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80s praise and worship songs

When I was young, I used to love listening to praise and worship music. I’d put on my headphones, hit play on the CD player and listen to the songs over and over again. Nowadays, with so many other things competing for our attention, it’s hard to find that kind of time. But there is something really special about worshiping God in song—it brings me back to a simpler time, when I didn’t worry about anything except how much fun I would have at church that day.

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on 80s praise and worship songs . Read on to learn more. We at churchgists have all the information that you need about 80s praise and worship songs .

80s praise and worship songs

Maranatha Worship 70s 80s - YouTube

“Open Our Eyes” – Maranatha Singers

“Open Our Eyes” is a great song to add to your worship repertoire, especially if you’re looking for an upbeat tune with an inspirational message. This song was written by Maranatha Singers and released on their 2005 album Top 25 Praise Songs. It’s a highly popular praise and worship song, ranked as one of the top 100 Christian songs of all time according to CCM Magazine.

Here are some other praise and worship tunes that have stood the test of time:

“Majesty (Here I Am)” – Michael W. Smith

“Majesty (Here I Am)” is a praise and worship song written by Ed Cash and Michael W. Smith. It was recorded for the album “Worship” in 1984, and released as a single the same year on Star Song Records. The song was produced by Ed Cash with arrangements by Bill Maxwell.

The song has been covered by many artists including Brooke Barrettsmith on her album “This Is My Time”, Michelle Williams on her album “Do You Know”, and Kim Walker-Smith on her EP titled “The Wave”.

“Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord” – Bob Fitts

One of the most popular praise and worship songs of the ’80s was Bob Fitts’ “Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord.” This song has a classic sound that many people love, but it also has lyrics that can help people connect with God.

“Shine, Jesus, Shine” – Graham Kendrick

“Shine, Jesus, Shine” was written in 1987 by Graham Kendrick. The song is based on the Christian hymn “Crimond.” Kendrick wrote the song in response to Britain’s 1987 general election and its result; he was disappointed by Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government losing power and being replaced by left-leaning Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.

The original recording of “Shine, Jesus, Shine” used a minor key for its melody line; however, it has since been re-recorded with a major key melody line. This change turned out to be a good move: many praise leaders have found that using this version of the song as an opener works well for small or medium-sized worship gatherings.

“Rise Again” – Dallas Holm and Praise

“Rise Again” is a song written by Dallas Holm and performed by him with the popular Christian music band Praise. It was released as a single in 1984 and appears on his album “The Best of Dallas Holm”.

“Lord, I Lift Your Name on High” – Maranatha! Singers

“Lord, I Lift Your Name on High” is a classic worship song that’s been covered by countless artists over the years. The Maranatha! Singers are one of those bands—a brand new band in the 80’s that used this song to introduce themselves to listeners.

The lyrics for this song are easy to sing along with and don’t require much musical knowledge; however, if you’re trying to learn about it as a musician or composer, there are plenty of resources available online (like chord charts) that detail how exactly each note is supposed to sound.

This song has been covered by many different artists including Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. It was originally written by Steve Miller (of Steve Miller Band fame) and was performed by Peter Gabriel in 1979 at an event called “Easter Rock Festival.” This version is still popular today even though it hasn’t been released since then!

There are several different variations of this track floating around out there so be sure not only listen closely but also compare multiple versions before deciding which one sounds best for your project or band rehearsal sessions 🙂

“Above All” – Michael W. Smith

A song that is perfect for worshiping the risen King. This song was written by Paul Baloche, who also wrote many other great songs like “I Will Follow” and “We Fall Down.” The song describes how God’s love is greater than any other love we can imagine.

Michael W. Smith sang this song on his 1989 album, I’ll Lead You Home.

“You Are My Hiding Place” – Michael Ledner and Maranatha Singers

The song was written by Michael Ledner, who also wrote the lyrics for “In Christ Alone.” The song is from his album The Worship Collection, released in 1981 on the Maranatha! label.

“Peace Like a River”

If you’re looking for a praise and worship song to sing with your group, I highly recommend this one. There are many versions of this song available online, with varying tempos and orchestrations—you can find a version that fits your group well. This song is particularly popular at campfire worship services because of its beautiful melody and lyrics.

“I Exalt Thee (I Will Call Upon the Lord)” – Petra Praise Band

I Exalt Thee (I Will Call Upon the Lord)

Released: 1986

Lyrics: I exalt thee, O God, my king; my heart shall sing and praise thy name. In godly fear and faithfulness I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised. My soul thirsts for thee with a yearning that cannot be satisfied by those who worship false gods or by those devoted to their own selfish interests. Only he can satisfy my deepest longings, who alone has the power to give meaning and purpose to life’s journey through this vale of tears.

“Surely the Presence of the Lord Is In This Place”

The song is about God’s presence in our lives. The lyrics indicate that there is a place where God’s presence resides, and it is not a physical location. In fact, we are told that “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.” The song goes on to say that no matter where you go or what you do, His Spirit will always be with us — He never leaves us.

These songs are still popular today

It’s no secret that many of the songs we sing today were written in the 80’s. Though they may not have been written recently, they continue to be played and enjoyed by people all over the world.

In addition to being relevant then, these songs are still popular today. They’re so good that they have even inspired newer praise and worship songs!

