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Thank You Lord For Saving My Soul – Seth and Bessie Sykes

*As a special treat you can listen to an 
original recording provided by the 
Sykes family of Bessie 
singing Thank You Lord for Saving My Soul here.

Thank You Lord For Saving My Soul – Seth and Bessie Sykes

Foreword:  Since the original posting of my article, Thank You Lord for Saving My Soul, on January 14, 2011, and a subsequent update on July 14, 2012 the article has been read by internet users thousands of times. I suppose that is because a lot of lives were positively affected by this little song some time earlier in their lifetime. Or it could be that the song reminds folks of a special time in their lives which was very important to them. I am pleased that so many people have found the article worthwhile, especially around the Thanksgiving holiday which occurs in November in the USA. With this update (October 21, 2015), I am providing additional background on the songwriters and their evangelistic ministry gained through personal communication with direct descendants of Seth and Bessie Sykes, authors of Thank You Lord. 


John 4:29 (NIV) “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”

Background: Sometimes things just pop into your head from the past and you don’t know why. Recently a chorus that I learned as a child just keeps ringing in my brain for no apparent reason. The tune and words are etched in my memory. In times when I least expect it, I find myself humming the tune and repeating the words over and over:

Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank You, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank You, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.

The tune is simple and the words are easy to sing. But I’m not sure that I ever understood how profound these words really are. I recall learning this chorus in Vacation Bible School in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. Later on I know that we regularly sang it in our youth group. And even later, our church would use it as part of our worship service, particularly after someone came forward to give their life to Christ.

SYKES copy.002

I decided to do a little research on the origin of the chorus and have found that it is actually a part of a hymn written by Seth (1892-1950) and Bessie Sykes (1905-1982) copyrighted in 1940. The Sykes were traveling Evangelists well-known in the United Kingdom. A number of their hymns including Thank You Lord andLove Wonderful Love made their way to the United States. The Sykes were also invited to conduct services in the United States but according to a family member World War II “put a stop to that and the moment passed.”

Seth and Bessie lead children to sing songs of the Savior. Note the small folding organ that Bessie is playing. Source: Eva Sykes Campbell, daughter of Seth and Bessie Sykes.

The Sykes home base was located in Glasgow, Scotland the third largest city in the United Kingdom. Seth Sykes began his career as a conductor and motorman for Glasgow Corporation Tramways. He also served as Secretary for the Tramway Christian Association where he was allowed to hand out Christian literature and Bibles. In 1929 Sykes left his job and along with his wife became a full-time traveling evangelist. The Sykes were somewhat like today’s media Christian innovators in that they used lantern slides and rousing hymns played by Bessie on a small, folding organ to gain the full interest of their crowds. Seth’s sermons led countless people to Christ and this hymn was most assuredly sung as a regular part of their services.

The following description of the story behind Thank You Lord for Saving My Soul is taken from “A Great Little Man, A Biography of Evangelist Seth Sykes”, copyright 1958, written by Seth Sykes, Jr. and Bessie Sykes.

“Thank you, Lord was born [in 1940] in a railway carriage between Edinburgh and Glasgow and has been wonderfully used of God. It has been translated into more than 70 different languages including French, German, Arabic and Chinese, and is sung both on radio and Television throughout the globe. Many touching stories have been told of how it has brought comfort and cheer to those nearing the end of Life’s weary way. One dear man heard it sung over a Canadian broadcasting network. He had come from Scotland to Canada, and somehow had lost touch with Christ. He determined to renew the covenant. Seeking the origin of the chorus, he was put in touch with Mr. and Mrs. Sykes and memories of an old friendship were revived.”

Reflection: I thank God for giving … yes GIVING … me my salvation. There is no way I can take it for granted. It is God’s free gift. I simply must tell others what Jesus has done for me. I pray for the fervor that the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well had for telling others about Jesus after she encountered her Messiah. She left her water pot and ran back to town to tell everyone about what Jesus had done for her. John records the results of her testimony in John 4:39 (NIV) – “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’” Her message was simple. She didn’t have Biblical training or a special calling. All she did was tell others what Jesus had done for HER in her own words. That’s all that is required. Tell others in your own words what Jesus has done for you and let Christ do the rest.

