Every once in a while, I like to share some music from my collection that I use regularly or for certain purposes. This time I wanted to share my favorite devotional worship albums. For me, personally, there is a big difference between a devotional album and a normal worship album. Here are a few of the differences:
- It must help me listen and focus
This means that the devotional music I listen to must not distract me from listening to His Spirit. This is not the time for a big rock-worship venue’s cd with driving drums and electric guitar. Rather it needs to be simpler and quieter. Usually this music is playing in the background as I pray and as I read the Bible. It should be a help, not a hindrance.
- It must be stirring
One of the most difficult challenges when praying is to remain awake and engaged. Even the disiciples had problems with this when they were praying. While the music I need is quiet and restful, I do not need something that will help me to sleep. It must be engaging and stirring to my spirit. The music should draw me. The words should ring (here and there) in my spirit. It should help me to pray and to pray passionately.
- It must be worshipful
I look for albums that were created for and by serious worshipers. It helps me to feel someone else’s passion for (and worship of) God. This means that I don’t use just any instrumental cd, even though there are some great (and even stirring) ones, I want to listen to something made wholly (and therefore “holy”) for the Lord.
My top six albums
Pablo Perez – Majestic Splendor
This has long been one of my favorites. I spent a summer with other youth leaders praying an hour, three times a day. This cd was played the most. Pablo also has some incredible instrumental cds.
Bethel Music – Without Words
This is the newest devotional cd in my collection. Bethel did an amazing job with this project. I currently have this playing in my car. It helps me engage with God when I go to and from work or church. It also helps that I don’t know many of the songs that they made instrumentals of, so I don’t play the karaoke game. Rather it lets my brain focus into praying and my spirit into listening.
Phil Wickham – Give You My World
Most Christians know Phil Wickham now thanks to some amazing albums and songs he’s written, but few know of his first album (before his self-titled debut). It is still (in my opinion) his strongest work. There is something that is incredible simple and deep in it. Sadly this album is in very short stock. Find it and get it if you can!
Issac Meyer – Acoustic Rhythms
Isaac is one of the best acoustic guitar players I’ve ever heard. That he is a worshiper at IHOP-KC is an added bonus. My wife loves this cd. In fact, this album is a great station to have in iTunes Radio.
Michael Gettel – Change My Heart Oh God (Piano)
This is the first devotional cd I ever had. Vineyard’s “Change My Heart Oh God” series is pretty great (not as good as their “Psalms” series or their “Acoustic Worship” series) but this cd is once of the best albums they have ever produced. The pianist, Michael Gettel, isn’t a showy piano player, but rather plays gently and fluidly in a style that is wholly his own. I heard that this album was the most-sought after for a piano score (songbook), but sadly the artist did not make one (although you can find the first track’s score in the songbook for “Change My Heart Oh God: Volume 3”).
Rita Springer – Love Covers
I can’t express how much I love Rita Springer. Ever since I first heard her on a Vineyard Worship album, I’ve been enthralled by her passion for God and her unique voice. “Love Covers” is, in my opinion, her best album (while I think “Created To Worship” comes super close). This album was a limited print and hard to find. If you can get it, I highly recommend doing so.