By Kacee Pate
Recently, when poring over the pages of an old hymnal, the words of a very well known song opened up to me in a way I'd never thought of before. As I read through the first verse of "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing", I realized these exquisitely crafted words were articulating my heart to write and actually provided a good starting point when sitting down and picking up a pen or instrument. A songwriter's prayer, if you will.
Come, thou fount of every blessing,
This is where we start. Psalm 36 says, "For with you is the fountain of life..." and Ephesians 1 reminds us that God "has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…". We acknowledge that He is the source of life itself. It's all about Him. We are overwhelmed by His greatness (and probably feel inadequate to communicate it), yet simultaneously recognize that He is the ultimate source of all provision, and He has equipped us for the calling He has given us. It is both an invitation for Him to come and be with us and a declaration that when He is near, all of our own inadequacies pale in comparison to His all sufficiency and grace.
Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
When tuning a guitar, you are taking strings that have been pounded on, affected by environmental factors, and played out until they have strayed from their original sound and restoring them to their intended home on the scale. This is an honest confession that our hearts become easily distracted and swayed by the things of this world- we're out of tune. It is a cry of repentance asking to help us fix our eyes on Him and be in tune with His Word and what He's saying so our lives will sing of His grace.
Streams of mercy never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise:
When we think about all He has done, His never ending supply of love, mercy, and grace, the only fitting response is a heart bursting with praise. This is our declaration: God, we want to sing about what You've done for all our days!
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
Now that we've thanked and praised Him and repented for diverting our affections away from Him, we make our request: God, teach us the songs of Heaven! Give us music, melodies, and words (melodious sonnet) inspired and breathed on by the Holy Spirit (flaming tongues, as we see in other scripture references such as Acts 2). It's an echo of the Lord's prayer, "thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Sometimes in worship, we find ourselves in those special moments on earth as it is in Heaven, joining in with the angels singing (another interpretation of flaming tongues above). In those moments we seek the heart of God and ask what He wants to communicate to His sons and daughters. It is not enough to simply draw out of the well of our own words, feelings, experiences, or clever arrangements (though they can contribute); we need a direct download straight from heaven that will articulate God's heart and bring Him the glory and honor that He deserves.
Praise the mount I'm fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love.
We end where we began- with praise. We make the declaration that we will not be moved, and we will fix ourselves upon the mountain of His great love to proclaim His redemption. We will keep singing, we will keep writing, we will keep pressing in, because He is worthy and His name must be made known.
When you feel overwhelmed, ill-equipped, or stuck trying to convey the greatness of our God, worship with this song as a cry of your heart, and ask Him to come and teach you the songs of Heaven.