I wonder if Seth and Bessie Sykes knew what an impact their simple hymn and chorus would have on future generations. I, for one, am indebted to them for their faithfulness and this wonderful hymn and chorus. Perhaps the full lyrics of the hymn would inspire you to tell others what Jesus means to you.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.


Thank You Lord for Saving My Soul

Some thank the Lord for friends and home,
For mercies sure and sweet;
But I would praise Him for His grace —
In prayer I would repeat:

Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank You, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank You, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.

Some thank Him for the flow’rs that grow,
Some for the stars that shine;
My heart is filled with joy and praise
Because I know He’s mine.

I trust in Him from day to day,
I prove His saving grace;
I’ll sing this song of praise to Him
Until I see His face.

© Copyright 1940, 1945. Renewal 1968, 1973 by Bessie Sykes.  Assigned to Singspiration, Inc. All rights reserved.

As a special treat you can listen to an original recording provided by the Sykes family of Bessie singing Thank You Lord for Saving My Soul here:

Audio Player

According to daughter Eva Campbell, Bessie was “accompanied on that recording by a friend Bob Christie who is an excellent musician, although she usually played for herself.”

Here’s a link to HymnPod to play and sing along with the hymn “Thank You Lord for Saving My Soul.” Click on the link and then scroll down to the player and click on the start button.


Additional insight into the lives of Seth and Bessie Sykes

Seth Sykes Train Conductor - Source Eva Sykes Campbell

Recently I have come upon additional information about Seth and Bessie Sykes and want to share it with those who continuously search the internet for “Thank You Lord For Saving My Soul” and happen upon my blog. It is often helpful to explore the story behind a hymn to better understand the purpose of the songwriters in penning it to begin with. Figure 1. provides a picture of Seth Sykes in his full Glascow Corporation Tramway uniform. The picture was most likely taken prior to 1929 when Seth left his full-time job at the Tramway so he and Bessie could spend full-time on their already blooming ministry.

Evangelists Mr & Mrs Seth Sykes c.1929

Seth was a slight man with a big heart for Jesus. Seth and Bessie never looked back after they started their full-time ministry. They spread the word of the Lord wherever they went. They wrote Christian hymns and even published songbooks.

A poster announcing a “Great Gospel Campaign” led by the Sykes. Notice that the services were held daily for two full weeks with two services on Sundays. When I was young boy I can remember revival services lasting that length of time. I don’t believe that folks today would attend a series of meetings that would last that long … even for someone as famous as evangelist Billy Graham. Note the emphasis on a “Special Lantern Service” entitled “REVIVAL” that is highlighted on the poster. The “Lantern” was a big draw in that day … a multi-media event well ahead of its time. Today’s society has come to expect such multi-media events complete with Powerpoint presentations, sound, video and references to web sites. But in that day the Lantern was quite a novelty.

Bill Sykes the Burglar - Seth & Bessie Sykes

The electric lantern was used by the Sykes to show slides during their religious services to enhance audience understanding and promote interest in the meetings. Use of the lantern was rather unique for that time and served as an additional draw to encourage folks to attend the special religious meetings conducted by the Sykes.

The Sykes wrote a number of hymns and choruses to use in their services. Seth wrote the lyrics and Bessie usually wrote the music. Many of these songs/hymns were published in an evangelists song book, “Songs of Salvation” also known as the S.O.S. songbook, the cover of which can be seen in Figure 5. The S.O.S. songbook is dated to 1930 by Mr. & Mrs. Seth Sykes, 363 Springburn Road, Glascow. I do not know if the Sykes wrote all of the hymns. Also included in Figure 5. is what I believe to be a one-page resume used by the Sykes to explain their background and promote their services with potential hosts.

Left: SOS Songs of Salvation – Song Book by Seth and Bessie Sykes; “A choice collection of Original Songs and Choruses for Evangelistic Meetings, Solo Singers, Choirs, and the Home by Mr. and Mrs. Seth Sykes, Scottish Evangelists, Authors and Composers of “Running Over”‘ “Love Wonderful Love”, “Listening Is”, etc. –
Right: One page resume with the title: The Gospel in Word and Song, Also Electric (see note at the end of this article)** Lantern. Some of the qualifications listed: Evangelists, Authors, Musicians, Composers. In the rectangular box at the top of the page: Christ for All, All for Christ, The Word of God; Undenominational but Fundamental. “We are not affiliated with any {unknown} or {unknown} but entirely dependent upon the Lord for our support.” Lower left corner at the bottom: “Highly recommended by the leading Evangelical Organizations.”

