The Twin Towers fell on a clear, sunny day. A terrorist attack struck at the heart of America, and the world watched in horror as nearly 3,000 lives were lost amid mountains of rubble. Twenty years later, September 11 is still etched into our minds and will be forever.
That same Tuesday, Michael's Worship album hit the shelves and airwaves. Across the globe there were much larger concerns. People feared for their families. Many grieved. Some raised their fists in anger. Where was God in the midst of this tragedy?
Then something happened.
God began speaking to His people through music. He comforted them, drew them close, and let their hearts beat with His. He was not some distant, uncaring Father. People around the world began to find comfort and hope in this collection of songs. The Worship album resonated in ways no one could have predicted and still does today.
On the twentieth anniversary of that day, Michael delivers his newest project, Worship Forever, a complete reimagining of the album from first track to last. Recorded with a live audience, a sixty-piece symphony orchestra, and twelve background singers, the album features special guests: Tauren Wells, Matt Redman, and Amy Grant.
In an ever-changing world, God calls each of us through worship into greater purity, power, and love. What can separate us from Jesus's love? Nothing. Neither terrorist threats nor political divides. Neither shame nor fear. As we praise our Abba Father together, may these songs propel us beyond momentary concerns into the light of eternity.
Each minute on this earth nudges us to that glorious day, a day without tears or pain. On that day we will rejoice, shout, clap, and bow down. Until then, we worship forever.
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Heart of Worship (feat. Matt Redman) (Live)
Draw Me Close (Live)
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Live)
Open The Eyes of My Heart (Live)
Above All (Live)
Let It Rain (Live)
Agnus Dei (feat. Amy Grant) (Live)
Awesome God (Live)
More Love, More Power (feat. Tauren Wells) (Live)
Worship Forever His Name| Posted September 09, 2021 What You Need to Know Known for his live worship albums, Worship, Worship Again,A New Hallelujah, and Surrounded, in tribute to the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001 (the date Worship released), Michael W. Smith has delivered Worship Forever, an intimate and stirring recording that will make you feel like you’re in the room. This collection brings Smitty back to the heart of what he does best-- leading people in worship.
What it Sounds Like If you’ve always enjoyed Smitty’s corporate worship anthems, you’re in for a treat with this album. The exciting Tomlin-penned opener "Forever" sets the tone with the spoken word Bible verse intro, the upbeat orchestral musical arrangement, and the crowd reactions (that is, clapping and singing along).
There's an energetic and urgent tone in every song, starting with the stirring lyrics “Forever God is faithful/Forever God is strong/Forever God is with us, Forever." The call to worship flows seamlessly from song to song, as I find myself frequently singing these catchy and familiar choruses throughout the day.
The songs all have catchy and singable melodies, so you’ll want to crank the volume. Not to mention you'll want to sing along with Smitty and the choir, which can be heard throughout each song. I found reconnecting with these songs an enjoyable experience.
Spiritual Highlights Each song includes tender and powerful vocals and takes listeners on an emotional and spiritual journey with every lyric sung about our faith in Jesus. Every song is completely anointed, spirit-led, and emotionally captivating. A sincere desire to experience the presence of God can be heard in every song.
Recent popular songs “Surrounded” and “Waymaker” are reminders that our worship of God should not be based on our circumstances and instead is based on who God is. Commit your life to Jesus and offer Him your heart and your life as you sing along with these great songs. I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album.
Best Song on the Record There are several standout songs on the album. Many of the songs are arranged in a very singable and catchy style. My personal favorites are “Above All,” and “Agnes Dei” featuring Amy Grant. People can certainly relate to the "This is how I fight my battles" imagery of the song “Surrounded (Fight My Battles).”
The lyrics in the chorus, "It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You" have been resonating with me since I first heard this compelling song (it makes me realize that Jesus commands us to trust God completely no matter the circumstances or personal distractions or concerns).
"Surrounded (Fight My Battles)" was written based on scriptures that any follower of Jesus can sing and say yes and amen to every word. The song represents life and includes some great challenges to step out in faith and trust in God--even when you want to give up or can't see where you're going.
We aren't the source of the power to overcome our challenges. God is our greater power source that brings true power. In our weakness, God's strength is perfect. Remember that if God is for us, who can be against us? The beauty and majesty of our King Jesus is reverently captured throughout the album with anthem after anthem.
Final Word This is a completely worshipful album, in the passionate style that Michael W. Smith has become known for. This is a must-own collection for worship leaders looking for congregational friendly arrangements of recent and classic standout worship songs ranging from songs by artists Upperroom and Leeland to popular songs by iconic artists Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, and Paul Baloche, and Smitty’s original classic, “Agnes Dei.”
These are very passionate worship songs sung with vocal sincerity and reverence with biblically-based lyrics. Musically, this album is very soothing, and the songs are all edifying, challenging, and filled with very biblical lyrics. Backed by an orchestra and choir on every song, Smitty’s personal and vulnerable vocals have never sounded better.
Reimagined Worship| Posted September 23, 2021
Michael W. Smith’s best-selling album is Worship, which was released twenty years ago on 9/11, the day our nation was attacked. As a way to honor the tragic September 11 anniversary, Smith has released a reimagined version of the album. Worship Forever was recorded in front of a live audience in Nashville in July with a full symphony orchestra, choir and guest appearances by Amy Grant, Matt Redman and Tauren Wells.
Smith adds a few newer songs to the track list – “Surrounded/Waymaker", and ends with the new studio recording, the piano and orchestra driven "Sing Again” as a bonus track. Below is the chorus for “Sing Again”: This lonely heart will sing again These barren lungs will breathe again
Through suffering we're stronger
In the palm of His hand
Like a beacon in the night
Hope illuminates the sky
Reaching for each other
And as we carry on
We are keepers of the light
The project is very well done, though Smith performs the songs a bit slower with the orchestra than he did on the original album.
Here is the track list for Worship Forever:
Heart of Worship (featuring Matt Redman)
Draw Me Close
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Open the Eyes of My Heart
Let It Rain
Agnus Dei (featuring Amy Grant)
More Love, More Power (featuring Tauren Wells)
Surrounded/Waymaker (not on original album)
Sing Again (new song)