Music is powerful, and it can be used in worship either to inspire your heart (spirit) to worship God or to manipulate your emotions and appeal to your body.
When we write worship songs, we have the opportunity to create something that blesses God and provides people with a vehicle through which they can release the love and adoration that they have for God.
It’s vital to first understand the spiritual component of writing a worship song.
Many songwriters begin by writing from their past life experiences and their journey with God. They write about what they’ve been through and how God has helped them, but they are the primary focus of the song. For example, “I am weak. I’ve been through this. When I am crushed…, etc.” I am in no way diminishing the struggles and challenges that we face; however, if it’s worship of God given to Him, then the focus of the song should be on Him and who He is.
Why would you write a song about your experience or pain, call it a worship song, and ask other people to sing about something that they didn’t experience or can’t relate to, and the song itself doesn’t exalt God in any substantive way?
True worship comes from your spirit.
Your spirit worships God. Jesus said, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24 NASB God is looking for true worshipers—people who genuinely have the nature of a worshiper of God—people who have placed Him first in their lives and focus on blessing Him with their lives and their words.
A worship song should focus on God. After all, it’s worship of God and to God. It will come from your spirit where you are connected to Him. The words of worship will be about Him and to Him.
Jesus also said in John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” NASB And in verse 17, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and that He abides with you and will be in you. The Holy Spirit prompts you to write words of worship and praise that glorify God and are aligned with God’s Word.
When you write a song, you reveal the depth of your spiritual life.
As you’re writing worship songs. you will reveal both your knowledge and your ignorance of the Scriptures. The words you choose for the song will reveal what you know about God and don’t know, and what you know about who you are in Christ and what you don’t know. It’s vital that you read the Bible and study who God is and who you are in Him.
I find that my best songs come after a time of prayer and worship. I’m fully focusing on God at that point. I am able to sense the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and I’m inspired to exalt God in the words that I write.
Here’s a quick test that you can use when evaluating the worship song words that you’ve written. Count how many references you make to yourself where you’ve written the words: I, me, or my. Then count the number of references you make to God where you’ve written the words: You are, You have, Your.
When I write a song that is worship of God and to Him, I diligently avoid writing about myself. If I find that I’ve taken the focus of the song away from Him and put it on myself, I will rewrite that section.
Worship isn’t about glorifying what I’ve been through or how I feel or what I think. Worship is about how amazing God is, who He is in His character and nature, and how He expresses who He is.
Here’s something to think about. Instead of trying to get people to connect to what you’ve experienced, give them a revelation of who God is and let them see Him, His strength, His wisdom, His love, His faithfulness, His joy, and more. That will take their focus off of themselves and where they are, and it will put their focus on the One who is our source, who is greater than anything, and who is more than enough.