Blog The Power of Praise and Worship by Mary Castner One afternoon in Nashville, I was attending a songwriting workshop. We sat before a panel of some of CCM’s (Contemporary Christain Music) top songwriters and worship leaders for a Q&A session. A young girl several rows ahead of me raised her hand, and asked the blunt question, “I grew up writing secular music, and more recently started moving towards praise and worship. I was wondering, how seriously should I take a decision to move towards that genre or direction with my writing?” A woman on the panel paused for a moment, looked up, and responded, “Imagine that you were asked to write speeches for the president. You would want to write in a way that sounded like his voice and language, and in a way that expressed his views well to be received by the people. I would think you would take that pretty seriously. Now with praise and worship, you are writing the Bride’s (the Church’s) song to the Bridegroom (Christ). How seriously do you think you should take that?” The room fell silent. I later learned that the woman on the panel was Jennie Lee Riddle, the writer of “Revelation Song”. I think the power and importance of praise and worship music is exceptionally underestimated. But why would it be important? What is it that could make it so powerful in our lives? To understand that, we need first to look at the root of the problem. Satan Plants Lies Satan is known as the “Father of lies”. Why? Because Satan fools us into forgetting who we really are and God’s goodness and love for us. Satan plants lies. Through our wounds, through television, through music, through social media – the list goes on. Scripture Plants Truth Scripture reminds us of the truth of who we are and who God is. It is one of the only tools the Church gives to us that is described as a weapon. “For the Word of God [Scripture] is living and effective: more piercing than any two-edged sword.” (Hebrews 4:12). But a weapon is no good unless you know how to use it. Can you imagine if Thor had no idea how to use his hammer? Or if Captain America didn’t know how to use his shield? Scripture is Meant to be Spoken So how do we use the weapon of Scripture? Let’s look at what Mary did when Christ [the Word] first became incarnate within her! When the angel appears to her revealing God’s plan, she responds by saying, “Let it be done unto me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). The original Greek word that Mary uses in this passage for “word” is “Rhema”, which more specifically translates to “the spoken word.” The spoken word of God through the angel, Gabriel, brings to us through Mary the Incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ! There is power in God’s spoken word! Ok, so then why would it be so necessary for us to speak it? Isn’t it enough to just read God’s word? Let’s go back to the original problem – Satan plants lies. Scripture plants truth. Countless psychological studies have shown that to overcome a lie or negative self-belief it’s recommended that you speak out and repeat the truth that counters it. You speak this truth over and over and over again. When we take the words of Scripture and speak it out over our lives, there is a very real and living power that can transform our way of thinking and uproot the lies that have been planted by the enemy. Praise & Worship: Our Weapon What are the lyrics of praise and worship music filled with? Scripture! When the living Word of God and a deeply moving melody meet, a power is unleashed that can transform hearts in an incredible way. This is a MIGHTY sword against Satan. It counters and uproots lies about our worth and God’s love. When we pray with praise and worship music, we drown out the voice of the enemy! Not only are we speaking out Scripture and planting truth in our hearts, but we SING it over our lives! As St. Augustine tells us, “He who sings prays twice.” We have been given a mighty weapon against the enemy and a heartfelt song for the Church to proclaim to her Bridegroom [Christ]. So let’s use it!