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This may sound strange, but I’ve been feeling really “deep” lately. Lots of deep long thoughts… Then as I scrabble to actually get a firm handle on the thought or idea it seems to slip away. What I thought was concrete turns out to be a vapour.

So, as I write this post of half formed thoughts, desires and questions, I ask in return for your patience and graciousness as you read…

Now the disclaimer’s done, here is today’s topic: POETIC WORSHIP

I love poetry when it speaks to me of things like beauty, magnitude, love, peace, passion, nature, gratitude, justice. To me, poems should lift or challenge the soul. You should feel like you’ve touched another’s inner world when you read it or it’s read to you. Poetry is deep. (Maybe that’s why I like it so much!)

So I ponder, why don’t we use poetry more in our worship? Why has worship become synonymous with music? Why are so many worship songs no more than a simple refrain repeated to oblivion?

I read old prayer books or the lyrics to old hymns and I am drawn towards a specific aspect of God’s character, I am lifted from my present into immediate worship, I am lost in wonder.

Take this for example (written in 1870):

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

This song has had various tunes & musical arrangements over the years. But the truths it contains, the challenge of its intention, the beauty of its prose stands on. I want my personal worship times to draw more on things like this, to mean every word. I’m wired this way. I should embrace it.

In that vein, what are some of your favourite lines of praise? From hymns, songs, poems, writings, Journals, prayer books – whatever you like. What phrases encapsulate worship for you?