Worship Songs of the 1970s & 1980s


10. Shine Jesus Shine

For me, the 1980s will always be strong associated with this song. The number of verses and repeated chorus does make it a little long, but the imagery of the chorus lyrics always had me picturing flowing rivers of living Spirit-filled water. There was a certain appeal to us kids growing up in this era where we had songs like this permeating the environment. Indeed, the 1980s for me was a period when the Holy Spirit was active in His church. I have distinct memories of attending other charismatic churches as a kid where this song was song with much passion and freedom in worship from congregation members.

9. I Love You Lord

As you see throughout this list, the Maranatha group is highly represented. In one sense, they were the equivalent of Hillsong during the 1980s. I Love You Lord, in my mind, has always been paired with In Moments Like These, which you will find at #2 on my list. Both are great personal worship songs for declaring our love for God. I Love You Lord is a much simpler song with just the verse:

I love You Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
O my soul rejoice

Take joy my King
In what You hear
May it be a sweet sweet sound
In Your ear

8. Great Is the Lord

When I think of this song, I am always reminded of a certain former Worship Coordinator who led the worship ministry of my church during the 1980s-90s. This uncle would always sing it passionately, during church worship on a Sunday as well as during the fortnightly bible study group sessions. It was during those fortnightly sessions that he would lead the group in worship, whilst I played piano and another friend played guitar or bass.

And Lord we want to lift Your name on high
And Lord we want to thank You
For the works You’ve done in our lives

And Lord we trust in Your unfailing love
For You alone are God eternal
Throughout earth and heaven above

Biblically, the song first verse lyrics are based on Psalm 43:1-2:

Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain. Beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth, like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of he Great King.

7. Be Still

Just like Great Is the Lord above, thinking of this song also reminds me of the same former Worship Coordinator. More often than not, when I think of versions of this song, I have his voice inside my head… It’s the complete opposite to the version presented in the YouTube version linked above, which is very full of reverb. The reverb effect does add to the entire song environment.

According to SongSelect, there are also three non-English versions (at least) – Africaans, Dutch and German! Like a lot of songs from the 1980s which were constructed with a repeated verse – chorus pattern, the aim when performing these types of songs as a band, is to build and create a journey within the song – so that each verse builds upon the previous. In this way, you prevent the song from falling flat.

6. Salvation Belongs to Our God

Written smack bang in the middle of the 1980s, this was one of the first songs that came to mind when I thought of 1980s Christian worship songs. The sound is very 1980s in the way the music flows. Piano/keyboard driven, the rhythm is also very typical of the decade.

The chorus proclamation of “Be to our God, forever and ever” sounds majestic with both band backing as well as a vocals only rendition. Lyrically, the song offers strong biblical truth and alignment.

5. Lord I Lift Your Name on High

It’s no surprise that my personal #2 is the highest rating song from the decade according to the CCLI Top SongSelect Songs. Distributed originally under the production house of Maranatha Music, the song simply speaks out the journey of Christ in being our Lord, lifted most high:

You came from heaven to earth
To show the way

From the earth to the cross
My debt to pay

From the cross to the grave
From the grave to the sky
Lord I lift Your name on high

I even remember mixing up the order of the lyrics on various occasions – heaven > earth > cross > grave > sky.

4. I Exalt Thee

For Thou, O Lord, art high above all the earth
Thou art exalted far above all gods
For Thou, O Lord, art high above all the earth
Thou art exalted far above all gods

I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee, O Lord
I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee, O Lord

3. As The Deer

As the Deer is my Dad’s favourite Christian worship song. It is also one of my top favourites overall. The melody of the verse and chorus complement one another so well, it creates the ebb and flow, allowing the song to build and then settle. Over the years of having played and sung the song, it too, like In Moments Like These, ranks highly because of my personal connection to both the lyrics and music. There have been countless times during my younger days when this song was the source of my hope and strength – God and I speaking to one another through the words of the chorus:

You alone are my strength, my shield
To you alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship thee

The “spirit yield” low and pause is appropriately part of the song in giving us that instant of reflection and connection to God.

2. In Moments Like These

The first version I constantly heard of this song is different to the YouTube/Maranatha singers here. The version I learnt was an instrumental where the strings were performed as a single crisp violin which played a scale-like progression up/down as a chorus solo. The lyrics are simply magical beauty that are most simply summed up in the chorus “Singing, I Love You! Singing I Love You, Lord! I Love You!”.

Part of the reason why I love this song so much, and it ranks so high in my list is that not only do I sing it from my heart, but I also play it on the piano with just as much connection, if not more. It is musically and lyrically perfect – if I may suggest… Whilst I don’t want to ever call one song perfect, it’s hard to find flaws in this one… Part of that is its simplicity, purity and integrity. So why is it not #1? Well – whilst it’s not a “power” song, it is still declarative and emphatic. However, it is a personal worship song, sung from the perspective of the individual. It is #2 mainly for the reasons Awesome God is #1 as explained below.

1. Awesome God

Awesome God, as performed by Michael W Smith (last link above) helps to explain why this song is #1 on my list. The other YouTube clip is only provided here because it is performed by its writer – Rich Mullens. This “original” was a variation I had never heard until I found it as part of research for this post – I’m not a fan of it, but it does show you the complete diversity in how the one song can be performed. Such is the diverse and flexible nature of the song that SongSelect has it listed in eight different languages!

The song is so simple, yet so powerful:

Our God is an awesome God!
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, pow’r and love
Our God is an awesome God!

Singing this song is a great way to help encounter God. I have found it ties in well with I Exalt Thee, one of the classics from the 1970s- especially the chorus.

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