In my research I found additional songs by Seth and Bessie Sykes. A number are discussed in “A Great Little Man, A Biography of Evangelist Seth Sykes”, copyright 1958, written by Seth Sykes, Jr. and Bessie Sykes. Some of the most well-known include Love, Wonderful Love, Out of the Mud and the Mire, Sonny Boy, The Last Milestone, Wonderful Place called Calvary, Memories, Everybody’s Loved by Someone and Running Over. Seth wrote the lyrics to Running Over and H. G. Hunter (and not Bessie) wrote the music. Quoting the biography: “Running Over has been running all over the world for a number of years and is a great favourite among the boys and girls who at an early age learn to lisp out the words of this simple little chorus with the deep, deep meaning.”

Running Over, Running Over

Music by H. G. Hunter, Lyrics by Seth Sykes

Running over, running over,
My cup’s fill’d and running over,
Since the Lord saved me, I’m as happy as can be,
My cup’s fill’d and running over.

Telling others, telling others,
My life’s work is telling others,
Since the Lord lives in me, I’m as happy as can be,
My life’s work is telling others.

To sing along with this hymn use this link “Running Over, Running Over”

All accounts indicate that many, many people were saved and/or blessed under the ministry of Seth and Bessie Sykes and remember those days fondly. Below are a couple of testimonies in their own words that I located in the public domain of the internet at thislink.

Ruth Millar
22nd Oct 2007, 07:57pm
I am remember the Sykes very well. I lived in Guernsey Channel islands and I remember them coming twice in 1935 and 1937. I am now 76 years old and can still hear Mrs Bessie Sykes powerful voice singing “There were Ninety-and-nine” and “[The Land where the Roses never fade”. Both my parents and some of their friends were saved under their ministry in 1935, and I was saved in 1937. They were wonderful days with we little ones singing “Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful love” also “Thank You Lord for Saving my Soul” The Lantern Slides which they showed as Bessie sang were very real and moving.
2nd Feb 2009, 01:20pm
Hi Heather,
I have just discovered your correspondence by email. I was born in Springburn, and lived up the same ‘close’ as Molly Weir’s mother. We knew Mrs Weir quite well, and she was so proud of her daughter, Molly. I also played in Paddy’s Park and jumped the ‘midins’ – For many years I was a Gospel singer and was a member of the Garngad Foundry Boys, where my father was treasurer for 40 years (William Robertson). At seveteen I joined the Springburn Gospel Hall. I sang many of Seth and Bessie Sykes songs, and listened to some of her lantern talks, sorry I can’t remember any of them now. They were a most remarkable couple, and have left a legacy of Christian music.

Family Portrait 1949 - Seth, Bessie, Seth Jr., Evangeline

The Sykes celebrated their 20th year of full-time ministry together in October, 1949. Seth Jr. and Evangeline (Eva) are pictured in a family photo shown on the left. Seth’s biography tells us that he and Bessie celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on July 16, 1950 while “in the midst of a campaign in the Seamen’s Chapel, Brown Street, Glasgow.” Though Seth began suffering declining health, their busy evangelical ministry continued its demanding pace. Unfortunately, in the midst of an active campaign at Port Glasgow Seth “took suddenly and seriously ill” and after “immediate surgery” for a perforated colon passed away a few days later on November 29, 1950. As Seth wished, Bessie continued their ministry for many years writing in the Epilogue to Seth’s biography in 1958:

“How has the work gone since 1950? The Lord enabled me to fulfill the engagements which were in our diary and before they were completed other doors had opened up, and through the succeeding years it has been like that. He has set His seal upon the ministry in the salvation of precious souls. … I thank God for every remembrance of my husband and partner and look forward to our re-union which is sure. Together we shall stand in His presence never to part again, and until then, may God help me to keep that memory sweet and green of “A great Little Man.”

Finally, I ran across a blogger, Mark Thompson, who is interested in Scottish history and in particular history related to evangelists from Scotland. You can read Mark’s blog on Seth and Bessie Sykes at this link.

