Posted by Worship Central on 2 June 2017

I woke up fairly early on the second day of a songwriting retreat with this refrain going around my head, 'Praise the Lord, O my soul, I will sing of your great love forever.' It was one of those moments (they don’t happen every day!) when I knew I needed to find a guitar pretty quickly and capture the melody and these words on my phone – so I raced down to the main songwriting room, found the first guitar I could and recorded it all before breakfast.

Of course, these phrases are commonplace in the Bible: Psalm 89 vs 1 says, 'I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever’ and in Psalm 103 we see how David commands his own soul to praise the Lord, ‘Praise the Lord, my soul, all my inmost being praise his holy name’. Tim Keller makes an interesting observation, ‘Here is how to work the gospel into one’s own heart until it transforms. It happens through inward dialogue, speaking directly and forcefully to your own heart rather than just listening to it.'

After breakfast, Sam Bailey, Anna Hellebronth and I met up to write together as part of the retreat and we were really keen to write a song about the cross. Once the verses began to take shape the song came together fairly quickly and the idea I had recorded that morning became an obvious fit for the chorus - we worked on the bridge later with Ben Cantelon.

I guess the heart of the song is simply to thank God for ‘His great love’ whose very heart for us is shown at the cross and that his death would bring continual life to our praise whatever we may or may not feel. As the poet George Herbert says,
“Not thankfull, when it pleaseth me;
As if thy blessings had spare dayes:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be Thy praise.”

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