Throne of Praise, recorded by Phillips, Craig & Dean from the album, “above it all,” is now playing on radio stations across the country. As a Worship Pastor or Leader, we invite you to download a few Throne of Praise Worship Resources made available by Phillips, Craig & Dean and their label, Fair Trade Services.
Many years ago, while in London and Oxford, I toured some historic sites and saw various famous chairs and thrones. I remember thinking, “They aren’t as big and lavish as I thought.” Some were simple wooden thrones. Others were bejeweled with a few rare gems set in prominent view. What would have made the scene more spectacular would have been to get a glimpse of some royalty seated there, scepter in hand, servants standing by to carry out orders. The room would have taken on a whole new atmosphere had Henry VII or Queen Victoria been seated there. It’s who is seated there that makes all the difference.
At Jesus’ darkest hour on the cross, He recalls a verse from His memory, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It’s the first line of a song His ancestor King David wrote. We find it in our modern Bibles in Psalm 22. This lament was the cry of the suffering Servant on the cross. In His hour of desperation, He felt forsaken by His Father. Some scholars believe this was not only a cry of desperation but a statement of faith because the rest of the song takes us somewhere else: namely to the throne room of Heaven. The song continues, “Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel”(Psalm 22:1b3 ESV).
Jesus felt forsaken. But with the eyes of His heart, He gazed upon the throne of Heaven. It wasn’t vacant. His Father was seated there. And what makes any throne is who is seated there. Why would God choose the praises of His people as His throne?
I’ve been to India and heard orphans singing praise. I didn’t understand one word and it was music I couldn’t relate to. I’ve stood beside members in my church who couldn’t even survive one round of karaoke but yet they lifted their praise with gusto. I’ve seen single Moms who scrape out a living but gather with God’s people, and in moments of feeling forsaken they continue to worship. Such a simple throne… the praises of ordinary people.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises… ”of orphans, tone deaf Christians, and single Moms. And He is reminding us, that what makes the throne, is Who is seated on it. In your hour of suffering, in your hour of victory or worship, do what Jesus did. Build a throne of praise with words, phrases, and melody. Where is God? He is there and what makes the throne beautiful is the Ancient of Days, the Lord of Hosts, the Great I Am. If you build it, He will come.
Few songwriters cultivate more fertile creative soil when crafting a new album than Phillips, Craig & Dean. Juggling dualvocations as both pastors and recording artists for more than two decades, Randy Phillips, Shawn Craig, and Dan Dean have created an impressive body of work inspired by what God is doing in their lives and their respective churches. That legacy of faith-fueled music continues on the trio’s fourteenth album, above it all.