Your comments and contributions to the collective knowledge about Seth and Bessie Sykes are most welcome. Please use the comment section below to communicate with me.

Original post from Christian blogger Jim Davenport here.

Thank You, Lord

…just as Christian came up to the Cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, fell from off his back, and began to tumble down the hill, and so it continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre. There it fell in, and I saw it no more!” ― John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress

Thank You, Lord

Words and Music by Mr and Mrs Seth Sykes
© 1940, renewal 1968 by Seth Sykes
Assigned to Singspiration/ASCAP
All rights reserved

1 Chronicles 16:34
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good;
for his mercy endureth for ever.”


Some thank the Lord for friends and home,
For mercies sure and sweet;
But I would praise Him for His grace –
In prayer I would repeat:

Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.

Some thank Him for the flow’rs that grow,
Some for the stars that shine;
My heart is filled with joy and praise
Because I know He’s mine.

Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.

I trust in Him from day to day,
I prove His saving grace;
I’ll sing this song of praise to Him
Until I see His face.


Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.



Luke 17

Luke 17

Godly Sorrow

But when it comes right down to putting what you say you believe into practice, and willing to confess the wrong, they don’t do it. It just isn’t there. They don’t have it. Well, that’s real conviction. That’s what we need. We’ve long left that, a long time ago, and swapped it. Prayer, and–and confession, and conviction, we swapped it for emotion, a shaking, or a jerking, or a jumping up-and-down. That’s the reason there is no holding tight, ’cause there is nothing there to hold them, until you come upon the basis of God’s Word, of godly sorrow, ready to repent and make anything right, and do what’s right, ready to live right. I don’t care what the people say, or anything else, you live for yours, for Jesus Christ and what He said. Then you take a church like that, coming back, there is a possibility of it coming. -William Branham JUST.ONCE.MORE.LORD 12.01.63



Godly Sorrow

1. Once my sorrow was for the pain of all I stood to lose

And yet my sin remained.

This sorrow, born of my pain,

Kept my heart from turning back to Him again.


Chorus 1&2

Sorrow for my sin brings my soul such pain.

Yet this pain I know can lead my soul back to him again.


2. Now my sorrow is for the sin that gives offense to God

And stains my soul within.

This sorrow of godly pain hopes

I never give offense to Him again.


3. Godly sorrow became the start of the path

That led to a mighty change of heart.

This sorrow out of love helps me find the way back to Him again

Chorus 3

Sorrow for my sin brings my soul such pain.

I know can lead my soul Godly back to Him.

Text:  Steven K. Jones

Music:  Sam Cardon

Artist:  Felicia Sorensen

What Is Mercy?

I read something the other day which stopped me in my tracks. 

“In Psalm 103 we learn that God does not deal with us according to our sins. Try to maintain an imbalance of mercy and judgment–God is extremely imbalanced in this regard…1000 to 4! His mercy is to a thousand generations and his judgment to the third and fourth generations… Remember also that God’s compassions are new every morning. Make sure yours are likewise.” –MH

It put me on a trail of thought… something I had been thinking about for a few days after a discussion with someone I highly respect. We were talking about a situation where certain christians seem quite adamant to prove a backslider was wrong, and seem almost hell-bent on pushing this person lower and refuse to offer forgiveness. I commented that they are determined to be her judge in everything she does. Do believers really know how to express Mercy? We claim to have received Mercy, and many of us have. But do we readily extend mercy to others? Oftentimes we are too quick to judge others. I have witnessed occasions where Christians are quick to judge and castigate those who have fallen or backslidden and very slow to forgive or show mercy. I do not believe we are called to pass judgement on others. We are not called to judge, yet. Unto him who much is given, much is required. Are we truly living for Christ and living AS Christ would, if we are judging the sinner and backslider and condemning rather than extending a helping hand to pull someone out of the deep miry clay of sin and this dreadful world? God help us all!

I wonder what you think about this topic? Feel free to comment.

Why can’t we help other’s by pointing them in the right direction rather than pointing out all their faults?


My heart was distressed ’neath Jehovah’s dread frown,
And low in the pit where my sins dragged me down;
I cried to the Lord from the deep miry clay,
Who tenderly brought me out to golden day.


He brought me out of the miry clay,
He set my feet on the Rock to stay;
He puts a song in my soul today,
A song of praise, hallelujah!

