Religious songs to raise listeners’ spirits
Faith can be expressed artistically — verses, murals and, in this case, music.
Take note of the playlist below. Add these songs to your library to keep the higher power close to you.
Marvin Sapp — Never Would Have Made It
In this song, Sapp credits God for shaping him into a wiser person today. The singer rejoices that he “made it through my storm and my test, because you were there too carry me through my mess.” Sapp said the song came to him after his father passed away. R&B singer Ciara, who lost her grandfather to cancer, would listen to “Never Would Have Made It” to overcome her grief.
Boston Trinity Church — Amazing Grace
Penned by the reformed John Newton in 1779 while braving an especially treacherous storm, the classic hymn erupted from the crowd at Boston Trinity Church during their June 13 vigil for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.
Yolanda Adams — Open My Heart
Adams opens up to God and asks for guidance in times of grey skies and uncertainty. “I know you’re the only one who can pull me through, so I need to talk to you,” she said in this soulful, soothing tune.
Brand New — Jesus Christ
From the point of view of someone who has given up their faith and is uncertain as to whether they can be saved, the narrator of this track poignantly expresses the struggles of accepting salvation. “I’m scared I’ll get scared, and I swear I’ll try to nail you back up,” the band sung at one point.
Hank Williams — I Saw the Light
The inverse of Brand New’s Jesus Christ, Williams croons about when Jesus came to him “like a stranger in the night.” Throwing off his past of blunders and aimless wanderings, Williams rejoices in his newfound life of faith. The song is also the title of the biopic starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen that was released in March.
Neutral Milk Hotel — King of Carrot Flowers Parts 1 & 2
This two-part opener from the band’s Anne Frank-inspired magnum opus poetically displays the absolute power that belief can bring into someone’s heart. In an epic climax in part two, the narrator exclaims “Jesus Christ I love you yes I do” while running through the streets.
Queen — Jesus
Though raised a Zoroastrian, Freddie Mercury expresses the charisma of a lifelong believer in this underrated Queen track. With a gospel hook and sweeping guitar solo, the song shows that despite differences in belief anyone can get caught up in worship.
Memphis May Fire — The Sinner
Sometimes the search for faith can be intense and this song exemplifies that. Here, vocalist Matty Mullins literally screaming for the help of his God by saying, “Keep me close, keep my head above water, I need to hear your voice, I can’t do this on my own.”
Lupe Fiasco — Muhammad Walks
Faith is a broad concept populated by a wide spectrum of religions and ideologies all equally legitimate as the next. Case in point: “Muhammad Walks” by Muslim rapper Lupe Fiasco, a song which tells listeners that “Hijab, Sunday clothes, Yamika, Kuffi, same mission beneath.”
We Are The World — Michael Jackson
Religion and faith are two of the most powerful forces in the world with the potential to inspire great war and great peace. In the words of the King of Pop, despite our differences in belief, we must come together because “As God has shown us by turning stone to bread, so we all must lend a helping hand.”