I believe there is no better example of an amazing songwriter for Christian writers than that of King David. There is so much to be learned from his honesty and the ways he expresses his heart. But beyond the emotions and the truths, the Lord has shown me a formula that David uses over and over in the Psalms as he is writing. I want to share this process with you through his own words.
Psalm 28 The Message:
Don’t turn a deaf ear when I call you, God. If all I get from you is deafening silence, I’d be better off in the Black Hole. I’m letting you know what I need, calling out for help and lifting my arms toward your inner sanctum…….Blessed be God—he heard me praying. He proved he’s on my side; I’ve thrown my lot in with him. Now, I’m jumping for joy, and shouting and singing my thanks to him. God is all strength for his people, ample refuge for his chosen leader; Save your people and bless your heritage. Care for them; carry them like a good shepherd.
Can you see it? It happens not only in this chapter, but over and over and over again in Psalms.
- David is in a tough place. Fear, sin, isolation, you name it, he has been there. This is where he starts.
- David cries out. He cries out to the Lord, knowing he will be saved, even though it may take a long time.
- The Lord hears and answers!
He COULD start and stay in a place of worship. How would that change the message of Psalms? In my opinion, it would rip out some of the humanity. The part where I feel like David. The part where I can relate to the ups and downs. After all, isn’t it the cry and then the answer that make the praise so much sweeter? We all love to watch movies, root for the underdog, and celebrate the victory! Isn’t that the story of all of us?
I believe this formula is important to remember when writing songs, especially worship songs. We can write, and do need, songs that just worship. BUT when we share what is really at the deepest part of our hearts, cry out for the Lord, the Lord hears our cry and answers and THEN we worship, what an impact that has on other human hearts like ours!!
I challenge you to ask the Lord to guide you through this process. Write a Psalm. An honest, heart wrenching, story telling, glory giving song. Watch how God can use a song like that!