Several years ago, I made the decision to stop listening to secular music on the radio while I was driving in the car and to listen to only Christian music instead. Just to be clear, I still have some of my favorite non-Christian music on my iPod, and I am not against it at all. I just felt like the value that I gained from listening to exclusively faith-based music outweighed what I was giving up, and honestly, I never missed secular music!
Over the last few years, I transitioned from listening to nothing but Christian music in the car to using my driving time to listen exclusively to Audible books, sermon archives, and Podcasts. Outside of Sunday morning worship at church, I pretty much stopped listening to worship music. I don't think that my decision to change my listening preference in the car is bad at all! I love learning and growing with that time. However, I didn't realize how much I missed the solo worship time—or how much power it really added to my Spiritual life until I added it back in.
Like most, I have a fairly consistent morning routine. Once I wake up, I grab my hot tea or coffee, and then settle in for my quiet time. I read a chapter in my Bible, some devotions in the YouVersion App and the swHw App, spend time in prayer, write in my Gratitude Journal, and read a few different emails that I subscribe to for daily encouragement. Then I go about getting ready for my day.
I happened to catch my husband doing a home workout one morning while listening to a Pandora worship station and it made me realize how much I missed praise and worship on a routine basis. I decided to add it into my morning routine and I am so glad that I did! Now, instead of jumping right to listening to something educational when I am done with my quiet time, I play my Pandora station (Elevation Worship) while I put on my makeup and get ready for the day. It has made a major impact in several ways. I wanted to share these with you, and hopefully encourage you to do the same, in the event you don't already listen to worship music daily.
You speak the Word of God and His Truth over yourself.
Many of the lyrics are based on scripture and God's truth about us and His promises to us. When you repeat the words to the songs, you are covering yourself with the Word of God and His promises.
"David was greatly distressed... [he] encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God." -1 Samuel 30:6
"I am chosen, not forsaken. I am who You say I am. You are for me, not against me. I am who You say I am." Hillsong Worship: Who You Say I Am
You are singing the lyrics as prayers.
Many of the song lyrics are requests of the Lord. You can sing the songs intentionally making them your own prayers. Sometimes I even write out the lyrics as prayers to post around my home.
"Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere." -Ephesians 6:18
"Falling on my knees in worship; giving all I am to seek Your face. Lord all I am is Yours. My whole life I place in Your hands. God of mercy, humbled I bow down; in Your presence at Your throne. I called; You answered and You came to my rescue and I, I wanna be where You are." Hillsong United: Came To The Rescue
You get perspective on the things that truly matter.
It is so easy to become distracted by things that are not of lasting value. Worship helps us to align our priorities with God's priorities and to keep our minds fixed on what matters in light of eternity.
"Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]." -Colossians 3:2
"I know You're in control. Even in our suffering. Even when it can't be seen. I know You're in control. Oh I, I hear You say... Look up child!" Lauren Daigle: Look Up Child
You will steer your mind toward hope.
Just as you train your body, you can train your mind in the direction you desire it to go. It is very difficult sing and be in a bad mood at the same time! Don't believe me? Try it! Worship will renew your hope, which in in turn stir up an even further desire to worship. It becomes a feed-forward cycle which alters the state of your mind.
"My spirit, why are you so sad? Why are you so upset deep down inside me? Put your hope in God. Once again I will have reason to praise him. He is my Savior and my God." -Psalm 43:5
"Doesn't matter what I feel. Doesn't matter what I see. My hope will always be in Your promises to me. Now I’m casting out all fear for Your love has set me free. My hope will always be in Your promises to me." Elevation Worship: Your Promises
You will begin to focus on that which positive.
We are called to think on what is good and to keep our mind focused on the positive. This is so important because what we think on becomes part of our value system. When our value system is aligned with what the Lord values, it gives us firm footing in a world of negativity and false hope.
"Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]." -Philippians 4:8
"I will stand my ground where hope can be found. I will stand my ground where hope can be found. O'Lord O'Lord I know You hear my cry. Your love is lifting me above all the lies. No matter what I face this I know in time. You'll take all that is wrong and make it right!" Lauren Daigle: O'Lord
You will be transformed from the inside out.
Most of the lyrics revolve around gratitude and praise. Despite what our outward circumstances are, when we fix our thoughts on these things, it renews and changes our minds, which will also transfer outwardly in our attitudes.
"Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking." -Romans 12:2a
"My heart and my soul; I give you control; consume me from the inside out, Lord. Let justice and praise become my embrace; to love You from the inside out." Hillsong United: From The Inside Out
You meditate on the goodness of the Lord and His love.
Eastern meditation is often about emptying the mind. Spiritual meditation is different. It is about filling our minds with God's Truth and focusing our attention on the goodness of His ways and His love. Worship is a form of spiritual meditation.
"I will meditate on Your precepts and [thoughtfully] regard Your ways [the path of life established by Your precepts]." -Psalm 119:15
"You don't give Your heart in pieces. You don't hide Yourself to tease us. Uncontrolled, uncontained. Your love is a fire, burning bright for me. It's not a spark. It's not just a flame. Your love is a light, that all the world will see. You don't give Your heart in pieces. You don't hide Yourself to tease us." Bethel Music: Pieces
You are hiding God's Word in your heart.
Repetition leaves lasting impact on the state of our hearts. When you repeat the Word of God in song lyrics, you are in effect, treasuring it and tucking it away where it is safe and will help safeguard you from sin later on. This is how we transform to be more like Christ.
"Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, that I may not sin against You." -Psalm 119:11
"Come be the fire inside of me. Come be the flame upon my heart. Come be the fire inside of me. Until You and I are One." Jesus Culture: You Won't Relent
What you store up overflows.
Repeating the same things over and over allows you to store it up in your heart. Worship is like a cleansing and a renewal of our mind, heart, and spirit. This not only helps wash away any of Satan's lies we may have believed, but it also overflows to those around us in what we say and do.
"Good people have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that’s why they say things that are evil. What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts." -Psalms 119:115
"But You, You fill up my cup and I'm overwhelmed... I know You're the only reason I'm living; I overflow... The love that I'm filled with, I can't help but give it. I want to see joy flood this world." Newsboys: Overflow
You will continue to worship all day long.
Not only will you sing the words and worship with the song, but some of the songs will get stuck in your head and then you'll be singing out loud and thinking them all day long. It is wonderful to carry the attitude of worship all day!
"It is good to sing about your love in the morning and about your faithfulness at night." -Psalm 92:2
"Your love is a symphony, all around me, running through me. Your love is a melody, underneath me, running to me. Oh, Your love is a song." Switchfoot: Your Love Is A Song
You train your mind to recognize God's Truth and your actions to align with it.
We are to worship in spirit and in Truth. The more we hear and repeat the Truth, the more we solidify it in our minds. This assists us in our ability to act from a place of faith and trust in that Truth.
"God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality)." -John 4:24
"You make me brave. You make me brave. You call me out beyond the shore into the waves. You make me brave. You make me brave. No fear can hinder now the promises you made." Bethel Music: You Make Me Brave
You gain access to food for your spirit.
What you put into your body is important, but how you feed your mind and spirit is equally, if not even more important. Worship connects us to the true Source and feeds and strengthens our spirit-man. We want the spiritual part of us to be the strongest part so that it leads every other area of our life.
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." -Matthew 4:4
"I have come to this place in my life, I'm full but I've not satisfied; this longing to have more of You. And I can feel it; my heart is convinced. I'm thirsty; my soul can't be quenched. You already know this but still, come and do whatever You want to." Jenn Johnson & Bethel Music: In Over My Head (Crash Over Me)
You will call to mind the things He has done and remember your need for Him.
