Thinking about what makes a worship song, or hymn if you will, timeless led me to our church hymnal, the CD rack and vague memories of slightly scratchy vinyl in search of those hymns written before I was born that have become part of me.

Lately, I’ve taken to describing the workings of my brain as a juke box (mp3 player to you kids) on constant play in a wild variety of styles. A phrase will trigger the memory of a lyric stored somewhere in my subconscious and the mechanicism to load another song kicks off and the mental musical merry-go-round is set in motion. Or it could be something I see. Or just a song that comes popping into my head at a random moment.

These hymns are in that jukebox. Some hold memories. Some remind me of timeless truth. Some simply speak to me in a way no other song ever has.

Here they are (and unlike other lists I have made, these are in order):

1. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
What lyrics!

“Tune my heart to sing thy praise” … of course, because there’s no way I could naturally do it myself, it takes the working of the Spirit every day!

“Streams of mercy never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise” … no comment needed. Just truth.

“Here I raise mine Ebenezer; Hither by Thy help I’m come” … His help is the only way.

“Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God” … He was the one who sought me, not the other way around.

“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love” … The single line of this song that most captures my heart. I understand this feeling and like the writer, Robert Robinson, I pray that the Lord will “take and seal it.”

Sadly, it seems Robinson did wander, bursting into tears years later when he heard the words he wrote being sung by a lady in a stagecoach years later. Read about it here.

2. Amazing Grace
Simplicity in its tune and beauty in its message. I wonder if I am the only person in the world who finds herself singing this song when I’m in a place where no other words come to mind.

3. Precious Lord, Take My Hand
Two reasons to love this one. First, it reminds me of Sunday afternoons growing up when we would come home from church and Dad would put this record (yes, vinyl record) of country-gospel songs on while we got lunch ready and this song is one of those on that record. Two, it’s another one of those songs to which I find myself irresistably drawn that speaks of how the Lord is always by my side. This song has an amazing story of loss behind it, too. Being written in such authenticity, it’s no wonder it resonates today.

4. Holy, Holy, Holy
A beautiful song presenting a glimpse of the future with God.

5. Jesus Paid It All
I guess that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? That song, with a modern added chorus, is the worship song of the week.

Note: An old video link was replaced with a new one when I updated this old post for a new website.


  1. My favorites are “I Surrender All” and “I Cannot Tell Why.” Also, the other week in church we sang Newsboys’ “In Christ Alone.” It’s new, but really has an old hymn classic feel. I couldn’t place it but knew that I LOVED it–singing that song was the best worship I’ve had since, well, my last Crowder concert. 🙂 They did it with a cello and a bass and guitars and piano and oh, baby, it was beautiful!

  2. Love what you said about Come Thou Fount. I attend at a new small church called The Journey, and this Sunday we’ll be singing that song as we build an Ebenezer. We’ll be doing it a little differently, letting each member of the church add a stone to it, as we celebrate God’s leading and blessing. We’re moving to two services, and thought that this would be a great marker to remind us that God met us here, and that even though we have two services, we are all one in Christ. Anyway, cool thoughts…and thanks for dropping by my blog and for the insightful post!

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