If there is a scripture that parallels my song “My Soul Cries Out” the most, it may be this.
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
When I wrote the song “My Soul Cries Out,” I wanted to be honest about my walk with God. And honestly, it is a struggle. I wrestle every minute with decisions between right and wrong. I believe that we all struggle with different trigger points and I believe that we are all prone to an addiction of some sort.
It’s hard to live a good life when consumed by addiction
Some have asked me if the church would be able to relate to that line in the second verse of my song. I think that if we are honest with ourselves, we could all agree and say “yes, I do struggle with ______________.” It doesn’t have to be alcohol, sex, porn, food, drugs or some other staple dependancy. We can become addicted to ourselves, social media, our jobs, our fashion, our possessions, our social status, our kids, our spouses, and even our ministries. Sure, we say they are “all about God,” but in reality they may partially be a means to fill our need for self worth & recognition… or maybe we put our ministry before our God ordained responsibilities to our spouse and children at home.
The bottom line is that God sees through our addictions, and we do not need to dwell on our shortcomings. And no matter how deeply active we may be in our sin, a small part inside of us still longs for God… our souls cry out to Him, and He is always there calling us home. God already knows your hearts condition, so confess your setbacks to Him, thank Him and worship Him with a clear mind. Be refreshed and be renewed.
A 5 Step Guide To Preparing for Worship
Don’t expect people to worship if your team is not leading them.
Chord Charts and Lyric Monitors are great for reference and learning new material. However, depending on them to get through a song disconnects worship leaders and worship team musicians from connecting with the church. It even prohibits them from entering into worship themselves! Eye contact with the church and setting an example with authentic energy and presence makes a huge difference when leading people into worship.
Musicians with their nose buried in a chord chart and singers with their eyes fixed on a teleprompter are not leading by example. From a church body standpoint, watching that is very uninspiring.
Here is a 5 step guide on how to effectively prepare for worship, so that you can personally enjoy worshiping and lead the church with your example.
1. Listen First
When songs are scheduled by your worship leader (most likely through Planning Center), immediately download them and put them on a CD, an iPod, a smart phone etc. Listen to the songs on the way to work, in your office, or while working out. Becoming familiar with the song structure before your even pick up your instrument is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of preparing for worship.
2. Listen Closer
After you feel that you are beginning to remember how the song goes, listen closer to the song and see where your musical part fits in the mix. Plan in your mind how you will try to emulate your part in the recording.
3. Grab Your Instrument
Pick up your instrument and get your chord & lyric chart out. Practice alongside the recording a few times with the chord chart.
4. Take Your Eyes off the Chart
Once you have gone through it a few times, remove the charts and try to play through it. It’s ok to mess up; this is just practice! Keep trying, though, and you will start “hearing” what you need to do instead of “seeing” what you need to do.
5. Revisit Daily
Practice the song set a couple of times through once a day . By the time you show up to rehearsal, you will know how to play the song from your heart!