Songs of Prayer EP – Hope College Worship

Throughout spring semester 2016 at Hope College Campus Ministries we’ve been focusing on prayer.  We preached through the Lord’s Prayer, and through the classic prayer acronym A.C.T.S. using Psalms 8, 51, 138, 27.  As well we wanted to explore songs that focused on the language of prayer – praying twice as Brian Wren describes it. Through two retreats – one with Andy Piercy at TSM and one at home with Nashville songwriter Christopher Williams, the students explored the language of prayer through the medium of song.  We ended up with five songs total – two totally original songs wrestling with personal prayer, and three retuned hymns with various degrees of deconstructions and additions.  We hope you enjoy!  A full PDF songbook is included with the album download.  Thanks to Joey Novak at Minimum Bible for the artwork.


You Are Blessed (The Beatitudes EP) – Hope College Worship

Here is a single that Naaman and I wrote for the Hope College Worship EP on the beatitudes.  This song was started at a “Writing for Words” retreat at the Collegeville Institute (check out their summer writing retreats). When we started worship planning for the Fall at Hope College I was really excited to discover songs that artists had written inspired by the beatitudes and was pretty shocked when I didn’t find much.

If you are poor and weak,

You are blessed;
God will give to you his kingdom.
If you lament and mourn,
You are blessed;
God will comfort all your grieving
If you are meek and mild,
You are blessed;
God will pour out all his riches.
If you are starved for right
You are blessed;
God will fill you with his goodness
C Am F C Am F
Rejoice, Rejoice, Rejoice in your God
If you are merciful,
You are blessed;
God will show you His great mercy.
If you are pure in heart,
You are blessed;
You will see the face of Yahweh.
If you are filled with peace,
You are blessed;
God will make you his own children.
If you are pierced for good,
You are blessed;
God will give to you his kingdom.
Bridge: F Em/G Am C
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia
to the King of Kings And Lord of Lords
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia
for the strangers here, the refugees
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia
To those ones who died for Jesus Christ!
Alt Chorus:
Rejoice you persecuted
Rejoice you martyrs in his Name

Hope College Worship – The Beatitudes EP


This Fall at Hope College we have been preaching through the Sermon on the Mount. You can follow our weekly podcast HERE.  At our Sunday night service The Gathering Trygve has been preaching through the Beatitudes – looking at one beatitude each Sunday.  It has been a prescient series with all of the global tragedies this fall.

Along with the series we have been working on some original material – largely inspired by the dearth of worship music drawing from the beatitudes.

You can preview and download the project at our bandcamp site.  A songbook is included with the album download.

Hope College Worship – All Hail Christ

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I’m getting ready to finish my first school year as the Worship Chaplain at Hope College – a beautiful small college located in Western Michigan that loves to worship Jesus Christ. Every year (for the past 20) Campus ministries has released a record of the services at Hope.  50+ chapels a semester and a Sunday evening service – The Gathering – almost every week.

This year our record is titled All Hail Christ – a brilliant song written by Josh Banner and Susanna Childress.  The Record is a crazy mix of styles and genres within the vein of modern worship. From the music teams, to the tech crew, to the 1000+ students gathering with us most days it’s a big love affair.  We hope you enjoy it!

A few places to start:

All Hail Christ – think Phil 2 meets Arcade Fire | chart

Hallelujah – midwestern punk rock worship

Rising Sun – great song from All Sons and Daughters and a new classic for us featuring a killer string arrangement by City Church’s Minna Choi.

Come Thou Fount – our modern take with the traditional tune.

O God of Our Salvation – Modern worship with a needed injection of Trinitarian theology! written by by Matt Boswell and Michael Bleeker.

Hope College Worship – Thy Love Unfailing – Songs for Lent

Every semester one of my worship teams at Hope College will record a few songs for the current church season. Last month in the midst of crazy work on our yearly worship CD we recorded a few retuned hymns for Lent/Holy Week. Most of my students have no idea about the retuned hymn movement so it was fun to see them working to meld our chapel style of ambient modern rock to tunes I had written. Hope you enjoy.

1. BE GRACIOUS TO ME, LORD (PSALM 57) – for Maundy Thursday
Words: Michael Parry, 1973, © 1983 by Hope Publishing, Co
Music: Bruce Benedict, 2010 © Cardiphonia Music
2. BREATHE (O BREATH OF LIFE) – for Holy Saturday
Words: Bessie Head, 1914, add. Nathan Partain.
Music: Nathan Partain, 2000, Arr. Bruce Benedict, 2015
Words: Greek Hymn (Trans. by John Brownlie, 1907)
Music: Bruce Benedict, 2014 © Cardiphonia Music
A pdf of the songbook is included with the full album download.
Thanks to Michael Van Patter for the lovely design.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit as Breath

As part of our series through the book of acts at Hope College a few of my colleagues are writing prayers meditating on the various images of the Holy Spirit in scripture.  Here is my prayer based on the image of the Holy Spirit as Breath, Wind, and Life.

Acts 2:1-2 (ESV)

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

Holy Spirit,
Holy Breather,
moving this way and that
invisible to our broken, adamic eyes.
Come Breathe on us.
Come breathe and lift and swirl and fill
Perforate our lives with your holy breathe and
enliven these cold forsaken bones
…winnow away death that life might spring up.
Wind of God,
blow far from us
all dark despair, all deep distress, all groundless fears,
all sinful desires, all Satan’s snares, all false values,
all selfish wants, all wasteful worries.

Breath of God,
Blow into us your holy presence,
your new creation, your living love, your healing touch,
your unearthly courage, your mighty strength,
your perfect peace, your boundless concern
your divine grace, your neverending joy.
Wind of God, blow strong, blow fresh, blow on us now.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Amen.
adapted from a prayer in the Worship Sourcebook, page700, 2nd Ed.