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#919 - "More Than Anything" by Natalie Grant
In times of hardship and medical uncertainty, Natalie Grant offers this heart prayer that keeps the Healer Himself first priority.

Posted: May 10, 2018 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Multiple Dove Award winning powerhouse Female Vocalist of the Year Natalie Grant has blessed worshippers and provided worship leaders with songs to lead congregations into the Throne Room of Grace with her recordings of songs such as "Held," "Greatness of Our God," "Desert Song," "Your Great Name" and "Ever Be," which are all vertical worship songs that showcase Natalie's excellent vocals.

Grant's album Be One continues in that same upbeat, worshipful vein. The album features the call to action song "Be One," the stirring worship ballad "Clean" and Grammy nominated "King of the World." In our eighth discussion over nine years of writing behind the song devotionals, and in connection with Mother's Day, I had the chance to speak with one of my favorite artists about her newest worshipful prayer song "More Than Anything."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

"More Than Anything" was written by Sam and Becca Mizell, who I wrote "King of the World" with. When they brought me the song, I remember how I was particularly moved by it because it was an answer to how we can treat God like Santa Claus sometimes. We hope we are on the "nice list." When we find ourselves in the middle of tragedy or something unknown, all of a sudden our prayer life improves. We come to God when we need something from Him. There was something about this song that convicted me at the time of recording it. I wasn't going through anything major at the time; it was just an overall conviction in my life. 

They told me the story of where the song came from. One of Becca's dearest friends was dying from breast cancer, and this was her prayer. She had prayed for God's healing, but she wanted Jesus more than anything that He could do for her. She wanted Him. That was her perspective. I recorded the vocals and felt like this song would minister to people who received a scary medical diagnosis. Bernie and I prayed that over this song, for people to know that they need God more than anything. 

Fast forward a few years. Coming from "Clean" and "King of the World," which are both ballads, we were going to release an up-tempo song like "Good Day." The label suggested "More Than Anything" last August, which surprised me because I love the song, but it has gospel-choir backing vocals. 

Then, last September I was diagnosed with cancer. I had just gone for my annual physical, and previously I updated my forms that my father had thyroid cancer for my family medical history. They did an ultrasound on my thyroid that morning, and they found tumors that they thought looked malignant. I was at Momentum getting ready to sing this song at Night of Joy. I'll never forget that moment. I showed up to rehearse this song and sang "help me want the Healer more than the healing," and I burst into tears.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Romans 5:2-5 (VOICE): "Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God's glory. And that's not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God's goodness. And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God's love."

John 3:28-30 (NKJV): "You yourselves bear me witness that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.' He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease."

Romans 8:28 (VOICE): "We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan."

Romans 8:38-39 (VOICE): "For I have every confidence that nothing--not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, height, depth, nor any created thing--can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord."

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

2 Corinthians 10:2-5 (NIV): "I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world; we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NKJV): "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace; that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT): "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."

What is the takeaway message?

At that moment I had been told I might have malignant cancerous tumors on my thyroid, I actually did want healing from God, and I thought I couldn't sing this song. It was a strange moment where things felt like they were spinning out of control. Then I had to remember that two years earlier when I recorded this song, God knew what I would be walking through, and even though I prayed it would help other people, it was also for me. 

I'll never forget that moment. It became a catalyst of God really revealing to me that I had become transactional in my relationship with Christ: "I'll do this for You, and I need You to do this for me." That issue with my health brought me to the place of remembering that my outcome doesn't determine His goodness. No matter what is happening with a diagnosis, God is still good. I need to seek His face before I seek His hands. That's the best outcome of everything I walked through with my health issue, and that's what this song is about. 

It goes against human nature to say that I'm going to find joy in hardship. When you discover the joy of resting in the peace of who Jesus is, you can be disappointed, but it doesn't shake your peace in Him. There is a way that you experience Christ in the valley that continually reminds you He is near. We become more aware and more available to Him. He gives us access to His unmovable peace.

I know if You wanted to You could wave Your hand
Spare me this heartache and change Your plan
And I know any second You could take my pain away
But even if You don't I pray

Help me want the Healer more than the healing
Help me want the Savior more than the saving
Help me want the Giver more than the giving
Help me want You Jesus more than anything

You know more than anyone that my flesh is weak
And You know I'd give anything for a remedy
And I'll ask a thousand more times to set me free today
Oh but even if You don't I pray

Help me want the Healer more than the healing
Help me want the Savior more than the saving
Help me want the Giver more than the giving
Oh Help me want You Jesus more than anything

When I'm desperate and my hearts overcome
All that I need You've already done
When I'm desperate and my hearts overcome
All that I need You've already done

Oh Jesus Help me want You more than anything

Help me want the Healer more than the healing
Help me want the Savior more than the saving
Help me want the Giver more than the giving
Help me want You Jesus more than anything
Help me want You Jesus more than anything

As followers of Jesus, we know that we can trust God's Word. We are all a work in progress. Have faith and let God "work all things together for good." Spend time with God and let Him redeem and restore you. God wants us to know that He's faithful to complete what's He's started in all of us who've put our hope and trust in Jesus for salvation. God is bigger than any calamity that we experience in this world. There is wisdom in these lyrics we can sing over ourselves, and for moms and dads, we can sing this song over each other and over our children.

God wants to hear from you. Get to that place where you are in humble submission to God. Don't play it safe, but take a chance and ask for God to be real in your life. You'll never see true beauty if you don't fully submit to God. More than just intellectual assent, God wants to be at the center of our heart's desires. This song beautifully captures the Truth expressed in John 3:30. There's the knowledge that we are the bride of Christ, bowing in worship to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are all called to have the faith expressed by John the Baptist: "He must increase, but I must decrease." Romans 5:3 states, "And that's not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters." This song reminds us that suffering shapes our characters and draws us near to the peace of God that passes understanding. Sing to Him: "All that I need You've already done."

Are we living our lives as though salvation is our reward, or are we living for temporal things? This song allows us to think about whether we are living for "the Giver more than the giving." Once we live for heaven, your joy is no longer tied to your circumstances. A good day isn't about what you did, but about how you've allowed God to use you. This song is a great way to thank Jesus for our undeserved gift of grace. Grace is freely given and isn't something we can earn by our good works. It is a gift from God by faith in Christ Jesus. The gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ started at His birth and continues until we see Him face to face. To celebrate the gift of grace this Mother's Day and all year, remember "Help me want the Healer more than the healing, help me want the Savior more than the saving, help me want the Giver more than the giving, help me want You, Jesus, more than anything." Amen to that!

Watch Natalie sing the song.


NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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