Music for Lent: Wonderful Merciful Savior

March 6, 2015

The March 5th Lent entry from the Biola University Lent Project online devotional site included the excellent modern hymn Wonderful Merciful Savior:

Wonderful, Merciful Savior lyrics

Wonderful, merciful Savior,
Precious Redeemer and Friend,
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men.
Oh you rescue the souls of men.

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper,
Spirit we long to embrace—
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way.
Oh, we’ve hopelessly lost the way.

You are the One that we praise.
You are the One we adore.
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for.
Oh, our hearts always hunger for.

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own,
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne.
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne.

The “about” section of the Biola devotional includes some interesting history of the song:

The tune Wonderful, Merciful Savior was penned in 1989 by Dawn Rodgers, and the lyrics were completed by Rodgers and Eric Wyse while leading worship at Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN. The song is still sung regularly at Christ Community Church, and has been recorded by a number of artists, including Selah, who brought it to #1 on the Christian Inspirational Music Chart in 2001.

The Biola Lent devotional includes Selah’s version of this song.  While it is Selah’s version which has perhaps received the most acclaim, I first heard this song as recorded by Steve Camp on his 1994 album Mercy in the Wilderness, and this remains my favorite version. (Unfortunately it’s not available for online purchase.) 1994 was a challenging period for me personally and spiritually, and when I first heard this song, it helped me throw myself on Christ and trust in His mercy in a way I’ve never forgotten.

You can listen to Steve Camp’s version of Wonderful Merciful Savior (with a prelude of “There is No Other Name”) here:



Music for Lent (Classic CCM): Keith Green – Rushing Wind

March 5, 2015

Keith Green’s wonderful prayer song “Rushing Wind” came up in my Lent playlist two nights ago.  I’ve been singing it in my head ever since.  It’s such a powerful prayer of sanctification and surrender.

Rushing wind blow through this temple,
Blowing out the dust within,
Come and breathe you breath upon me,
I’ve been born again.

Holy spirit, I surrender, take me where you want to go,
Plant me by your living water,
Plant me deep so I can grow.

Jesus, you’re the one, who sets my spirit free,
Use me lord, glorify, your holy name through me.

Separate me from this world lord.
Sanctify my life for you.
Daily change me to your image,
Help me bear good fruit.

Every day you’re drawing closer.
Trials come to test my faith.
But when all is said and done lord,
You know, it was worth the wait.

Jesus, you’re the one, who set my spirit free,
Use me lord, glorify, your holy name through me.

Rushing wind blow through this temple,
Blowing out the dust within,
Come and breathe you breath upon me,
For I’ve been born again.
Songwriters: Green, Keith Gordon / Green, Melody
Rushing Wind lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Music for Lent: Help my Unbelief (Red Mountain Music)

March 3, 2015

For the last 1 – 2 days I’ve had this song / this prayer filling my mind in quiet moments.

It’s a wonderful modern update of an old hymn by John Newton which I discovered it last Lent.  In fact, I may have posted it here last year.  But it’s definitely resonating with my thoughts and prayers again this Lent.  I’ve been convicted of the stubborn unbelief in my heart…


I encourage you to view the page at YouTube and read the background about the hymn.

You can find the words and chords here.

Learn more about Red Mountain Music and buy their songs here.

Help my Unbelief Lyrics:

I know the Lord is nigh,
And would but cannot pray,
For Satan meets me when I try,
And frights my soul away,
And frights my soul away.

I would but can’t repent,
Though I endeavor oft;
This stony heart can never relent
Till Jesus makes it soft,
Till Jesus makes it soft.

Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
My help must come from Thee.

I would but cannot love,
Though wooed by love divine;
No arguments have power to move
A soul as base as mine.
A soul so base as mine.

I would but cannot rest,
In God’s most holy will;
I know what He appoints is best,
And murmur at it still.
I murmur at it still.

Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
My help must come from Thee.

Music for Lent: Chris Bowater – Create in Me

April 11, 2014

Last night a wonderful song by British Songwriter and Worship Leader Chris Bowater came up in my iTunes shuffle.  It’s a song I’ve not listened to in sometime, and I’m guessing few Americans have ever heard it as Chris Bowater’s music is not well known in the US.

