In June 2018, Illumine held its second annual Songwriting Weekend where several songwriters came to Illumine with a single goal: to start and finish writing a song that can be used by congregations for worship. Each week, we will be featuring one of the songs that was composed that weekend.
Why (did you write) this song?
"This song was my attempt to give voice to the inner spiritual realities that we all face: we are lost, damaged and without any real peace. The central idea driving this song is that without the life of the Holy Spirit in us, this is who we are and we are empty, but by faith, we have his Spirit in us! This song is a prayer but it is also a reminder of the incredible power that comes from the Spirit. And by faith, that power is used in me. When I wrote the chorus, I had these verses from Psalm 51 in my mind:
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
I hope to write a couple more verses that can be used interchangeably, as I think this song could fit in with a variety of themes and seasons in the church year." -Melanie Bourman
Melanie did an excellent job creating a framework where she can write additional verses as she mentioned about. The chorus ties together all of the different ways in which the Holy Spirit works in our lives. This allows each verse to explore a specific way in which he does.
The first verse talks about being brought into God's family through baptism. The second verse shows how we are strengthened through the Lord's Supper. The third how we are protected from the attacks of the devil. I'm excited to see what additional verses she comes up with.
Use in Worship
The most obvious use for this song is when discussing the work of the Holy Spirit. Talking about the importance of the Sacraments and the sanctified life of a Christian are also great uses for this song.
Musically, the original key of A may be a little low for most congregations, so we have also included a version of the lead sheet in C which brings the song into a more comfortable range for most.