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I walked on to the well-lit platform at church on Saturday night. I picked up my microphone just as S. started to play deep, resonant chords on the keyboard. I took a deep breath, and started to sing:

When the music fades, and all is stripped away
And I simply come…

Saturday night was the small evening worship service that had required lots of preparation, prayer and practice! It was the first time I have ever led worship, rather than hiding behind the piano. When S. asked me if I would do it, months ago, I laughed. There was no way – I lacked the skill and the confidence to sing and lead! What was he thinking? S. gave me a book called “The Worship Leader’s Handbook”…and I said I would pray about it (I think that’s kind of a Christian code for “I’ll humour you”…)

Longing just to bring something that’s of worth
That will bless your heart…

A few months of wrestling with God ensued – excuses abounded. All the while, I was dissecting this book, and starting to see little things – like the requirements for a worship leader extending far beyond musical ability. I think I knew I should just say “yes” long before I was willing to admit it. The final “chord” was a line about learning to worship without your instrument before being able to truly worship with it. Was I hiding behind the piano, and my excuses? Of what was I afraid?

I’ll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
To the ways things appear
You’re looking into my heart.

So I said “yes”…

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you, all about you, Jesus,
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I made it
When it’s all about You, all about You Jesus…

The Heart of Worship © 1997 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing) by Matt Redman

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