Crying Out

worshipWhy are there so few opportunities to worship the Lord together?  It’s so wonderful, so amazing and makes us (hopefully) more like Jesus.  As we praise we are filled with more of the Holy Spirit.  He baptizes us anew.  We see more of His fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.  Who wouldn’t want more of that (especially those who live with us:)?

When I was in Illinois, there were two fellow staff members and a few others at the church that loved to get together informally and worship.  Usually around the piano and sometimes with a guitar we would just begin to sing and proclaim Scripture.  There were prayers for each other and various needs we were aware of.  We would cry out for God to move in the upcoming services.  Sometimes it could be dry and just us singing a few songs before we went about our day, but often it was so much more.

Many times we would sing, “I’m falling on my knees” from the song “Hungry” and everyone would be on their knees.  It wasn’t uncommon to glance over and see someone on their face, prostrate before the Lord.  We all looked for times when we could slip away and worship…it was such a delight to get in God’s presence and focus on Him.

So many amazing things were happening at the time in the church body and I believe this was a key to that.  People crying out to God for Him to make His presence known.

Sunday morning meetings are wonderful and I’ve known the presence of the Spirit in powerful ways during these times.  But there are so many other items that must be attended to (announcements, etc.).

I miss the fellowship and power of those intimate times with a few – two or three – singing and declaring the goodness of God.

With the current change in seasons I have a renewed longing for those times.  I long for the expectancy they produced.  Anything could happen – Jesus could do anything and He was doing it.

Lord, may it be so again in greater measure.

Stand Up Among Us

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Jesus told us that where two or three are gathered in His name He would be there. The problem is, most of the time we make Him sit in the back while we do our thing. This is a prayer that He would “stand up among us.”

That we would sit before Him while He reveals His power, His grace, His love, Himself.

Much thanks to my father-in-law, Keith Curlee, for teaching me this!

Download here.  Play here:[audio:http://benwardmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/Stand-Up-Among-Us.mp3|titles=Stand Up Among Us|artists=Ben Ward]

Stand Up Among Us

We’re dry inside these walls of pride
Without You we’re empty
We’re thirsty from our vain pursuits
We long to drink of You
The weight of our sin presses down upon us
Driving us to our knees
We call out to You our God, Redeemer
Blessed is He who brings us peace

Stand up among us
Make Your presence known
Rise up within us
Set Your people free
In Your presence is where we need to be

To the fatherless be a Father, Lord
Show Your compassion
To the prisoner and the captive
Bring Your release
To those who cry out for Your mercy
That always seems out of reach
Holy Spirit come in power
Ignite our passion to believe

Stand up among us
Make Your presence known
Rise up within us
Set Your people free
In Your presence is where we want to be

The Lord is clothed in beauty and power
No one is like Him, He is great

Stand up among us
Make Your presence known
Rise up within us
Set Your people free
In Your presence is where we’re going to be
In Your presence is where I will be

I Am Known

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Sometimes life can get pretty lonely.  It can feel like you’re the only person in the world — the only one who’s going through what you’re going through.  But  then there’s the truth that God knows me.  He knows everything that’s going on in my life and He knows what I feel.  I am known…

Download here.  Play here:[audio:http://benwardmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/I-Am-Known.mp3|titles=I Am Known|artists=Ben Ward]

I Am Known

I’m a stranger in the world
Does anyone really know me?
I’m on the outside looking in
I just need You to show me
That what I believe is true
That You really care
Then quietly I hear Your voice
And I know You’re there

CHORUS:
I am known, I am celebrated
I am recognized, so familiar
You call me by my name
I am known, I am loved and accepted
And as I seek Your face
You wash me with Your grace
And promise me I’ll never be alone
I am known

That the God of all the universe
Even thinks of me at all
I’m like a tiny little leaf
But He sees when I fall
And He picks me up and sings a song
A song of mercy and kindness
No one else around, I know His heart
He knows mine and I am blessed

CHORUS

Better than I know myself
More than I could dream
But I don’t have to run and hide
His forgiveness covers me
Sets me free

CHORUS

I’m Hungry

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This week, I’ve got a wonderful worship song that I hope you’ll enjoy.  I love doing it in this slow, contemplative way.  I could sing it for hours! (thanks Harold Greene).  It was written by Kathryn Scott from the Vineyard in Ireland (we’re getting intenational here).

Download here.  Play here:[audio:http://benwardmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/Hungry.mp3|titles=Hungry|artists=Ben Ward]

What New Music Do You Love??

So, I want to listen to some new tunes that are amazing and I need you to clue me in!  What songs / albums / artists do you absolutely love right now?  What do I HAVE to hear?

Leave your suggestions in the comments below and provide a link if you can :).

Thanks!!!