14 Best gospel songs to listen to

There are countless gospel songs to choose from, and the "best" ones often depend on personal preference. However, these are songs that have lasted the test of time and have proven to be a masterpiece of their own.

Some of them even have stories behind them, they are best gospel songs of all time.

  1. Amazing Grace by John Newton

amazing grace by John Newotn

John Newton, the author of the hymn "Amazing Grace," was a slave trader before he became a Christian. He had a profound spiritual transformation after he survived a severe storm at sea and began to question his life and actions. He eventually left the slave trade and became a minister, dedicating his life to fighting against slavery and promoting spiritual reform.

"Amazing Grace" was written by Newton as a poem in 1772, and it was later set to music. The lyrics of the song reflect Newton's personal journey of redemption and his gratitude for God's forgiveness and mercy. The words express a sense of awe and wonder at God's grace, which was able to save even a "wretch" like Newton.

The song became popular in the 19th century and has since been a staple in many Christian churches and worship services. It has been recorded by many artists and has become one of the most recognizable hymns in the world, known for its powerful message of hope and redemption.

2. How Great Thou Art by Carl Gustav Boberg

How Great Thou Art by Carl Gustav Boberg

"How Great Thou Art" is a hymn that has been translated into multiple languages and sung by millions of people around the world. The original Swedish text was written by Carl Gustav Boberg in 1885. Boberg was a Swedish pastor, poet, and politician who wrote the hymn after witnessing a thunderstorm in his hometown of Mönsterås, Sweden.

According to the story, Boberg was walking home from church when he was caught in a sudden thunderstorm. As he sought shelter, he was struck by the power and majesty of the storm, and he began to think about God's creation and the wonders of nature. The beauty and awe-inspiring nature of the storm moved him so deeply that he wrote a poem about it.

Boberg's poem, entitled "O Store Gud" ("O Great God"), was published in 1886 in the Swedish Christian magazine "Sanningsvittnet" ("The Witness for the Truth"). It quickly became popular in Sweden and was set to music by several composers.

In the years that followed, "O Store Gud" was translated into various languages, including German and Russian. In 1925, the English version of the hymn was created by English missionary Stuart K. Hine, who had heard the song while serving in Ukraine. Hine's version of the hymn, which includes several additional verses, became the most widely known and sung version of "How Great Thou Art."

The hymn gained international acclaim during the Billy Graham crusades of the 1950s and 60s, and it has since become a beloved and iconic hymn in many Christian denominations around the world.

3. Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United

"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" is a popular Christian worship song by the Australian band Hillsong United. The song was released in 2013 on the album "Zion" and quickly became a global hit, reaching the top of Christian music charts in multiple countries. The song's writer, Joel Houston, has shared the story behind the song's creation in various interviews.

According to Houston, the song was inspired by a personal experience he had during a trip to Israel. While standing on the Sea of Galilee, Houston felt a strong sense of God's presence and was reminded of the story in Matthew 14:22-33, where Jesus walks on water and calls Peter to step out of the boat and trust him. The lyrics of "Oceans" reflect this theme of trust and surrender to God's will, even when it means stepping out into unknown and uncomfortable territory.

Houston has also shared that the song was influenced by his own struggles with anxiety and fear. He has said that writing the song was a way for him to remind himself and others that even in the midst of fear and uncertainty, God is always present and in control. The lyrics of the song express this idea, with lines like "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders" and "You've never failed and You won't start now."

"Oceans" has been widely embraced by the Christian community and has been performed in churches and at worship events around the world. Its powerful message of trust and surrender has resonated with many people, and the song has been credited with helping to usher in a new wave of worship music that is focused on authenticity and vulnerability.

4. It Is Well With My Soul by Horatio G. Spafford

Horatio G. Spafford"

y Soul" is a well-known hymn that has brought comfort and hope to millions of people around the world. The lyrics were written by Horatio G. Spafford, a successful lawyer and businessman from Chicago who lived in the 19th century. Spafford was a devout Christian who often worked closely with evangelist Dwight L. Moody and other religious leaders of his time.

In 1871, tragedy struck Spafford's family when their four-year-old son died of scarlet fever. That same year, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed much of the city and left Spafford financially devastated. Despite these setbacks, Spafford and his wife Anna remained committed to their faith and continued to serve in their local church.

