Prayer in the Form of Song

Kenn Gulliksen
Song prayer in Worship

Years ago on a trip to Israel, we attended a Sunday service where I heard the song prayer “You Are My Hiding Place” for the first time.

I didn’t just hear this prayer in song, I felt it—it overwhelmed me. My first Sunday back at the church I pastored in West L.A., I sat at the keyboard before teaching and taught the new song prayer to our gathered church. It was simply one of those songs that was born of the Spirit for that time.

After the flood of life that came as we sang this prayer in song together, I taught the round with the women beginning as the men got to “I will trust in you.” The presence and power of the Holy Spirit filled our hearts and the auditorium, and we were simply beyond ourselves in worship.

Praying Musically

It was liquid love. Worship changed. We changed. We saw the Lord and couldn’t stop singing to Him. People who never stood, stood. Those who never lifted their hands reached to the Lord throughout the song prayer. Tears flowed where hearts had been hard.

A new song prayer is all about origin. Is it born of the Spirit to glorify God, or is it well crafted but born of the soul? A new song prayer must come from a new heart—a broken and humble heart that’s being renewed continually by the Holy Spirit.

A New Prayer in Song for You


in this brief moment we pause from our distractions to look to You,

to thank You for making us branches to Your vine, voices for Your song.

You’ve called us to be worshipers in spirit and in truth,

and You’ve called us to be lead worshipers

to enable Your church

to praise and honor You,

to bow down,

to yield our bodies as living sacrifices,

to kiss the Son.

How unable we are, Father, to sing or lead or write

or do anything to Your glory apart from You!

We’re utterly unable to edify the church apart from You.

Apart from You we can do nothing.

We confess we know the frustration

of working in our own strength to do what only Your Spirit can do.

Though we know everything of value comes from our intimacy with You,

we still often fail to seek You first and fully.

We presume and get ahead of You

as we seek to put together worship sets,

as we try to find or write music,

as we’re pressed for time

and overwhelmed with responsibilities.

Prayer in Song

O Lord,

even in this song prayer, in this moment,

we ask You to draw our attention,

to slow our pace,

to fill us with Your Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, come, fill me as I surrender my soul to Your rule.

I yield my emotions, intellect, and will to You.

I offer my body to You as a living sacrifice.

You live in me and will provide everything I need for this day, every day.

Lord, You have new songs for me, for Your people, hidden in the intimacy of our relationship,

songs born of Your love for me, born of the Spirit.

Father, instead of seeking You for new songs,

I ask—we ask—for new hearts,

for the continual renewing of our hearts.

And we pray that all the new songs You have in us to sing

will flow as we gaze upon the beauty of Your holiness.

We pray that You might be glorified, in Jesus’ name, amen.

In conclusion, the journey of discovering “You Are My Hiding Place” and sharing it with my congregation was a profound reminder of the transformative power of Spirit-born song prayers. These moments of worship, filled with the Holy Spirit’s presence, remind us that true worship arises from hearts continually renewed and humbled before God. As we seek to lead our churches in worship, let us prioritize our intimate relationship with the Father, allowing His Spirit to guide and inspire us. May every song we sing and every prayer we offer be a reflection of His glory, born from a place of deep spiritual renewal. Through this, we can hope to see our congregations transformed, hearts softened, and lives forever changed in worship.

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