Music plays a profoundly healing and deeply spiritual role in our lives. But why is that? I believe it is because we were created to worship God, in deed and in song. When we sing to God we are doing exactly what we were created for.
When I was in the midst of my battle with pornography, I would come back to God each time after I had failed, feeling broken and unworthy. In those lonely moments listening to music and praising God helped me to seek forgiveness, accept God’s enduring and relentless Grace and go deeper in intimacy with Him. From that place of intimacy He eventually showed me the way to freedom.
Here are 8 powerful songs that speak to the heart in the midst of feeling broken…
This is one of the most recent songs on our list. Released last year, Forgiven takes us to the place where we nailed Jesus’ hands to the cross with such a vivid description, “I’m the one who held the nail, it was cold between my fingertips.”
The song is such a poignant reminder of the power behind what Jesus did on the cross, breaking us free from the grave for all eternity. Crowder has another song, Come As You Are, which is addressed to us as Sinners, and is worth a mention, as it has some powerful reminders, that “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal,” and beckons “wanderer, come home, you’re not too far, lay down your hurt, lay down your heart, come as you are.”
Selected as the opening track to the Conquer Series, we had to include I Am Redeemed on the list! The song looks at our identity struggle, and reminds us that we are not what we once were, we are redeemed, we have been set free. You can see why we used this song as a backdrop for the life of Dr. Ted Roberts, host of the Conquer Series, as he journeys from a young boy, through addiction to a place of healing where he now has helped thousands of men walk in freedom. It’s amazing what happens when we know that our identity is in Christ, that we are redeemed.
You can see the I Am Redeemed clip featuring Big Daddy Weave in Lesson one of the Conquer Series. Learn more about the Conquer Series.
When I first heard How Can It Be, it took me right back to how I used to feel after acting out in my addiction, “I am guilty, ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become, My hands are dirty, I dare not lift them up to the Holy One”. Then a beautiful ode to Romans 8:34 where Jesus intercedes to God the Father on our behalf, “You plead my cause, You right my wrong…You gave Your life to give me mine.”
I’m Not Alright, sometimes this is very hard to admit. I was highly active in my church when I struggled with pornography, and just didn’t think I could ever tell even those close to me that I wasn’t ok – and then I heard this song by Sanctus Real. As the song suggests, once we understand that we aren’t alright, that we are broken inside, it opens us up to being closer to God. That’s when He can begin the work of healing us! As the song concludes, “I’m not alright, that’s why I need You.”
This is an oldy, but I’ll never get tired of hearing Mighty to Save. In the midst of our struggle, when we feel like giving up, it is so reassuring to know that God is bigger than any temptation, any fear or failure.
“Savior, He can move the mountains, my God is Mighty to Save.”
Released the year before I really got serious about my recovery, I think God used Mess of Me to really prompt me to think about where my life would head if I didn’t get help.
“I’ve made a mess of me, I wanna reverse this tragedy,
I’ve made a mess of me, I wanna spend the rest of my life alive”
That’s the truth about pornography, or addiction in general, you eventually realize, “When I try to make the decisions, when I try to be in control, it all becomes a mess.” Tragically addiction often results in physical death, or at the very least, a spiritual death, where you become an empty shell living life like a zombie. Hopefully, at some point, in your heart, you realize where your addiction has taken you and that you want to spend the rest of your life differently.
Another gem in this song is the call to self forgiveness, “It’s hard to free the one’s you love when you can’t forgive yourself!” Often addiction becomes a prison not only for the addicted but also for their loved ones. In recovery, to set them free starts with understanding God’s endless Grace in our own hearts.
Sweetly Broken is another powerful song that takes us back to the cross. During the Conquer Series Dr. Ted Roberts tells us that it is so important to close our eyes and meditate on Christ for 30 minutes before we go to bed. I find this song so helpful in that place, listening to the lyrics and letting the images play out in my mind, bringing me to a place of complete surrender. “At the cross You beckoned me, You draw me gently to my knees…I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered.”
Once Again was another song that I turned to so many times when I failed as I tried to break free from pornography.
“Once again, I look upon the cross where You died, I’m humbled by Your Mercy and I’m broken inside, Once again I thank You, Once again I pour out my life…”
I remember, with tears rolling down my cheeks and a broken voice crying “Once again, I thank You…” How many times did I need to sing “Once again,” before I would finally be free?
Looking back, I am grateful that despite all my failed attempts and having no idea how to break free, God heard my prayers, my broken promises and songs of praise. He was at work in many of these songs, revealing His Grace to me and bringing me to a place where I could find help and break free from pornography. I still find these songs helpful as God continues to work in me. May they be a blessing to you.
What songs do you listen to when you are feeling broken?
The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic 12-disc DVD series which is helping over 500,000 men conquer porn and walk in freedom.