In 1873, Spafford planned a family trip to Europe to escape the stress and turmoil of their recent losses. He sent his wife and four daughters ahead of him on a ship called the Ville du Havre, while he stayed behind to attend to business matters. However, the ship collided with another vessel and sank in the Atlantic Ocean. Only Anna survived, as she was rescued by a passing ship.

After receiving the devastating news of his family's tragedy, Spafford immediately traveled to Europe to be with Anna. According to the story, while sailing over the spot where his daughters had drowned, Spafford was moved to write the now-famous hymn. The lyrics express his deep faith and trust in God, even in the midst of profound sorrow and loss.

The hymn's opening lines, "When peace like a river, attendeth my way / When sorrows like sea billows roll," reflect the depth of Spafford's grief and the overwhelming nature of his sorrow. But as the hymn progresses, the lyrics become a declaration of faith and hope, with lines like "Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say / It is well, it is well with my soul."

"It Is Well With My Soul" has since become one of the most beloved and widely sung hymns in Christian churches around the world. Its message of faith, hope, and resilience in the face of adversity continues to inspire and comfort people of all ages and backgrounds.

5. In Christ Alone by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend.

"In Christ Alone" by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend."

"In Christ Alone" is a modern Christian hymn that has become a favorite among worshipers around the world. The hymn was written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, two British musicians who have collaborated on many Christian worship songs.

According to the story, the inspiration for "In Christ Alone" came from a conversation between Getty and Townend about the need for modern worship music that expressed deep theological truths in a way that was accessible and engaging for contemporary audiences. The two men decided to write a hymn that would proclaim the core beliefs of the Christian faith in a fresh and memorable way.

The lyrics of "In Christ Alone" focus on the central message of the gospel, which is that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ. The hymn celebrates the power and grace of God, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and the hope that believers have for eternal life. The hymn's chorus is particularly powerful, with the lines "In Christ alone my hope is found / He is my light, my strength, my song / This Cornerstone, this solid ground / Firm through the fiercest drought and storm."

"In Christ Alone" was first released on the album "New Irish Hymns" in 2001. Since then, the hymn has become a staple of Christian worship services and has been covered by many other artists and worship leaders. The hymn's popularity is due in part to its timeless message of hope and salvation, as well as its simple but powerful melody and arrangement. It has been described as a modern classic and is sure to continue to be a favorite of Christian worshipers for generations to come.

6. O Happy Day by Edwin Hawkins

O Happy Day by Edwin Hawkins

"O Happy Day" is a popular gospel hymn that was written in the mid-18th century by English clergyman Philip Doddridge. The hymn was originally titled "Rejoice, Ye Saints, in Every State," and it was intended to inspire Christians to find joy in every circumstance of life, even in times of hardship and adversity.

The modern version of "O Happy Day" that is widely known today was arranged and popularized by Edwin Hawkins, a gospel musician and composer from Oakland, California. In 1967, Hawkins and his gospel choir recorded a contemporary version of the hymn that added a soulful beat and a call-and-response chorus.

The song became an instant hit, and it reached the top of the charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom. It was the first gospel song to ever reach the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it won a Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance in 1970.

The success of "O Happy Day" helped to bring gospel music to a wider audience and to popularize the genre outside of the African-American church. The song has since been covered by countless artists and remains a beloved hymn in churches around the world.

7. I Surrender All by Judson W. Van DeVenter and Winfield S. Weeden

I Surrender All by Judson W. Van DeVenter and Winfield S. Weeden

"I Surrender All" is a classic Christian hymn that was written in 1896 by Judson W. Van DeVenter, a Methodist minister and evangelist, and Winfield S. Weeden, a composer and musician.

Van DeVenter wrote the lyrics of the hymn after experiencing a profound spiritual struggle. He had been feeling burdened by the demands of his ministry and was seeking a deeper sense of peace and surrender in his life. One day, as he walked through the woods, he felt a strong sense of God's presence and heard a voice calling him to surrender everything to Christ. He later wrote, "For many years I had struggled to gain the victory, but surrendered all. As I gave myself up to the control of the Divine Spirit, a wave of peace came over me."

Moved by this experience, Van DeVenter wrote the words of "I Surrender All," which express a deep sense of surrender to God and a desire to be fully under His control. The hymn has become a beloved and widely-sung Christian anthem, and its message of surrender continues to resonate with believers today.

Weeden, who was a close friend of Van DeVenter, composed the music for the hymn. He was a talented musician and composer who had a gift for creating simple, memorable melodies that could be easily sung by congregations.

