1. Michael W. Smith "Sovereign Over Us" from "Sovereign"
The title cut "Sovereign Over Us," which calls to mind "Healing Rain," is a gorgeous ballad with a richly theologically textured chorus that is so catchy that it's hard to resist singing along to.
2. Hillsong Worship "Our Father" from "No Other Name"
Going back to its liturgical/Biblical roots is the Brooke Ligertwood (Fraser), Scott Ligertwood and Jonas Myrin co-write "Our Father" which finds its muse in the Lord's Prayer. "Our Father," bears all the imprints of a great Brooke Fraser song, insightful in its lyrics yet having a tune that inspires us to worship (and pray).
3. Bethel Music "It is Well" from "You Make Me Brave"
Though "It is Well" is not precisely the old Joseph M. Scriven hymn, it does utilizes the chorus to augment this newly written piano ballad. Everything about "It is Well" gives us goose bumps: from Kristene DiMarco's breathy vocals to her sensitivity to know when to transit from her softer whispers into her explosive growls to the song's gorgeous declaration of trust in God, this song excels on every level.
4. Darlene Zschech "My Highest Hope" from "Before Amen: A Worship Collection"
Darlene Zschech's "My Highest Hope" is definitely the buzz track as this song itself is a testimony of answered prayers. Late last year, Zschech was diagnosed with breast cancer; "My Highest Hope" is this Hillsong matriarch first song to be released after that. After her bout with cancer and the gruelling ordeals of chemo, instead of littering disappointing hurts within his song, Zschech still empties her soul in complete trust in God. And when she sings "I trust you with my life/Lord over every fear/Your love is holding me," we can't help but fight back the tears."
5. Beth Croft "Rule in My Heart" from "Rule in My Heart"
In this regard, the title cut "Rule in My Heart" is a gem. Written by Croft with Matt Redman, Jorge Mhondera and Willie Weeks, this is a soaring introit into God's presence with lots of heartfelt moments of self-abandonment.
6. Christina Paul "Come Holy Spirit" from "Lord of All"
If you are looking for a song that will automatically elicit worship from the congregation "Come Holy Spirit" is the answer. With a Don Moen inspired flow and a chorus that is so inviting, it's a challenge not to sing along to this call of invocation.
7. Laura Hackett Park "He Shall Reign (Son of David)" from "Love Will Have Its Day"
One song that lays a firm grip on the heart is "He Shall Reign (Son of David)." Displaying her deft hand in handling Scripture exegetically, "He Shall Reign (Son of David)" beautifully traces the Messianic promises all the way from the Old Testament to Jesus Christ. And with an Eastern Jewish flavor to the song's indelible melody, Park is to be applauded for such a rich sonic treasure trove.
8. Cindy Cruse Ratcliff "Only You" from "Heaven Raining Down"
Don't let the piano-led "Only You" make you think that this is a soporific exercise for the insomnia. Rather, brimming with seismic emotions, Ratclif has never been more heartfelt as when she sings: "You're my defender gallant & righteous/You are the answer more than enough/You are the love that's relentless I find myself given in."
9. Chris Tomlin "Jesus Loves Me" from "Love Ran Red"
Not a remake of the children's ditty of the same titular, Tomlin takes one of the most rudiment teachings of Scripture that Jesus loves us and turns it into a smothering worship ballad.
10. Shelly E. Johnson "Your Kingdom Come" from "Your Kingdom Come"
Starting with a roar calling to mind the outbursting of the God's gushing river coming out of the temple in Ezekiel's vision, the title cut and album opener "Your Kingdom Come" majestically invites us into the theme of the record where we get to hear Johnson (who has vocal shades of Natalie Grant and Plumb) calling upon God to reign in our midst. Worship leaders who are looking to begin their segment of worship on a dynamic and God-besotted note would do well to include this song.
Tags : Best Contemporary Worship Songs of 2014 Michael W. Smith hillsong worship Darlene Zschech Hillsong Darlene Zschech Hillsong United christina paul Beth Croft Chris Tomlin shelly e. johnson laura hackett park bethel music bethel worship