Worship Wednesdays: Matt Redman’s “Modern Hymn” And Most Popular Hit!

matt redman

After a brief hiatus, we are back with Worship Wednesdays. This week, we are delving into one of my favourite worship songs of late, the radio friendly smash hit “10 000 Reasons”. This was the song that made Matt Redman famous in the U.S. (well, famous enough for him to feature on a WOW Hits album), and is the song that I am sure will be elevated to hymn status in a few years.

I have always loved Matt’s music; see this list below describing all of my favourite songs from Matt over his prestigious 20 + year career on Kingsway Music, and now sixsteps and Sparrow Records. Songs like “Holy Moment”, “Let Everything That Has Breath”, “Better Is One Day”, “The Heart Of Worship”, “Once Again”, “Facedown”, “Dancing Generation”, “Nothing But The Blood”, “Lord Let Your Glory Fall”, “Let My Words Be Few”, “Blessed Be Your Name”, “The Father’s Song”, “You Never Let Go”, “This Is How We Know” and “For Your Glory” have all resonated with me over the years. And that’s not including his two most recent albums 10 000 Reasons and Your Grace Finds Me, which to me are two of Matt’s most honest, vulnerable and encouraging worship albums of his entire discography. But for me, my respect and love for Matt’s songs transcended to an entire new level a few years ago.

That was when I first heard “10 000 Reasons” at church (in fact I heard that version even before Matt’s live version), and I was immediately moved and inspired. I loved the way our church sung it, and when I arrived back home and listened to Matt’s live version again, there was just something in the words and the melody that struck a chord with me, and I believe that was the Holy Spirit inhabiting the song, and ministering to me with the words. See, “10 000 Reasons” may not have sophisticated lyrics and flashy instruments, but what it does have that makes the song timeless, is that it overtly speaks about the gospel, the love of God, and doesn’t overcomplicate any theology, just sticking to the basics of what being a Christian is. While other tracks from Matt are still inspiring and enjoyable, to me there’s something special about “10 000 Reasons” (which right now, I can’t quite put my finger on- but sometimes you know a song will be timeless, or you can have an inkling within the first few minutes of the song!)- I believe we, as in everyone around the world, will be singing this song for many years to come.

As the song basically reminds me that Matt is such a great song-writer and worship leader, with the track leading us corporately into worship with our Maker; Matt released a studio version of the song a year and a half after it released; and the studio version captures the message of the 2011 live anthem perfectly. Complete with gang vocals and plenty of musical instruments to create an epic orchestral feel; Matt’s radio single based on Psalm 103 is very magical, and lyrically depicts all of the great things God has done for us, and all of the great things that God is as well. With all of God’s unending and perfect traits, Matt has written the perfect chorus!

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

It’s simple, yet effective; it’s thoughtful, profound, comforting, and not confronting. It’s moving, impacting, powerful, potent- it’s as if this song was written by God, and Matt just used the pen or pencil to write down what God was saying to him. But hang on, what about other Matt Redman songs, you say? What makes this one popular and loved at concerts, and other songs ‘fall by the wayside’? Well, I will try to elaborate on this controversial and contentious topic in a separate post, but I will say this- that certain songs transcend time, and “10 000 Reasons” is one of them.

With the song being a celebration of God’s goodness and unfailing love that He lavishes over us just because we are His children; it is this track, and other newer songs such as “Holy (Jesus You Are)”, “Sing And Shout”, “Your Grace Finds Me”, “Jesus Only Jesus” and “Mercy” that make me excited for Matt’s future albums, as his songs are so rich in scripture and remind us a lot about God’s faithfulness.

What is your favourite worship song, that you think will be a modern hymn in a few years time? Remember, “In Christ Alone” was written in 2001!

Below are two videos of “10 000 Reasons” (one is a cover with For A Season and KJ-52 singing/rapping the song!); which video do you prefer?

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