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Music review

Michael W. Smith Shares Decades of Worship

By Craig von Buseck
Ministries Director
I remember watching a news report of one of the early prayer gatherings in Washington, D.C., known as The Call. The reporter was interviewing Michael W. Smith, who wasn’t there to perform or to speak. He had brought his family to The Call to pray for America – and just to worship God. That was right around the time that his first live worship album was released.

The reporter went on to other aspects of the event and then the camera came back to a shot of Michael W. Smith at the edge of the crowd with his hands raised to heaven, eyes closed and tears running down his face.
I thought, "There is a worshipper".

Since that time, Smith has released three worship albums – and he has included worshipful songs on every one of his other albums since the beginning of his career in the 1980s. Years later, I feel the same way about Michael W. Smith. At the core, he is a worshipper.

That heart of worship is showcased in a newly released special collection of songs called Decades of Worship.

The album begins with a powerful live version of Rich Mullens’ "Awesome God". Then, it breaks into a string of stirring praise and worship songs. Some are familiar church choruses: "Mighty to Save", "You are Holy (Prince of Peace)', and "Above All". Others are worship songs from some of his albums over the last three decades: "A New Hallelujah" and "Healing Rain".

A moving aspect of Decades of Worship is the open worship in several songs – particularly in "Agnus Dei" and "Breathe".

But for me the highlight of the album is the stirring "Take Me Over"; and I use the word "stirring" quite intentionally. This is a wonderful anthem of surrender to Jesus Christ. When I first heard it on Smith's Wonder album, I couldn’t stop listening to it. I put my CD player on a loop and just lay in bed worshipping with tears in my eyes.

When I received a copy of Decades of Worship, I played the "Take Me Over" for my 17-year-old daughter for the first time. By the end of the song, she too had tears in her eyes. It is as "stirring" as any movie theme I have ever heard. It will lift you to the clouds.

A bit of fun and nostalgia for MWS fans is the worship anthem "Great Is the Lord" from Smith’s debut album, The Michael W. Smith Project. It is a great grand finale for this worship anthology – and it will definitely take you back to the ‘80s.

If you love worship, Decades of Worship is an album you will want to include in your collection.

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cbnmusic's rating

4 Spins - Should be a favorite

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