Together, Van DeVenter and Weeden created a powerful and enduring hymn that has been translated into many languages and sung by Christians around the world. The song's message of surrender and devotion to God continues to inspire and challenge believers to this day.

8. What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship

"What A Beautiful Name" by Hillsong Worship

"What A Beautiful Name" is a contemporary Christian worship song that was written and recorded by Hillsong Worship, a music ministry of the Hillsong Church based in Sydney, Australia. The song was released in 2016 on Hillsong's album "Let There Be Light."

The song was written by Hillsong worship leaders Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood (formerly Brooke Fraser). Fielding wrote the lyrics of the song after being inspired by the powerful and beautiful name of Jesus Christ. He explained that the name of Jesus represents everything that is good and holy, and he wanted to write a song that would celebrate and glorify that name.

Ligertwood composed the music for the song, which features a powerful and anthemic melody that builds to a soaring chorus. The song has been praised for its lyrical depth, musicality, and emotional impact.

"What A Beautiful Name" quickly became one of the most popular worship songs of the past decade, with millions of views on YouTube and countless performances in churches around the world. The song has won numerous awards, including a Dove Award for Worship Song of the Year in 2017.

The song's message of worship and adoration of Jesus Christ continues to resonate with believers around the world, and its popularity has helped to solidify Hillsong Worship's place as one of the leading voices in contemporary Christian music.

9. I'll Fly Away by Albert E. Brumley

'll Fly Away by Albert E. Brumley

ymn that was written by American songwriter Albert E. Brumley in 1929. Brumley was a prolific composer who wrote more than 800 songs during his lifetime, many of which became popular in the gospel music world.

Brumley was inspired to write "I'll Fly Away" after hearing a sermon about the afterlife and the idea of being "caught up" to meet Jesus in the air. The song speaks to the hope and joy that believers have in the promise of eternal life and the anticipation of being reunited with loved ones who have passed away.

The song features a simple, upbeat melody and catchy lyrics that have made it a favorite in churches and gospel music circles. It has been recorded by many artists, including Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Alison Krauss, and it has been featured in several movies and TV shows.

"I'll Fly Away" has become one of the most widely recognized and beloved gospel songs of all time. It has been covered in a variety of genres, including bluegrass, country, and rock, and its message of hope and assurance continues to inspire and uplift believers around the world.

10. He Touched Me by William J. Gaither

He Touched Me by William J. Gaither

"He Touched Me" is a gospel song written by American singer and songwriter William J. Gaither in 1963. Gaither is known for his contributions to Christian music, having written hundreds of songs and won multiple Grammy Awards.

According to Gaither, he wrote "He Touched Me" after being inspired by the healing power of Jesus Christ. Gaither had been experiencing a period of doubt and uncertainty in his life, but he found hope and renewed faith in Christ's healing touch. He wanted to write a song that would convey the joy and peace that he had found through his faith.

The song has a simple, yet powerful message that speaks to the healing power of Jesus Christ. It has become one of the most popular gospel songs of all time and has been recorded by countless artists in a variety of genres. The song has been covered by Elvis Presley, who made it the title track of his 1972 gospel album, and by many other well-known performers.

"He Touched Me" has won multiple awards, including a Grammy Award for Best Inspirational Performance in 1972. The song continues to be a beloved hymn in churches around the world and is often sung as a testament to the transformative power of faith in Christ.

11. Blessed Assurance by Fanny Crosby

Blessed Assurance by Fanny Crosby

"Blessed Assurance" is a beloved Christian hymn that was written by Fanny Crosby, one of the most prolific hymn writers in history. Crosby wrote more than 8,000 hymns over the course of her life, many of which are still sung in churches today.

Crosby wrote "Blessed Assurance" in 1873, with the melody composed by her friend and collaborator, Phoebe Knapp. The hymn speaks to the joy and assurance that believers have in their faith, and the confidence that comes from knowing that they are saved by grace.

Crosby was inspired to write the hymn after having a conversation with a friend who said, "Fanny, I wish I had your faith." Crosby replied, "I wish you had, and I wish that all the world knew the Savior as I do." She later wrote "Blessed Assurance" as a testimony to her faith and a celebration of the hope that all believers share.

