It never occurred to me that God would use me to write songs. Nobody is less qualified than me. In primary school, I was asked to mime rather than sing, such was my singing ability.
Now I have just released an album New Day Dawning in collaboration with a musician friend Rob Whelan.
The song writing journey
The journey began one Sunday morning at church. I was singing in a low quiet monotone, while everybody else were singing loudly and joyfully. I was too embarrassed to sing in public.
I said to the Lord, “Lord, I would love to be able to sing.”
The Lord answered this prayer in a totally unexpected way.
A few weeks later I was at a worship conference in Te Aroha, and international artist Jason Upton was leading worship on stage.
As we were worshipping, I heard these words.
You came into my life
Turned my world upside down
You came into the room
And took me by the hand
Help me Jesus to climb the mountains
Help me Jesus to dance in the valleys
Help me Jesus to see above the clouds
As you transform me
Into your likeness
I knew that these were the words to a song, but I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I don’t play a musical instrument.
When I arrived back in Wellington, I told a talented musician friend of mine, Tim, about this and he graciously offered to help.
Next Sunday, after church, Tim sat down on the piano with me and helped compose a melody.
After that, it was like a dam burst and a river of songs flowed. I was getting a new song every week, and Tim and I started meeting weekly to work on them.
After a few months of working on the songs, Tim and I both got busy and the composing fell away.
The Lord brings a New Age musician
During this time I was asked to help set up the Healing Rooms at the Wellington Cathedral.
Shortly after opening the Healing Rooms, a man called Rob Whelan turned up at the Cathedral in need of prayer. He was a talented musician who followed New Age principles, but he had seen the sign outside on the footpath saying, ‘Jesus heals’.
Rob had lost his voice, had a gig coming up and was desperate for prayer to be healed.
We invited him in, told him that Jesus heals and prayed for his voice to be completely restored.
The next week he came back to the Healing Rooms with the news that his voice had been fine at the gig. He asked us to pray for his auntie in the UK who had some serious health problems.
Because his auntie was overseas, we prayed for her and also prayed on a prayer cloth which Rob sent to her in the UK. His auntie’s health improved dramatically overnight and when she received the prayer cloth a few days later, she was healed.
After a few months of many return visits to the Healing Rooms, Rob gave his life to the Lord.
As we got to know each other, I mentioned to him that I had these songs the Lord had given me.
Rob said that we should get together sometime to work on them.
Birth of an album
Nothing happened for a few months. Then one Sunday morning, Rob turned up at my local church (Capital Vineyard) and told me the Lord had sent him, and wanted us to collaborate on the songs.
Rob invited me around to his flat at 7pm the next day to start work on them.
I was excited about this prospect, but over the next few hours I started getting cold feet.
I said to the Lord, “Lord if this is not from you, please let it fall to the ground. Please take it away. And if this is from you, what song do I give Rob to start with?”
I heard the Lord say, give him The Vine.
The Vine was the third song I received. I’d woken up at 5:30 am one morning and heard the opening words,
“It took me a long time to find the vine where His presence flows into mine”
When I arrived at Rob’s flat the next night, Rob said, “What have you got?”
I gave him the lyrics to The Vine song.
Rob looked at the words and told me that for two years he’d had this melody floating around in his head but was unable to write lyrics for it.
He started playing the melody and singing the words to The Vine and they just clicked into place. Within twenty minutes we had the song completely finished. It was amazing. Rob had never completed a song this quickly.
Over the next few weeks I introduced Rob to more of my songs, and Rob started introducing them into his gigs at the pub.
Then, I started getting new songs. As the songs improved and grew, we decided we needed to do an album and so the album New Day Dawning was launched.
I could never have dreamed that God would use me to write lyrics and help produce an album of songs.
I want to encourage you. No matter how difficult your past is, no matter what negative words have been spoken over your life, the Lord can turn things around. He is a God of turnaround.
He is also a God who can do extraordinary things, more than you could ever hope or imagine.
Ephesians chapter 3, verse 20
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”
Wayne Graham worked in the media for more than 30 years before leaving to follow a call to set up The Daily Encourager, a values based media showcasing the best of New Zealand society. He has a passion for Jesus, enjoys walking, ball sports, the arts and song writing.