Posted by WeAreWorship UK on 9 April 2018

TeachingThe Power of Worship

Part 4: 10,000 Reasons

Forget about the GRAMMY Awards, where the song sits in the CCLI chart, or whether you know someone who was there when Matt played the song in Times Square. If you’re looking for evidence of 10,000 Reasons being a powerful worship song, there are far better places to look.

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Like Mollie Warner. She was diagnosed with the most aggressive form of leukaemia there is. The doctors told her that she was 90% affected. What did that mean? It meant she didn’t have much time left. She was a dead woman walking.

And yet the story didn’t end there. Mollie decided to fight. She drew on nothing less than pure courage and cast-iron faith. She invited her visitors to write out their favourite verses of Scripture and stick them to the wall. Her room, so people said, was radiant with the love of God.

Mollie faced the prospect of death with her mind made up: ‘whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me’, she was going to trust God.

The song didn’t cause Mollie to become a fully-trusting daughter of God. But it did help articulate and accentuate the deep ties to God that already existed.

It was similar with Myu, a man sentenced to death by an Indonesian court for smuggling drugs. After years in prison and repeated failed attempts to get the death sentenced lifted, Myu was left facing the painful conclusion that his life would soon be over.

Remarkably, Myu was not cynical. Nor had his faith grown weak. On the contrary, he had found God to be the only source of goodness he could rely on.

In the moments before he faced the firing squad, Myu did something utterly remarkable. He told the guards who were about to shoot him that he forgave them. He called down God’s blessings on the people and the country that had refused to listen to so many pleas for leniency.

And then he sang. “Bless the Lord, o my soul…”

Again, 10,000 Reasons didn’t transform him into a saint. But over the years he spent in prison, Myu learned to regularly give thanks to God. As a result he died how he had spent so much of his time in prison: counting the ways in which God deserved to be praised. He died singing of the richness of God’s love.

Worship is powerful. Just ask Matt Redman himself. Childhood handed out more pain than most of us would expect to handle in a lifetime, but Matt found that when he sang his worship to God, his perspective changed.

As he turned his eyes to his Father, he began to see a bolder, brighter story being written.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? In many ways, that’s exactly what worship is – a simple habit of drawing us ever closer to the Father who loves us.

But while these lyrics and melodies may be uncomplicated, the power of the God they point us to is anything but.

Whatever you’re singing this weekend, may it direct people’s hearts and minds to God alone. May you be released from the pressure of being amazing when you stand up to lead. And may God’s own Spirit be the one that stirs and shapes and calls people deeper and deeper in love with Him.

For that, friends, is the true power of worship.

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