How I Give a Presentation and Craft Parody Songs (Ep. 036)


Nick, giving a presentation

Hear ye! Hear ye! The latest installment of the Prayer Meeting Podcast is now live.

In this podcast I share my experiences over the past weekend, where I had given a presentation and performed a comedy concert at a one-day church-affiliated conference.  Being fresh in my mind, I thought it would be good to share my process as to how I craft a parody song, and what I do to prepare for delivering an effective presentation for any type of crowd.

In fact, I happened to have crafted three new parody songs just for this conference.  At the end of this podcast (after the Doxology), I replay one of them, a parody of “Blurred Lines” (“Don’t Believe Lies”).  I hope you enjoy this.

There are two reasons as to why I am sharing this.  The first reason is to encourage my listeners, that if they have a desire to bring me in to keynote or deliver a talk, I can demonstrate what it is I would do for them.  The second reason is, if they wish to know how I create talks, so as to build upon their own skills, they could use some of my tips as well.

This podcast begins with a worship set, and the theme is about All Saints’ Day.  I had chosen a combination of hymns, praise choruses and chant that best befits this day that is celebrated across denominational lines.  I hope to have the music notation for these songs up soon, so you can play along.  (Update: they’re now up and live.  Right click the titles and select “Save As” to save on your local drive).

Text: William W. How, 1823-1897
Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sine Nomine (1906).  P.D.
Alt. melodies: Nick Alexander (c) 2013

1. For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Your Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

2. Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

3. For the Apostles’ glorious company,
Who bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,
Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee: Alleluia!

4. For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
Like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
Is fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

5. The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise, be blessed: Alleluia!

6. O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Allelu – ia!

7. And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Allelu – ia!

8. O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
All are one in Thee, for all are Thine: Alleluia!

9. From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

New arrangement copyright (c) 2013 by Nick Alexander

Text by Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Music by Scottish Psalter (1615)
“Jesus is Real”  Author Unknown
“As We Await” by Nick Alexander

Let saints on earth in concert sing
With those whose work is done;
For all the servants of our King
In Heav’n and earth are one.

Jesus is real, He’ll never fail.
Let’s serve Him now
and throughout all eternity.

One family, we dwell in Him,
One Church, above, beneath;
Though now divided by the stream,
The narrow stream of death.

Jesus is real, He’ll never fail.
Let’s serve Him now
and throughout all eternity.

As we await Your mercy from afar
We watch and pray,
You’ll meet us where we are
We need Your grace
To bring us to Your throne
So to worship You alone.

Jesu, be Thou our constant Guide;
Then, when the word is given,
Bid Jordan’s narrow stream divide,
And bring us safe to Heav’n.

New arrangement copyright (c) 2013 by Nick Alexander

Roman Gradual; Translation by Nick Alexander

Beáti múndo córde, quoniam ípsi Déum vidébunt:
Beáti pacífici, quóniam fílii Déi vocabúntur
Beáti qui persecutiónem patiúntur propter justítiam,
quóniam ipsórum est régnum caelórum.

Blessed are the pure of heart
for it is indeed God that they shall see.
Blessed are the peacemakers
for it is “the children of God” that they shall be called.
Blessed are those who are persecuted
and who suffer for the sake of justice
for it is to be theirs, the kingdom of heaven.

Public Domain

What are your thoughts about parody songs, or presentations?  Leave them in the combox below.

13 Worship Songs For 2013 (Ep. 035)


Do you know these worship songs?

Sing to the Lord a New Song!

The latest CCLI (Christian Copyright Licensing, Inc.) survey results are in for the October 2012 to March 2013 season, and you can look at the CCLI Top 25 list results right here.

However, I am more interested in those songs that were added to most people’s song folios during this time. Coming up with such a list, to me, is far more interesting and practical.

Because I keep records of previous survey periods, I am able to compare the results of this period with that of before.  And in doing so, I am able to craft a unique list that focuses strongly on those songs that have risen the most in the ranks over a specific time period.

This list contains those songs that most worship musicians have discovered, and felt most compelled to introduce to their circles, over the 2012-2013 time period. It’s my attempt at a Top 10 list, but the way it worked out is that there were two ties, including a three-way tie.

So… 13 songs for 2013.

Although these surveys come out twice a year, I focused solely on doing a Top Ten (or Thirteen) for the full year, since the last time the list came out was during Lent, and I was already in the middle of a different series at that point.  Perhaps it makes better sense to focus on this annually; perhaps not.

It should be noted that just because the song is highly placed on this list does not connote that the song is a perfect fit for your circles.  Each song must be looked at individually, in terms of your mission statement, the unique framework of those who attend your church, the musicians you have at your disposal, and the music licenses that your church holds.

Even if your church is unable to play these songs, does not mean that you should ignore these.  They represent the best of what’s out there today, from the results of a large survey encompassing tens of thousands of worship musicians.  These songs play well in one’s music playlist, and their accompanying albums also contain more great songs well worth discovering.

I hope to create a worship resource incorporating these songs in the near future.  In the meantime, I am able to provide a worship songsheet for the opening worship set, the hymn On Christ the Solid Rock and the praise chorus You’re Not Your Own, You’re His.

Feel free to link to this podcast to those who would most benefit from this resource.  Thanks for listening!