It makes a wonderful Lent prayer:

The song is Create in Me, from his 2009 album, Personal Worship


Here are the lyrics:

Create in me (Heart cry for purity)

By Chris Bowater / David Lyon

A clean and righteous spirit God
And blameless in Your sight

Renew in me
The child that longs to worship You
In honesty
Consumed by You alone

With a heart cry for purity
Living each day honouring You,
With a heart cry for purity
All sin and shame confessed

Restore to me
The joy that I have found in You
With praise O God
For all that You have done

May the steps that I take
And the choices I make
Reflect my heart for You
That loves the things that You love
And does what You would; do

Chris Bowater & David Lyon
Copyright © 2007 Thankyou Music

CCLI: Song Number: 4560957


Lent Music: Come Sinners to the Gospel Feast

April 10, 2014

There seems to be a bit of a theme developing in my Lent music listening and posting here at Lent & Beyond.  I am finding myself very drawn to “old hymns made new” (to borrow from the title of a great Scott Wesley Brown album of a number of years ago…!)

Recently at Vicar’s Versicles, James Gibson posted a lovely arrangement of a hymn by John Wesley which I’d never heard before:  Come Sinners to the Gospel Feast.   I really enjoyed it.

It would make a good song for a contemporary Good Friday worship service. The version below is performed by Jon Yerby and the band from The Journey in St. Louis, MO.  (  It’s available at iTunes.

Here are the lyrics, including some additional verses from the original hymn not included in this recording.

Come, sinners, to the Gospel feast;
Let every soul be Jesus’ guest.
Ye need not one be left behind,
For God hath bid all humankind.

Sent by my Lord, on you I call;
The invitation is to all.
Come, all the world! Come, sinner, thou!
All things in Christ are ready now.

Come, all ye souls by sin oppressed,
Ye restless wanderers after rest;
Ye poor, and maimed, and sick, and blind,
In Christ a hearty welcome find.

[Come, and partake the Gospel feast;
Be saved from sin; in Jesus rest;
O taste the goodness of your God,
And eat His flesh, and drink His blood!

You vagrant souls, on you I call;
(O that my voice could reach you all!)
You all may now be justified,
You all may live, for Christ hath died.

My message as from God receive;
Ye all may come to Christ and live.
O let His love your hearts constrain,
Nor permit Him to die in vain.]

His love is mighty to compel;
His conquering love consent to feel,
Yield to His love’s resistless power,
And fight against your God no more.

See Him set forth before your eyes,
That precious, bleeding Sacrifice!
His offered benefits embrace,
And freely now be saved by grace.

This is the time, no more delay!
This is the Lord’s accepted day.
Come thou, this moment, at His call,
And live for Him who died for all.

There are additional verses included at the Cyber Hymnal

Free Music for Holy Week / Good Friday: Hillsong Live – Calvary

April 9, 2014

Worship Together.Com is offering yet another Free Song this week, this time a song that’s focused on Holy Week / Good Friday.  It’s by Hillsong Live, and called Calvary.  (The song is also available at the Hillsong Live site.)

This song is NOT AVAILABLE for purchase anywhere – it will be released on Hillsong Live’s next album, due out in July.  This free version is a special pre-release acoustic version.

I’m so glad I found this.  It’s a powerful song, and I appreciate the acoustic version which brings out the strength of the words


by Jonas Myrin , Reuben Morgan

Verse 1
The Saviour  alone carried the cross
For all of my  debts He paid the cost
Salvation complete, now forever I’m free
Calvary covers it all

Calvary covers it all
My sin and shame don’t count anymore
All praise to the One who has ransomed my soul
Calvary covers it all

Verse 2
No power on earth, not even the grave
can separate us from mercy and grace
He is faithful to save oh, his blood never fails
Calvary covers it all

No one but Jesus
Can make us pure as snow
We stand in Your freedom
Calvary covers it all

Music for Lent: Come You Sinners (From the wonderful Falls Church worship album)

April 9, 2014

A few years ago, Falls Church Anglican released a WONDERFUL live worship album called A Thousand Amens.  It’s truly excellent musically, but also deeply encouraging and moving to hear a large congregation enthusiastically praising God just weeks before forced out of their historic church property after the Episcopal Church sued them and won.  The album exemplifies the true meaning of a “sacrifice of praise.”  How good to be able to praise God for His goodness in spite of knowing full well the sorrow and trial that was ahead.

I encourge all our readers to check out the full album.

The song Come You Sinners, written by the Falls Church worship leader Jamie Brown is very appropriate for Lent, and I’ve been enjoying it the past few days whenever it comes up in my Lenten playlist.

You can read the background to the song here at Jamie Brown’s blog.    (I think the free download and chord chart / sheet music mentioned there are still available too!)


 P.S.  I’ve just discovered the Falls Church released another live worship album in December 2013:  It’s called “We Will Proclaim” and it’s a mix of hymns, contemporary worship songs, and elements of the spoken Anglican liturgy.  I’ve previewed it and it sounds excellent.

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