
I Will Rise (Alex Boye)
Alex Boye is a crazy guy, mixing African instruments and styles with choral pieces. I love this one so much. The music video makes me choke up. We can say “all is well” because of the overcoming power of Jesus.
When the Roll is Called Up Yonder (Simon Khorolskiy)
Another fun music video with Simon and sisters, sung in Russian. Their layered voices are just lovely.
Jesus, Strong and Kind (CityAlight)
I love what CityAlight is doing, crafting songs for ordinary churches and simple singers. This one tops the chart for some of my favorite song lyrics of all time.
Come to Jesus (Chris Rice)
No matter what your life’s situation is, from stumbling to tears to joy to laughter, come!
What worship song means something special to you right now? I’d love to add it to my list.