A number of years ago, I attended a Worship Arts Conference. In one of the workshops, we discussed the importance of leaders being worshipers not simply singers. Our role is to lead an draw lead others into worship. And to lead others, we must first be worshipers ourselves.
One of the suggestions given to prepare ourselves to lead worship was is to write our own paraphrase to a song. Our worship pastor, Brian Mulder, encouraged us to try this one weekend in preparation to lead “Before the Throne” on Sunday morning. A song rich with meaning became richer as I paraphrased with my own words. Doing this over the years has often helped me prepare my own heart to connect with the message as I prepare to “lead” worship.
Worship leader or not, taking the words of a meaningful song from Sunday worship and creating your own paraphrase during the following week can be a powerful experience. And so, I share my experience with you.
Before the Throne of God Above
written by Charitie Lees Bancroft, 1863
(my paraphrase in italics)
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
Before the throne of God
I have my very own High Priest
full of love and will live forever,
pleading my case
standing up for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
My name is engraved on his hand
When He looks there he remembers.
How does He have room to write
all of our names there?
Does He write them in layers?
Maybe He has an extra large hand?
Do his eyes pierce
through all the layers
and find my name there.
My name is also written on His heart.
And while He is present before God’s throne,
no one can say to me “get out of here,
you don’t belong.”
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
Satan tries to convince me I am unworthy
by telling me all I have done wrong.
But I simply have to look up to see my Savior.
He already paid the price.
I am worthy of His love.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied
to look on Him and pardon me.
He, the sinless one, who died,
made it possible for me to be seen as
forgiven and righteous.
The just God looks at my Savior . . .
Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect spotless righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of glory and of grace.
Look . . .
God’s spotless perfection
the King of glory and grace.
One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God!
One with Him, I will live forever!
He paid for my soul with his blood
So, it’s “me and Christ.”
We blend together.
God can’t see one
(Click HERE to listen to this beautiful hymn)