He placed me upon the strong Rock by His side,
My steps were established and here I’ll abide;
No danger of falling while here I remain,
But stand by His grace until the crown I gain.


He gave me a song, ’twas a new song of praise;
By day and by night its sweet notes I will raise;
My heart’s overflowing, I’m happy and free.
I’ll praise my Redeemer, who has rescued me.


I’ll sing of His wonderful mercy to me,
I’ll praise Him till all men His goodness shall see;
I’ll sing of salvation at home and abroad,
Till many shall hear the truth and trust in God.


The Power of Music

This week, something extraordinary happened. Director Michael Rossato-Bennett posted a clip from his new documentary, “Alive Inside,” on YouTube. Over the next couple of hours, he watched the number of views climb from 300 to three hundred thousand. As of this writing, five days later, over three million people have watched it. It’s been covered by USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, ABC News, the LA Times, the Guardian, and news organizations in Brazil, Canada, and Pakistan. And the film hasn’t even premiered yet.

What’s attracting all this attention? Music therapy, and the extraordinary effect it has on a 94-year-old called Henry. Without music, Henry is uncommunicative and cannot recognize his own daughter. With music, he comes alive, reminiscing about his favorite Cab Calloway performances. His eyes glow, he speaks with energy and passion.

The full documentary, which premieres next week at the Rubin Museum in New York, is about a wonderful project devoted to improving the lives of elderly people with various conditions—especially those, like Henry, with dementia, as well as people with cancer, depression, paralysis, and a host of other conditions. The idea couldn’t be simpler: load an iPod with music that has meaning for the individual, so they can access that music to enliven, engage, and uplift.

You can help transform the life of someone like Henry by donating an old or new iPod. For more information, go to the Music and Memory website. Learn how to pick the right music and set up an iPod for your loved one, or how to bring this program to your neighbors.

As Dr. Sacks has written in Musicophilia, music can be more therapeutic than any medication. Music, he says,“brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can.”  

Music is inexpensive, easily available, and (unlike drugs) it has no side effects!  Let’s keep this going—tell a friend, and ask them to spread the word, too.

Watch this touching 6.5 minutes video

Demons and Music | The Still Small Voice

Demons and Music

Some folks involved in “deliverance ministry” suggest that if we play praise music all the time–in our homes, in our cars, when we’re praying, and so on–it will drive demons away and keep them away, because they hate praise music. So, does praise music keep demons away?

I often wonder where people get such notions–and how they can be so definite and dogmatic about them, when the Bible is silent. Since Satan and his demon army oppose the purposes of God and seek to destroy the people of God (Eph. 6:12; I Pet. 5:8), we are certainly safe in assuming they do not like to see people worshiping the Lord “in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:24). But that’s not the same as saying they don’t like worship music. Those are two different things.

A great deal of so-called worship music is mere entertainment. The real audience for this music is not God (as it should be) but the participants themselves, who gather to have their ears tickled in the name of religion. Sometimes the music is designed to promote fleshly excitement and a kind of emotional binge that again falls far short of true worship. In either case, I cannot imagine the devil being too unhappy!

I am no fan of “deliverance ministries.” (Forgive me if I tread on your toes, here.) I think those who practice such things make too much of evil spirits, and step way beyond what Scripture says into unhealthy speculation. I can recall a guest speaker at a camp saying, in all seriousness, when the offering didn’t meet his expectations, that demons had a hold of people’s wallets, and he needed to exorcize them! Well, that’s ridiculous! And when we lay the blame for such things at Satan’s door, we may be letting a lot of worldly, carnal Christians off the hook!

The epistles were mainly written to Gentile Christians, whom the apostles were led of God to equip to live the Christian life. Since these folks often had no background in the Old Testament, and could not simply go to their local Christian book store and ask for texts on crucial subjects, this instruction was vital. It needed to cover all the essentials. But it is significant that, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, nothing at all is said in the letters of Paul or the others about deliverance ministries, or about casting out demons. Nothing.

The most detailed passage on the subject of Satan’s attacks is Ephesians 6:10-18. There, Paul describes the equipping God gives to protect us against the devil, comparing it to the armament of a Roman soldier. I have preached a series of messages on this passage many times. It presents a practical and common-sense approach to the subject, without any fanciful superstitious overtones. (See my article on Christian Armour.)

