Confusing Worship Lyric Disorder

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We’ve all been there – the room is still, the lights are dimmed, and the Worship Leader has pulled out the “just-the-voices” card. The atmosphere is electric and everyone is feeling it – but you have one problem: you don’t have the slightest clue what that last line of the song was supposed to mean.

This pandemic is commonly known in the worship world as “Confusing Worship Lyric Disorder” – or CWLD. Symptoms of CWLD include (but are not limited to):

  • temporary loss of worship mojo
  • fear of lifting hands
  • premature eye-closing.

Though CWLD has been known to cause panic attacks among parishioners and Worship Leaders alike, it is non life-threatening, and is actually quite treatable. The most commonly known cure is to confront your fear of perplexing lyrics and stand toe-to-toe with these ominous stanzas.

I’m pleased to announce that I have the antidote, and after today, you will no longer have to fear the moment when you break out in cold sweats or a fit of the shakes in worship. Ladies and gentlemen,  I gladly give you the top 10 worship lyrics that need explaining:

#10: “Here I raise mine Ebenezer”

(From Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)

What it means: An Ebenezer was technically a “Stone of help” in the Bible, and raising one’s Ebenezer meant remembering the Lord’s covenanted faithfulness.

What it sounds like: I’m literally about to lift up the bah humbug guy from A Christmas Carol, perhaps in some sort of “raise the roof” motion.

#9: “Hungry, I run to you”

(From Hungry/So I wait)

What it means: Longing for God to satisfy our needs as we take refuge in Him.

What it sounds like: a possible new slogan for Golden Corral.

#8: “He’s living on the inside, roaring like a lion”

(From Like A Lion)

What it means: Our mighty and merciful God calls and gathers His children like a roaring lion (Hosea 11:10).

What it sounds like: That scene in “Ghost In The Darkness” where Michael Douglas takes on Mufasa. There you have it, a worship lyric with two movie references in one.

Probably not what Daniel Bashta had in mind.

#7: “When we laugh- fill our smiles with You”

(From Our Love Is Loud)

What it means: Knowing Jesus provides us with joy that allows us to laugh and smile through trials and hardships.

What it sounds like: A trip to the dentist, wherein our cavities become filled with the Holy Spirit.

#6: “Your love is like a rock when I’m spinning around”

(From My Brightness)

What it means: God, who is unchanging in character, is our firm foundation when life is out of control.

What it sounds like: That ride at Six Flags that I save for last or else I can’t eat for the rest of the day.

#5: “Light the fire in my heart again”

(From Light The Fire)

What it means: Asking God to renew faithful passion and vigor.

What it sounds like: A late night craving for an encounter with an extra spicy burrito bowl from Chipotle.

#4: “God will save the day and all will say ‘my glorious’”

(From My Glorious)

What it means: God will redeem all those who trust Him, and “every tongue” will confess He is Lord.

What it sounds like: God is Superman, and His calling card is the phrase, “my glorious!”

#3: “Come on and rain down on us, Lord”

(From All My Fountains)

What it means: Asking God to pour out His Spirit on us and make His presence known.

What it sounds like: Possibly… a worship song written by farmers?

#2: “Caught up in grace like an avalanche”

(From Like An Avalanche)

What it means: The moment of surrender when a believer realizes God’s loving pursuit of grace is inescapable.

What it sounds like: A really, really bad day on the slopes.

#1: “Consume me from the inside out”

(From From The Inside Out)

What it means: Asking God to wholly consume our lives as we submit every facet and detail to Him.

What it sounds like: Am I the only one who remembers “Inside-Out boy” from Nickelodeon, who accidentally swung all the way over top the swing set, leaving his insides flipped on the outside of his body?

Just as I remembered... pretty gross.

Just as I remember…pretty gross.

Have you ever suffered from CWLD? Any lyrics that I’ve left out? Feel free to offer your own interpretation.

Stephen Haggerty writes what he calls “humor” on thebeardedidealist.com. He also writes about spirituality through the eyes of a young Worship Leader.  He spends his free time with his rock-tastic wife making music as The New Old Fashions.

Originally published at thebeardedidealist.com. Republished with permission.



is the Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church, where he mentors, oversees and helps lead Family and Student worship environments. He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community and at HighestPraise.com.

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