We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things
'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
Story's new album, Open Hands, continues that conversation, encouraging listeners to worship God with surrendering hearts.
"I'm learning that living life with open hands … it's truly a life of trust and a life of surrender," Story says. "A lot of times, I buy into this mess that the tighter I can hold onto the things in my life, the more of a picture I can get of my future or my resources, or the more I can control the people in my life, the more peace, the more satisfaction I'll find."
"But, the scripture actually teaches that whoever wants to gain their life actually has to lose it, and this idea that it's actually the relinquishing of control of the things … that's actually what brings peace."
"Faith really is living life with open hands and saying, 'Lord, I'm going to choose to trust you.' I'm no longer going to live with anxiety. I'm no longer going to live in bitterness over my story looking different that I thought. I'm going to open my hands … not just to let go of all these things, but to be ready to accept the new thing that God has for us, and all of the blessings that come through just walking in faith."
Surrender isn't easy. Story knows that. Like most of us, she's struggled with letting go and truly trusting God.
"In so many ways, a clenched fist, it really is our reflex," Story says. "I can look back on my life and I see this track record of faithfulness, how God has been faithful. He's been enough at every turn. I've seen how He's used the hard things and the broken things to bring glory to Himself and to bring me into a deeper relationship with Him."
"It's just for some reason my present I'm still wondering, 'Are you going to come through this time, God?"—which is kind of ridiculous. He's almighty God, maker of the universe. When you look through His word of how He delivered the Israelites, how the Church survived for thousands of years, it seems silly to doubt that He would provide for me. He gave us His son. God the Father gave us Jesus. Why wouldn't He also freely give us whatever we need?"
"He reminds me, 'hey, you're not always going to understand it while you're walking through it.' But every time I can look back, I see His faithfulness. And I want to do that more often, so that I can be encouraged to live a life of faith. Because at the end of the day that really is what faith is. It's stepping forward when we can't necessarily see the path, but just believing that the Pathmaker is trustworthy."
For personal encouragement, Story looks to the biblical account of Abraham and his son, Isaac.
"You have God saying to Abraham, 'Take now your son, your only son, the son whom you love.' He's saying, 'hey, take that thing that is most precious to you and I want you to lay it down at my feet.' And you see how God is glorified when He intervenes."
"That's actually the first time in the Bible that you see that word 'worship'. As a worship leader, I'm always prone to looking through the scriptures and trying to understand better what worship is," Story says. "It is more than singing those happy songs on a Sunday morning. The very core of worship is this idea of surrender, this idea of trusting God with those things most dear to us."