The twice-repeated instruction given elsewhere is to “resist the devil” (Jas. 4:7; I Pet. 5:8). This simply involves taking a stand upon the Word of God (as Jesus did, Matt. 4:4, 7, 10). We have no business mocking the devil, rebuking him, or even talking to him. Even the powerful angel Michael did not try to do that. When opposed by the Satan, he left matters with the Lord (Jude 1:9). So should we. (I dearly wish Adam and Eve had walked away instead of engaging the serpent in a conversation!)

As to music driving demons out, or keeping them out, that is pure superstition, with no foundation in the Word of God. It sounds something like wearing garlic around your neck to keep vampires away! Or like another idea I heard about: pasting pages of the Bible on the walls of a home to keep the devil out. Actually, the devil likely knows the Bible better than we do, and he readily quotes it, if he thinks it will further his malicious plans (cf. Matt. 4:6, quoting Ps. 91:11-12).

But again, note the difference between a ritualistic act and a heartfelt one growing out of a personal relationship with the Lord. When God’s people sincerely worship Him–with music or without it–they are expressing faith in His Word, and acting in obedience to God (Ps. 111:1; Rev. 4:11). That is the essence of what it means to “resist the devil” (Jas. 4:7).

A word needs to be said at this point about an incident in First Samuel Chapter 16. Following the repeated disobedience of King Saul, the Lord had  Samuel anoint young David to replace him–though it was still some years before David would ascend to the throne of Israel. And when David was  anointed, he received a special empowering by the Spirit of God (vs. 13). In contrast, the Lord departed from Saul, allowing an evil spirit to  torment him (vs. 14). This spiritual oppression seems to have been accompanied by times of black emotional depression.

However, the servants of Saul knew that young David was a skilled musician, and he was brought to the palace to play before Saul. “And so it was,  whenever the [evil] spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and  well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him” (vs. 23).

A quick glance might suggest to some that this is the kind of thing being claimed by the deliverance folk. However, several things must be kept in  mind.

 1) It is a basic rule of interpretation and application that we should not use a narrative passage to prove a doctrine, or to suggest that what  happened must apply to all. The incident described happened to David and Saul, but there is no specific indication God wants others to do  the same thing.

2) Nothing is said about the music being worship music. Nothing is said about any words being sung either. Given the instrument used, we  can deduce that it was likely soft, pleasant, relaxing music. That is all.

3) Though the distressing spirit departed for a time, Saul was not changed spiritually. For the remainder of his life he was plagued by dark  moods and a murderous hatred of the future king.

4) God may well have done this unusual thing more for David’s benefit than for Saul’s. It established David in the court as a person of influence. It highlighted his God-given abilities, and prepared the way for him to take up his reign some time later.

Bottom line: This incident does not prove that Christians playing worship music today will drive demons away.

Another problem is this. We live with more noise today than at any other time in history–and part of that noise is musical! Not only do we have music in our homes, and in our cars, but music plugged into our ears when we go jogging, or walk down the street. Then there is music in stores, music in restaurants, music in elevators, music in banks. (I can recall trying to do some calculations in my bank, with music playing so loudly I could hardly think clearly!)

We have largely lost the blessing of solitude and silence. Elijah experienced a fire, an earthquake, and a hurricane wind so strong it “tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces.” Yet the Lord did not manifest Himself to His prophet in any of these, but rather in “a still small voice”–a gentle whisper, in other words (I Kgs. 19:11-12). I listen to Christian music too, at times. But if I don’t also have times of quiet, I may miss the gentle whisper of God to my soul.

As far as music in the house of God, even there we need to have times of silence. In one church where I pastored we customarily had a pastoral prayer, when I prayed for the needs of people the Lord laid on our hearts. But at the end of this, I had a time for silent prayer, when those present could each talk to the Lord. It became an island of quiet reverence in the service, giving it an unhurried feel.

The Bible says “God is not the author of confusion but of peace” (I Cor. 14:33). I cannot see how trying to pray or do other things in competition with some music is a help. And whatever kind of music it is, if it creates confusion, or hazy thinking, the demons will surely rejoice!

Posted by: rcottrill | February 6, 2011 | http://wordwisehymns.com/

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