Archives For Devotions

These are posts that challenge and fuel our faith as worship leaders and musicians. Read devotions by worship leaders and songwriters and become inspired by their stories and heart for God, the Church, and humanity. We hope these devotions help bring you closer to God through the understanding of His word and the power of music.

God Doesn’t Want Our Songs

Jimi Williams —  September 13, 2013

God is saying, “I appreciate your effort, but I really don’t need your singing (sacrifice). What I really want is your heart.” Worship leaders spend a large amount of their time picking songs, scheduling their team, working out bugs in the sound system, shopping for new gear and rehearsing. God knows that all these things are important. However, often these “good things” distract and prevent us from the “best thing”: preparing our hearts…

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Suffering and Worship

Claire Hamilton —  August 28, 2013

A while ago, I spent some time reflecting on suffering, wondering how I could possibly contribute something useful and insightful around the topic. Suffering, grief, pain and loss are words that have become all too familiar in my own life.

As a “worship leader/facilitator” and songwriter, I have always been drawn to writing songs of intimacy which help usher us into His presence. A place of healing and restoration, where the broken get made whole and where as we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. A few years ago, I wrote a song called ‘Breathe On Me’. It was the first time I felt like I’d written something that captured my heart’s cry in the midst of painful circumstances. It was bittersweet as I’d longed to write that song for years. Finally it came to help lift my soul and give Him Praise in the middle of deep sadness and turmoil…

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Confidence Unshaken

Sarah Hart —  August 9, 2013

Summer of 1985: I brooded, in all my teenage glory, on my front porch on Maple Street around midnight. Bonding with my Scorpions cassette, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” on constant rewind. I had less confidence than a sandwich, was moody and sullen, restless leaning toward reckless. Oozing dissatisfaction. Going through the motions of living, waiting and waiting and waiting. Thinking to myself, “God, I hate this town and I want out. I’ll get out. Nothing good ever happens in this place; why the heck did you plant me here? I want more.”

I did, eventually, leave that little town (which now, most days, I want to go back to!). I’ve been blessed to spend these 20 years now traveling, and meeting so many gifted music ministers all across the country who are doing the work of the church; which is quite hard and often impossible, thankless work. I’m inspired by the talent, the time, the selflessness that I see; the deep desire and beautiful ability to bring the hearts of worshippers to a different level with just the offering of a song. Many times, I see the joy poured out with every note. But also many times, I see the hurt on some of those musicians faces; “I am so tired. Are they even listening? My confidence is shaken. I really want more. God, please, is this it? Why did you plant me here? I want to be satisfied…”

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Along with writing songs and leading worship, I work as a therapist, journeying with men and women, who seek deeper emotional and spiritual growth. It’s my “day job” and such an honor. The therapeutic journey varies from person to person, however, lately, I’m seeing a common chord.

As a kid, my whole family would pile in our old-school station wagon (you know the one with the wood paneling on the sides) and truck it all the way from Mobile, AL to the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado to go skiing. I remember thinking it was the longest distance in the world. There were lots of pit stops and sleepy stretches, (especially in TX) where the only vehicles we’d pass were UPS trucks. Boring!!! But oh how I would love the last few hours of that drive when patches of crunchy white snow became more regular and my hand tested the car windows to finally find freezing. We were not in Alabama anymore. It was glorious…

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Whether you’re on stage, in the congregation or running the sound, you’re always doing something with your hands. While many worshippers can’t wait take their place in the congregation to “lift up holy hands and sing,” there are also those who’d rather stuff them in their pockets or pump one in the air. But for those who have no idea what what to do with your hands, this one’s for you. We’ve put together a few different options for you to tryout during your next worship service…

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I’ve been thinking lately about the difference between things that are sacred and things that are secular. We Christians love to put things into neat little boxes. I think this somehow gives us a sense of security and assuredness that we are living our lives correctly.

With music, art or books we try especially hard to place each person’s creative work into the appropriate category. Of course, to do this we need rules – lots of rules. Here are some examples:

-If you sing about Jesus, then you are a “Christian artist”

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“Pure” and “love” are not two words that we often put together. Maybe it’s because most of the love we experience is anything but pure. As flawed people, we rarely love without somewhat impure motives. We have probably all loved someone because we wanted something from them, and I’m sure we’ve all been loved because someone only wanted something out of or from us.

We often feel we have to earn someone’s love by training ourselves to give them what they want. Unfortunately, this kind of love isn’t pure at all, and it doesn’t come close to reflecting God’s true heart…

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Only God is Able

Reuben Morgan —  May 28, 2013

It was never really about the numbers. Even though there were 24,000 hands lifted high throughout the 97 minutes of 136 decibel worship, nothing could compare to the planet-shaking power of the three little words that were burned in our hearts that night: God is able.

This was the recording session for God Is Able. The venue was full of people working to the best of their abilities, but like every one of the live Hillsong album recordings that had gone before, this one had its own unique balance that left its own unique impression upon us. As 12,000 hearts were carried back out into the night, we knew that the evening had taught us a valuable set of lessons…

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Sometimes I look around at the faces walking by and am amazed that each of these chosen people has an individual, beautiful story designed by God. We were created to bring unique worship before the Lord and live out the specific calling God has for our lives. Each of us is special gift belonging to the Lord with the task of making God famous right where we are, in the moment we are in.

From birth, my story has been centered on the love of singing to Jesus. I’m sure if you spoke with my mom, she would gladly tell you the stories of me singing into the microwave with a wooden spoon. I was on TV!! Or, my personal favorite, “Singing a song of the Lord” while telling my brother to “Shut it!” God put the love of music in my heart. Singing songs and entering in to praise and worship corporately has been an effortless passion and a gift that brings an immediate calm and joy to my spirit…

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I’ve found that I have an incredible capacity to holding on to things. My husband, Michael, knows this gift well. No matter how much I try to shrug something off, it holds on, making it’s presence felt in relationships and my right upper shoulder – a problem in which the “Thumper” (one of those home back massage doohikies) has proven to be one of my most advantageous purchases. I have a hard time remembering where my phone is or what state we happen to be playing a show in, but yes, I can absolutely remember what sort of glance so and so gave me or what conversation with that friend was two years ago. Relationships are at the core of who I am; they can put me on cloud nine or run me straight into the ground. So often, I wish I were the introverted, aloof-loner that is self-sufficient and most often found hunkered down in a cabin; writing some brilliant post-apocalyptic, sci-fi novel…unconcerned about the glance or missing the last family reunion or birthday party. It seems so cool, a much more weightless life to be unconcerned…but I am.

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