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God of Wonders

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Genesis 1 and 2 are the primary references pointing to the creating work of God.
Psalm 104 supplements the perspective of Genesis 1 and 2.
Psalm 8 communicates some of the wonder and surprise expressed in this song.
When the Refrain declares “…the universe declares your majesty….”, we clearly hear Paul in Romans 1:20.
When the Refrain sings its “Hallelujah” to the Lord of heaven and earth, we hear echoes of Revelation 4 and 5.
 

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

This song weaves together thoughts about the nature of God, saying that the “universe declares your majesty.” Before singing this song, it is worth considering Belgic Confession, Article 1, which speaks of the nature of God: “eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty; completely wise, just and good, and the overflowing source of all good.”
 
Article 2 speaks of how we learn of his wonders through the universe around us: “…since the universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book…”
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God of Wonders

Call to Worship

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
—Psalm 103:1-5, NRSV
The Worship Sourcebook, B.1.2.1

Words of Praise

A prayer especially mindful of children
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Everything we see reminds us of your power and glory
because you made everything out of nothing.
You made the sun and the moon,
you made the land and the sea,
you made the birds and the fish and all the animals,
and you made us to love you and take care of your creation.
We praise you for all your gifts
and for helping us take care of your world.
Thank you for your creativity and your love.
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth! Amen.
—based on Psalm 8
The Worship Sourcebook, A.1.4.9

Confession

A prayer especially mindful of children
Loving Father, we confess that
sometimes we think we can do things all by ourselves
and sometimes we are worried about things.
We forget that you give us everything we have
and that you make us who we are.
Please forgive us for thinking about ourselves first.
Please forgive us for not trusting you to take care of us.
Thank you for always loving us
even when we forget that we need you.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The Worship Sourcebook, B.2.2.2
 
 

Assurance

This is the message we have heard from God
and proclaim to you,
that God is light and in God there is no darkness at all.
If we walk in the light, as God is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
—from 1 John 1:5, 7, NRSV
The Worship Sourcebook, 2.4.28

Blessing/Benediction

Almighty God, the one who created the world and everything in it,
the one who came to die for you, the one who lives within you,
loves you now and always, will never leave you or forsake you,
and holds you tight as you leave this place.
With a grateful heart, go in peace.
The Worship Sourcebook, C.9.2.2

Additional Prayers

Prayer Outlines
The following is a guide for extemporaneous prayers. The pattern provides a suggested text
for the opening and closing of each part of the prayer and calls for extemporaneous prayers of
thanksgiving, petition, and intercession.
Lord of heaven and earth,
we praise and thank you for upholding and ruling all creation
by your eternal providence:
for your sustaining hand in creation . . .
for providing leaders in government . . .
for church leaders . . .
for the way in which you have worked in this church . . .
for the riches you have lavished upon each one of us . . .
and for the great gift of your Son, through whom we are redeemed.
As our sovereign God holding our world and our lives in your hands,
we intercede on behalf of
the nations of the world . . .
those whom you have put in government . . .
our community and those who serve in it . . .
your church, that it may expand your kingdom, especially in . . .
We ask that your powerful hands may be evident in the lives of . . .
And in all circumstances may we have the faith
to hold on to your promise that you will work things out for our good,
even when we see no good.
We pray this in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God,
to whom belongs the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
The Worship Sourcebook, B.4.4.1
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God of Wonders

Tune Information

Name
GOD OF WONDERS
Key
G Major or modal

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

For Piano only accompaniment:
Where to begin:
  • If “God of Wonders” is brand new to you and your congregation
    • Try beginning with the Refrain to establish the tempo and hear the melody.
  • If “God of Wonders” is somewhat known
    • If you choose to play the intro provided in Lift Up Your Hearts, take time to internally think through the first line of the refrain and take your steady 4 beat tempo from that.
Rhythm:
  • Keep a steady beat with your left hand while your right hand plays the melody and chords
  • Steady 4 beats
    • Be sure to feel the steady 4-beats internally throughout the entire song—even when the left hand does not play the 4 quarter notes.
    • The bass gives this song its harmonic foundation as well as its rhythm.
Other hints:
  • Repeats
    • Note that there is a lot of repetition—be sure to practice the repeated sections and perhaps circle them so that your eye can quickly find its place on the page.
  • Dynamics
    • One note of dynamic interest—the 3rd page, 4th system—“Precious Lord, reveal your heart to me…” This is a quiet, thoughtful prayer inserted into this lively refrain. Be sure to play softly for several lines, gradually building to the lively and full ending phrases, “Hallelujah! To the Lord of heaven and earth.”
— Diane Dykgraaf
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God of Wonders

Hymn Story/Background

Marc Bryd came to good friend Steve Hindalong with a chord chart he had been working on. As soon as Hindalong heard it, he knew the lyrics would have to be big. He wanted a vastness to them so they would be a true declaration of the greatness of God. His lyrics seem to be just that. Mac Powell of Third Day, who sang vocals on the song for the “City on a Hill” album, notes, “…it’s very simple in its message and music also, but it’s something that captures you with its simplicity.” The song has been recorded about 100 times by various artists, and was nominated for a Dove Song of the Year award.
 
— Laura de Jong

Composer Information

Albert Chung (b. August 22, 1986) is from South Pasadena, CA; he has an undergraduate degree in music education from UCLA and served as a band director at South Pasadena High School. His involvement in various church ministries around Southern California led him to study at Princeton Theological Seminary for his M.Div. degree (anticipated in 2014); his interest in music composition is aimed at providing accessible contemporary settings for congregational song.  
— Emily Brink

Author and Composer Information

Marc Byrd is an American musician, producer, and writer. He is currently one half of the post-rock/ambient duo Hammock, and previously fronted the alternative rock band Common Children, as well as the duo GlassByrd with his wife Christine Glass. He has performed with a number of artists, including Jónsi Birgisson of Sigur Rós and Alex Somers of Parachutes. In 2005 he joined the Christian alternative rock band The Choir as musician and producer. He’s worked with Steve Hindalong, of The Choir, on a number of projects, and the pair wrote “God of Wonders” in 2000 for their co-produced worship series, “City on a Hill.”
 
Steve Hindalong (b. November 29, 1959) is a drummer, percussionist, songwriter, and producer. He is a founding member of Christian alternative rock group The Choir. He lives with his wife Nancy and their two daughters.
 
— Laura de Jong

Song Notes

NASA astronauts don’t wake up to a regular alarm. Friends and family choose music, and NASA ensures those songs are played good and loud to wake up those in space. On Day 6 of the STS-107 research mission, crew member and commander Rick Husband woke up to the song “God of Wonders.” Writer and producer Steve Hindalong wanted the lyrics to be “really broad, really big and vast,” and what better place to hear those lyrics than in the expanse of space? But the second verse would have its own meaning, for as the space shuttle Columbia re-entered the atmosphere, it disintegrated, resulting in the tragic deaths of Husband and his entire crew. “As I stumble in the darkness, I will call your name by night” would be words of comfort and hope for a grieving community. Even in the expanse, God is near. The simplicity and applicability of the lyrics and music have helped this song become well-loved, oft-sung hymn of praise. It has been recorded about 100 times by various artists, and was nominated for a Dove Song of the Year award.
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.