Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

One of my favorite ways to pray has always been to sing or listen to music. I think it must be in part because I grew up with a professional musician father and many talented siblings. I also love to use music in class, and changing playlists with the seasons is a great way to teach the Liturgical year in a way students can understand and appreciate.

Here are some song suggestions for an amazing Lenten playlist or for use in praise worship.

This post contains affiliate links. Each song is linked to where you can buy it on Amazon. If you click through and purchase the song, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. It will also help me maintain my affiliate status 🙂

  1. Sweetly Broken by Jeremy Riddle.  Favorite lyrics: I am lost for words/ so lost in love/ sweetly broken, holy surrender.
  2. Love Song by Third Day.  Told from the point of view of the Good Thief, this song pairs really well with a lot of my Lenten projects where students have to imagine that they are really present on Good Friday.
  3. Liquid by Jars of Clay.  I know this is an old one- but I promise it’s great.  I love the mix of Gregorian Chant and Contemporary Christian at the beginning.
  4. Jesus, Friend Of Sinners by Casting Crowns.  My class led the school in a really cool reconciliation prayer service based on this song a few years back.  You can read more about it here.
  5. East To West, also by Casting Crowns.  This is a great song about love and forgiveness. It’s also a great one to use when having students look up the scripture references in songs.
  6. Hymnus: Pange Lingua.  This beautiful Eucharistic hymn is traditionally sung at the close of mass on Holy Thursday.  The simple and beautiful chant is one of my favorites.
  7. Lead Me To The Cross by Hillsong United.  There are many beautiful recordings of this song, but I find this one the easiest for students to sing along to.
  8. Redemption Songs is an entire album by Jars of Clay.  It features fun re-imaginings of old school hymns, mostly about the death and resurrection of Jesus.  It is go-to classroom music in my classes during Lent.
  9. Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher has been an incredibly important song in my own spiritual journey, but it is also the song chosen by one of my eighth grade classes as our go to worship song.  Favorite lyrics: Where sin runs deep/ your grace is more/ where grace is found/ is where you are.
  10. Jesus, Only Jesus by Phillips, Craig and Dean is one of those powerful songs you just have to sing along with.  I love the instrumentation and the voices.

Are there any songs I should add to my playlist?  This is not the complete list, but definitely some of my favorites.  Let me know what your favorite Lenten hymn or song is.

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