Fred Hartley, in his book Church On Fire, says, “The upper room is the closest we can get to the Throne while still on earth”. He is referring to a place of corporate prayer like where the disciples gathered for 10 days to wait for the promised Holy Spirit. They gathered to wait and to receive. Maybe they prayed for Peter’s mother-in-law’s neighbor’s head cold: they had seen Jesus’ perform miracles and they had already performed miracles themselves, in His name. But they were simply told to wait. (Acts 1:4-5) When my church gathers to pray, we certainly allow for times of intercession (praying for others) but we spend a lot of time simply lifting our praises to God and worshiping Him for Who He Is. We ask for more of Him in our lives, in our families, in our church body and in our community. His Kingdom come and His will be done in us. It’s a much more engaging time than just praying for another stubbed toe.
Over a year ago, at the end of one of these Upper Room prayer meetings, I began to play the guitar, just as background music, while we quietly waited on God…to do whatever He wanted. My heart’s prayer was for Jesus to fill that place with His presence, with His Holy Spirit, and my prayer quickly morphed into a melody. Guitar in hand, I began to sing it. What a precious moment when a brand new song is sung corporately for the ears of Heaven to hear!
A few months later, at a writers’ retreat, I sat down with BJ Putnam to write one afternoon (Jonathan Lee was going to be late because he was filming a behind-the-song video from an amazing song he’d written the day before). I played “Fill This Place”, for lack of a better title, for BJ and he said he liked it, grabbed his guitar and said, “so I have this chorus, it’s in the same key, and I think they’d work well together!” He started singing, “We want nothing more than You God, We want nothing more!” Same key, same tempo. Easiest song ever! 🙂 We knew we needed a Bridge, that all important 3rd section, when Jonathan waltzed in. He desperately tried to politely wiggle out of taking any credit for a song that seemed finished, but we forced him to join us and after we played the verse and chorus, he began to sing words of surrender, “I give you all, every part, take me as I am…” Then he recommended altering the second verse a little bit to help the song move along. It was honestly the most effortless collaboration I’d ever been a part of!
God hands us things sometimes. For us, it might be melodies and words; are we faithful to receive them? Maybe it’s a concept you share with your pastor, if it resonates with him (song ideas don’t resonate with everyone!), he may use that concept in his next sermon that touches the hearts of many!
Speaking of collaboration, my esteemed colleague, Lauren Daigle, had to sing on this song! She was in Florida, leading worship at a camp, along with Nate Bedingfield, my guitar player. Christian Paschall (producer) sent Nate the song files and in a condo on the beach, Nate recorded Lauren worshipping along with this song. Her love of the Lord is real and it shone through on this track. It’s a long one at six and a half minutes! We didn’t want to hurry through it!
So soak in it! Linger in His presence! The water is warm! 🙂
Pre-order my new album Doxology here!
Jonathan Lee, BJ Putnam, Aaron Shust
Fill this place with Your presence (Ps 51:11)
Fill this place with Your Holy Spirit (Acts 2)
Fill this place with Your presence
We want nothing more than You God
We want nothing more
We want nothing more than You God
We want nothing more (Luke 10:38-42)
Fill this place with Your glory (Ex 40:35)
Fill this place with Your holy fire (Matt 3:11)
Fill this place with Your power
I give You all
Take me as I am (James 4:7)
We lay it down
In You we’re found (Phil 3:8-9)
Hold us in Your hands (John 10:28)