Understanding “Heart of Worship”
Updated: Feb 28
Kwong Wai Cheng
About the Songs We Sing
Throughout the Bible, we read about people enjoying God through songs of praise. Indeed, music coupled with meaningful words, goes a long way to soothe our weary hearts, refresh our souls and help us connect with God again. Through this series, I hope to share my findings and reflections about some of the hymns we sing in church. Perhaps it will also help you to enjoy God better, just as it has helped me.
The Heart of Worship
Written by Matt Redman (1999)
In the wake of the novel coronavirus (aka Wuhan virus), the church met in small-group basis to minimise the chance of mass infection. At these small, simple worship settings, there isn’t the luxury of air-conditioning, well-crafted projections, and the talented band. What we do have are only ourselves, our voices and our heart of worship. That was why I was reminded of this song.
The songwriter, Matt Redman, is a prolific musician for modern worship recordings. The story behind “The Heart of Worship” started in the late 1990s, when Matt’s home church in England went through a period of apathy. There was just something missing during services (think we can all relate to that). The pastor then made a radical decision – he got rid of the sound system and the band for a period of time. His point was that the church had lost their way in worship, and the way to get it back was to strip everything away; reminding the church to be producers in worship, not just consumers.
There was some embarrassing silence initially, but eventually “people broke into songs and heartfelt prayers, encountering God in a fresh way.” Matt wrote the song “Heart of Worship” quickly soon after this incident, to simply describe what occurred and expressing what he had learnt about worship.
And I pondered: “when the music fades, all is stripped away”, will I still come? When I am hard pressed and “feeling weak and poor”, will I still “long to bring something that’s of worth” to God in my worship? What will God see when He search “deeper within and look into my heart”?
“I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about You, Jesus…”
No doubt, it is easier to worship when we have all the peripherals. But without them, our relationship with God should be such that we can still worship with the same passion and confidence. To sing unashamed with all our hearts, even when we are out of tune, and the person beside you is giving you the funny look. Let nothing (not even the Wuhan virus) quench our fire!
Whether in a congregation, in a small group, or even in our individual quiet time with God, at the HEART of it all, THE REASON for our worship is simply JESUS. Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, the only Son of God, who became like us to give us the most precious gift of salvation that we don’t deserve. Amen!
Kwong Wai Cheng
Wai Cheng is fascinated with words, especially the Word. Her life has always been revolving around words/Word, in one way or another. And she hopes to always hold fast to the Word, to draw strength and gain wisdom, to do the right things in God's sight.