Worship allows us to take the focus off of ourselves and places it on the Lord. It turns our longings so that they are directed onto Him. It reminds of us our need for His help.
"I remembered the old days, went over all you’ve done, pondered the ways you’ve worked, Stretched out my hands to you, as thirsty for you as a desert thirsty for rain." -Psalm 143:5
"I've seen You move, come move the mountains. And I believe, I'll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way. And I believe, I'll see You do it again. Your promise still stands. Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness. I'm still in Your hands. This is my confidence; You never failed me yet. I never will forget. You never failed me yet." Elevation Worship: Do It Again
You can use worship as a weapon.
It has the power to overcome and demolish strongholds. Remember the battle of Jericho? The walls came down after the soldiers were obedient in shouts of victory!
"We live in this world, but we don’t fight our battles in the same way the world does. The weapons we use are not human ones. Our weapons have power from God and can destroy the enemy’s strong places." -2 Corinthians 10:3-4
"It may look like I'm surrounded, but I'm surrounded by You! This is how I fight my battles!" Bethel Music: Surrounded (Fight My Battles)
You will renew and refresh your heart and spirit.
The act of worship opens up our awareness of God and leads us to a state of revival.
"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." -Psalm 51:10
"Open up my eyes to see You, my mind to know You, my soul longs only for You. Let me hear Your voice resounding, Your words creating a brand new heart in me." Mosaic MSC: New Heart
A few final thoughts before I share my playlist, as mine are suggestions based on what has spoken to me personally...
Just like our health is the product of repeated healthy habits, and training the body is the accumulation of consistent activity, training the mind is also possible with repetition of intentional content. There's a reason why we are called to not only believe in our hearts, but also to confess with our mouth when it comes to receiving Christ. There's something powerful about speaking words aloud. I believe it goes beyond just a faith testimony to others, but that it also has to do with speaking it over ourselves as well.
Even outside of the context of our salvation, it is the same with other words and therefore, also with worship. You create new pathways in your mind when you repeat the same thing over and over. You declare your belief and it manifests with more and more power when it is also aligned with God's Truth. If you have something specific you are in need of, or something you know that is a lie that you need to replace with the truth, try to find a song or songs that incorporates the truth that you need so that you can sing it unto the Lord and repeat it over yourself.
- Bethel Music: Closer
- Bethel Music: It Is Well
- Bethel Music & Steffany Gretzinger: King of My Heart
- Bethel Music & Steffany Gretzinger: Pieces
- Bethel Music: Surrounded (Fight My Battles)
- Bethel Music & Kristene Di Marco: Take Courage
- Bethel Music: You Make Me Brave
- Elevation Worship: Do It Again
- Elevation Worship: Nothing Is Wasted
- Elevation Worship: Resurrecting
- Elevation Worship: Your Promises
- Hillsong Live: Anchor
- Hillsong United: Came To The Rescue
- Hillsong United: From The Inside Out
- Hillsong Untied: Like An Avalanche
- Hillsong Worship: What A Beautiful Name
- Hillsong Worship: Who You Say I Am
- Hillsong Worship: You Never Fail
- I Am They: Here's My Heart
- Jenn Johnson & Bethel Music: In Over My Head (Crash Over Me)
- Jesus culture: Break Every Chain
- Jesus Culture: Rooftops
- Jesus Culture: You Won't Relent
- Kari Jobe: Healer
- Lauren Daigle: First
- Lauren Daigle: Look Up Child
- Lauren Daigle: O'Lord
- Lauren Daigle: You Say
- Mosaic: Tremble
- Mosaic MSC: New Heart
- Newsboys: Overflow
- Passion Featuring Melodie Malone: Reckless Love
- The Belonging Co: Peace Be Still
- Switchfoot: Your Love Is A Song
- Tenth Avenue North: Control (Somehow You Want Me)
- Vertical Church: Spirit Of The Living God
I pray this blesses and encourages you!