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Praise through the Pandemic

You lie on the floor, curled up in a fetal position. You haven’t left the house in three weeks. 

The accumulating schoolwork and dwindling toilet paper supply haunt you every night. Glowing screens cast blue light over your bedroom and barely illuminate the calendar you keep on the wall — the only way you can remember how long it has been since you transitioned to quarantine.

The coronavirus pandemic has turned your home into a prison.

Whether or not that description is indicative of your current situation (I know it’s been rough; I won’t judge you), I have a remedy for these long and lonely days of the COVID-19 crisis: worship music.

While we have all been cooped up inside, possibly feeling the threat of stagnation or unproductiveness, worship artists have been busier than ever releasing a wave of new music. From Rend Collective to Steffany Gretzinger, there is a fresh worship song for every kind of mood you could be feeling during this weird time in life. 

Besides, if Paul and Silas thought it was a good idea to praise God while they were in jail (read Acts 16), then maybe you should try praising him while you are confined to your home. Here are the songs you need to know to get you out of your prison and into God’s presence… 

“The Blessing,” by Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes

On the days when you feel paralyzed and don’t know what to do, stop everything and let Kari and Cody sing this benediction over you. “The Blessing” is a mantra of the Lord’s favor and will bring an assurance of God’s sovereignty over your life. The song starts out as a soft piano ballad, but builds with percussion, harmonies and eventually a full band to leave you feeling empowered.

Land of the Living (Live), by UPPERROOM

UPPERROOM has blessed the world with another live album. Ten songs and 71 minutes long, “Land of the Living” will transport you straight to the throne room of God for a glory-filled worship set. The title track declares that we will see God’s goodness, reminding us that he has already made us alive in the Spirit, shouldered our burdens and has given us hope for the future. 

“Into the Battle” is perfect for the moments when you feel like you are struggling with an invisible enemy (like COVID-19). You can shout this anthem at the top of your lungs when you are hoping for a breakthrough instead of an outbreak. 

For the days when you are just emotional, “I Just Love You,” combines a tender melody and heartfelt lyrics to deliver an intimate love song to Jesus himself. 

“Better,” by Chris Renzema

When you are losing hope, yearning for answers and in need of any kind of healing (physical, spiritual, emotional), Chris Renzema’s “Better” will help you sit in the weird mix of grief and faith so many of us are experiencing. 

The lyrics and vocals are raw, just like your heart when you listen to this song. It’s the perfect soundtrack for the intense introspection of quarantine.

Forever Amen, by Steffany Gretzinger

If you’ve been holding back the tears or bottling all the stress through this abrupt transition, Steffany Gretzinger’s album “Forever Amen” will help you release both. 

Gretzinger is known for her powerful vocals. On “Forever Amen,” she displays the versatility of her voice, keeping the emotional power and stripping a number of the songs back to soft, breathy melodies. 

“Remember” is one of them; a sentimental track filled with nostalgia and appreciation for our salvation and communion with God. 

“No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus” is another great song for the days when you are missing your friends — or people in general — and feeling like everyone has forgotten about you. Rest assured that Jesus hasn’t forgotten about you. 

Bonus: the last song on the album, “Great Assembly,” is the song we can sing when we are finally reunited.

I CHOOSE TO WORSHIP, by Rend Collective

Rend Collective produced their latest album, “I CHOOSE TO WORSHIP,” without knowing its release was going to coincide with a global health crisis. Obviously, God knew, because the triumphant lyrics and bold sound are extremely pertinent for the times. 

The title track calls believers to respond with praise instead of panic. The band posted on their Instagram that releasing these new songs felt like “handing out ammunition.” “REVIVAL,” “SING IT FROM THE SHACKLES” and “DEFIANT” are great examples of the spiritual napalm this album has to offer.

“Fountain (I Am Good),” by Mosaic MSC

When you are done being sad, Mosaic MSC’s latest release will be sure to lift your spirits. Driven by a feel-good beat, filled with unconditional joy and running over with God’s love for you, “Fountain (I Am Good)” will speak words of life into your soul. Being isolated, we can forget who we are, but this single will remind you of your true identity. Hit play on this one when you need some extra love.

“My Testimony,” by Elevation Worship

“If I’m not dead, you’re not done.” Elevation Worship’s upbeat, dance-worthy tune says it straight: even though it seems like everything in our lives has been put on hold, God’s work is not over. We can rejoice knowing that God keeps his promises and we can place our hope in Him. “My Testimony” is celebratory and expectant. Dancing around your room with this on full-blast is a great way to get your extra energy out.