The hymn has been popular for more than a century and has been recorded by countless artists in a variety of genres. It has been featured in movies, TV shows, and even political campaigns, and its message of faith and assurance continues to resonate with believers around the world.

Despite being blind from infancy, Crosby's faith and creativity allowed her to write hymns that continue to inspire and uplift people more than a century later. "Blessed Assurance" is just one example of her lasting legacy and impact on Christian music.

12. What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph M. Scriven

What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph M. Scriven

"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" is a beloved Christian hymn that has been sung by millions of people around the world. The lyrics were written by Joseph M. Scriven, an Irish immigrant to Canada who lived in poverty and experienced great personal tragedy.

Joseph Scriven was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1819, and was the son of a Captain in the British army. Scriven grew up in a privileged family and was educated at Trinity College in Dublin. However, despite his privileged upbringing, Scriven was deeply committed to his Christian faith and devoted his life to serving others.

In 1845, Scriven moved to Canada to start a new life. He settled in the small town of Port Hope, Ontario, where he worked as a teacher and became involved in various charitable organizations. Despite his efforts to improve his situation, Scriven's life was marked by tragedy. In 1843, his fiancée drowned the night before their wedding. In 1857, Scriven's mother fell ill, and he was unable to return to Ireland to care for her. Feeling helpless, he wrote a poem to comfort her, which became the basis for "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

The hymn speaks of the comfort and support that Jesus provides to his followers. The first verse begins with the lines, "What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!" The hymn is a reminder that no matter what trials and difficulties we face in life, we can always turn to Jesus for comfort and strength.

Despite the personal tragedy in his life, Joseph Scriven remained committed to his faith and continued to serve others. He worked as a missionary, caring for the sick and impoverished, and remained in Port Hope until his death in 1886. Today, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" remains one of the most popular Christian hymns of all time, a testament to Scriven's enduring faith and message of hope.

13. Jesus Loves Me by William B. Bradbury

"Jesus Loves Me" by William B. Bradbury

"Jesus Loves Me" is a beloved Christian children's song that has been sung for generations. The lyrics were written by Anna B. Warner, a Sunday School teacher from New York, in the mid-1800s. The melody was composed by William B. Bradbury, a prolific composer of hymns and songs who lived during the same era.

According to legend, Anna Warner wrote the lyrics to "Jesus Loves Me" as a comfort to a young boy who was dying of an illness. She wanted to assure him that no matter what happened, he could trust in the love of Jesus. The lyrics were later set to music by William Bradbury, who had been asked to provide a simple tune that could be easily sung by children.

The melody that Bradbury came up with was simple and catchy, with a repetitive rhythm that made it easy for children to remember. The combination of Warner's heartfelt lyrics and Bradbury's catchy tune made "Jesus Loves Me" an instant hit with Sunday School teachers and parents alike.

Over the years, "Jesus Loves Me" has become one of the most well-known and beloved Christian songs of all time. Its simple message of God's love has resonated with generations of children and adults alike, and it continues to be sung in churches, homes, and schools around the world.

The enduring popularity of "Jesus Loves Me" is a testament to the power of simple, heartfelt messages and melodies that can touch the hearts of people of all ages and backgrounds.

14. Reckless Love by Cory Asbury

"Reckless Love" by Cory Asbury

"Reckless Love" is a popular Christian worship song written by Cory Asbury, a worship pastor and songwriter based in California. The song has resonated with many people due to its powerful message about the unrelenting, reckless love of God.

The inspiration for "Reckless Love" came to Asbury as he was meditating on the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15. Asbury was struck by the image of the father in the parable running towards his wayward son with open arms, despite the son's mistakes and shortcomings. Asbury saw this as a reflection of God's love for his children, and began to write the lyrics to "Reckless Love."

The title of the song has been somewhat controversial, as the word "reckless" is often associated with carelessness or irresponsibility. However, Asbury has explained that he uses the word to convey the idea that God's love is not rational or predictable, but rather it is an all-consuming love that pursues us relentlessly.

"Reckless Love" was released in 2017 and quickly became a hit in Christian music circles. The song's simple melody and powerful lyrics have resonated with many people, and it has been covered by numerous artists and performed in churches around the world.

Asbury has said that his hope for "Reckless Love" is that it will help people understand the depth of God's love for them, and inspire them to respond with love and worship in return. The song's popularity suggests that it has achieved that goal for many people.

These songs have touched many people's hearts and have become hits of all time in the gospel music genre.

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