Eleven Modern Worship Songs For A World In Chaos

Posted on March 15, 2020

COVID-19 has sent our world into a tailspin. It's a global crisis, for sure, but the effects are also very personal. Social distancing has become the new buzz word of our day. How can we survive this? We need each other. In all the seasons of life, this is a time for worship leaders to stand strong. We need you to bring us songs of hope, comfort, perspective, and truth. Songs put words of truth on the crest of melodic waves, triggering emotion and piercing our hearts. Music matters. Worship music matters even more. Authentic worship leaders, this is your time. We need you.

Somewhat oblivious to the virus, we have seen a host of incredibly powerful worship songs rising to the surface in churches all around the world. During good times, these songs are lovely to sing together. During times of chaos, these songs take on new meaning as a lifeline to calm anxiety and help us fix our eyes on things that are true. Here is a list of eleven modern worship songs that can truly minister to you and the people you lead in this time of chaos and uncertainty.

1. The Blessing

This song is hot off the press. In fact, it is so hot that it hasn't even been released on an official album yet. You won't find it on Spotify. Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes visited the Elevation songwriting team a few weeks ago, and together experienced a unique moment of inspiration. The lyrics come straight out of the priestly Blessing in Numbers 6:24-26. Looking back, perhaps this song was a gift from God to the world, right on the heels of the virus outbreak. The central message is one of peace. It is not a mantra or a magical formula. It is not a guarantee of prosperity. It is a vision of God's very best for you. Remember, the power is not in the words of the blessing. The power is in the person of Jesus Christ who is behind the blessing. This is a song for a season such as this.

2. Way Maker

Without a doubt, people all over the world -- saved and unsaved -- are asking an honest question: where is God in all of this? Don't judge the question. If David were alive today and still writing the Psalms, he would probably be asking the same question. Is this an act of God's judgment? Has he abandoned us? The words of this song reorient our eyes on the truth: "You are here." When times like these feel dark, we need songs that point us our eyes to the "light in the darkness." In times of uncertainty, many will respond in worship with a humble heart. Hearts are mending and lives are turning around, even as you sing.

3. Holy Water

Ed Cash has been producing and co-writing worship songs for years. You may not even realize that he was behind that incredible song from Chris Tomlin 20 years ago, "How Great Is Our God".  We The Kingdom is basically Ed and his kids (who are now grown up) breaking out as a songwriter and worship leader in his own right! This song, with a bold modern groove, has penetrated worship circles all over the world. The resounding cry of the lyrics is this: "God I need you." Without question, we need a lyric like this for a time like this. He is water for our thirsty souls.

4. King Of Kings

Even before the outbreak, King Of Kings has been rising to become a song of the year for 2019 and 2020. What is beautiful about a song like this is that the lyrics take our eyes off the present circumstance, and pull us back to see the grand story of salvation. Through all the seasons of darkness, suffering, and loss of hope, there is a prevailing and overarching theme: Jesus is still the King of Kings. His Kingdom is here, he has conquered death, and we can live in bold confidence and freedom. This song defines our perspective and sets our eyes on the author of truth.

5. Christ Our Hope In Life And Death

What is our hope in life and death? Christ alone. What truth can calm the troubled soul? God is good. Who holds our faith when fears arise? Who stands above the stormy trial? The rock of Christ. Leading worship is about re-orienting our vision from the inside out. Songs like speak to our hearts and affect our emotions with words of truth. Written for a time such as this, Keith and Kristyn Getty have formed a team of songwriters who are committed to bringing new, fresh hymns to our singing generations. This is one of the first songs written by their full team.

6. Graves Into Gardens

The God of the mountain is the God of the valley. You turn mourning to dancing, you give beauty for ashes, you turn graves into gardens, you're the only one who can. Probably one of the most powerful live worship videos I have seen in a long time, this song is lead by a young man with long curly hair, tattooed arms, and a fervent spirit that will breathe joy and courage into any wayward soul. It makes you wanna get out your guitar and play along!

7. Tremble

Stepping back a few more years, this song offers a powerful pursuit of stillness and peace amidst the rage and storm going on all around us ... and inside us. Your name, the name of Jesus, is alive forever, lifted high, and cannot be overcome. His name is his character. At the core of who Jesus is for every generation, is peace in the storm. People need peace.

8. No Longer Slaves

A natural human emotion that all kinds of people experience is fear. So many of our worship songs today speak to the emotion of fear. The scriptures say we do not live with a spirit of fear ... but with a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). This epic worship song addresses fear head-on by pouring truth into our sense of identity. We are children of God, and our fears are drowned in His perfect love.

9. We Praise You

Continuing on a similar theme, here's another new song that addresses fear and anxiety head-on. "Praise is a weapon that conquers all anxiety." When you lead worship, do you ever consider that you are a leader on a battleground? Praise is the antithesis of fear and anxiety. As the song says, "fear cannot survive when we praise you."

10. Stand In Your Love

So many of the great worship songs we sing today realign our identity. If we fix our eyes on the pain inside and the chaos outside, we are going to feel the emotions of fear and anxiety. This song penetrates those emotions by aligning our eyes and mind toward that which is true. "When brokenness and pain is all I know, I won't be shaken." Imagine the bold confidence and joy that can rise up when you sing this song with your people!

11. My Weapon

Natalie Grant is a fierce female warrior for the Kingdom of God. Here is a brand new song that will surely build faith in your people in times like this. In this life, we are fighting a battle, and your greatest weapon is the presence of God ... "pushing back the darkness, breaking every chain, crushing every stronghold." 

There are so many other great worship songs to sing. Rise up, worship leaders. This is your time. We need you to reorient our perspective and our identity. If there are other songs that give a bold voice of worship for these days, we'd love to hear about them. Share your stories in the comments below.

Ryan Dahl is a local worship leader and the Founder/CEO of PraiseCharts. He lives in Langley, BC (Canada).

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