  1. Overcome by Desperation Band/Jeremy Camp
  2. Break Every Chain and Set A Fire by Will Reagan (tie)
  3. Holy Spirit by Bryan and Katie Torwalt (of Jesus Culture)
  4. 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) by Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin
  5. The Same Love by Paul Baloche and Michael Rossback
  6. Jesus Son of God, Lay Me Down, and White Flag (three-way tie) by Chris Tomlin, Jason Ingram, and a few other artists.
  7. Your Presence Is Heaven by Israel Houghton and Micah Massey
  8. I Surrender by Matt Crocker
  9. Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash and Scott Cash.
  10. Cornerstone by Reuben Morgan, Jonas Myrin, Eward Mote, Eric Liljero, and William B.. Bradbury

Any comments on this list?  Any songs you’ve learned this past year that really touched your circles, that you’d like to have mentioned?  Share them in the comments!

World Youth Day 2013 Thoughts; What You Need to Evangelize; Hark the Voice of Jesus Calling (Ep. 034)


This past week my thoughts have been towards the messages of World Youth Day in Rio, and in particular, the central theme of World Youth Day: “Go and make disciples of all nations!”

Millions descended to Rio in 2013 to celebrate World Youth Day.

I share in this podcast my thoughts about sharing your faith with others, and in particular, how to do so. I get that this is hard; I get that this is something that most Catholics, let alone most young adult Christians, are weary to do. And yet, there’s that command addressed to all Christians, by Jesus Himself, at Matthew 28.

The bulk of my thoughts are based on one of the pope’s addresses, but I highly recommend you–regardless of your denomination–to read his addresses about evangelizing directly from the World Youth Day website.  You’re going to want to read the addresses in their unedited form.  They’re great.

Secondly, I refer to a previous Prayer Meeting Podcast, episode 22, whereas I discuss enacting lasting changes in your life. In that episode I discuss the practical approaches to establishing a new change in your life.  This exercise is a way to establish new routines, new goals, and I apply this to the desire to share your faith with others.

We can very easily lose sight of the goal to share our faith, but it is the calling of every Christian to do so.  The key is to incorporate subtle hints throughout your life to remind you to do this, while also preparing you for the task.  I list my own personal results from this exercise, as to what I would do; for you, it might be different.

I am working diligently on The Great Commission Songbook, and I give an updated status.  I am still whittling down the list of songs, but I am very pleased by the song selections thus far.  Thanks for being patient with me.

I refer to the song Evangelize — a parody I had written years ago.  I will have a lyric sheet book available on my own website shortly.

Lastly, I begin the podcast with a short worship set using a medley between Hark the Voice of Jesus Calling and Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.  Right click the titles to download the songsheets.  These are in the public domain.

Arthur Sullivan, 1842-1900;
Daniel March, 1868
Composer unknown
Arr. by Nick Alexander

1. Hark the Voice of Jesus calling
“Who will go and work today?
Fields are white and harvest waiting,
Who will bear the sheaves away?”
Loud and long the Master calleth
Rich reward He offers free;
Who will answer, gladly saying,
“Here am I, send me, send me?”

2. If you cannot cross the ocean
And all other lands explore,
You can find the hurting nearer,
You can help them at your door;
If you cannot give your thousands
You can give the widow’s mite;
And the least you give for Jesus
Will be precious in His sight.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Never have I heard a name
that thrills my soul like Thine.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
O the wond’rous grace that links
that lovely Name with mine.

3. Let none hear you idly saying,
“There is nothing I can do”
While the souls of men are dying
And the Master calls for you
Take the task He gives you gladly;
Let His work your pleasure be;
Answer quickly when He calleth
“Here am I, send me, send me.”

Arrangement Copyright Pending

Any questions? Comments?  Leave below.

Prayer Meeting Podcast is Embracing the Shake and Changing Direction; also, Entirely to Thee


Nick singing Entirely To Thee

This podcast is changing direction. After a few weeks in sabbatical, I have come across a new approach to doing this podcast, one that would use the fullness of new media, and be the best approach for all who would be ministered to by this podcast.

First, I will focus this podcast to share with listeners the very best songs as pertains to a specific subject or topic. For example, the next podcast will focus on my favorite songs–both ancient and contemporary, both copyrighted and public domain–about The Great Commission. This is to introduce people to the power that songs can have in helping us grow in holiness and the calling God has for us.

The second big change is that these songs will be not only counted down, they will not only be linked to for your own downloads, but they will also be presented in a downloadable songbook. This will be a great resource for musicians and worship leaders to introduce such songs into their sets. In addition, this songbook will emphasize Cut-Capo Combinations and their corresponding chords, to bring out the very best tone of the song. If you are a guitarist who is interested in bringing his playing to the next level, you may want to consider using these tools.

The third big change is that I will take snippets of this podcast and put them onto YouTube. YouTube is the second biggest search engine out there, and is the best place for somebody to be introduced to songs quickly. I believe that with this format, these songs will have maximized their reach.

The next podcast will be aired in about one month from now, and I will focus on the best songs for The Great Commission. This is the upcoming theme of World Youth Day 2013, in Rio, later this month. It is the calling of all Christians to help do their part to fulfill the Great Commission. I do not have any false notions that the songs by themselves will singlehandedly turn an introvert into Billy Graham; but I do believe that songs of this nature are quite helpful in cheering us on, reminding us of our duty to be faithful witnesses of the great hope that is instilled in us.

Do you have any favorite songs/hymns/Scriptures on the Great Commission? Share below.

Speaking of The Great Commission, one great way to help fulfill the Great Commission is by the use of New Media, and in particular, podcasting. Podcasting brings forth an intimacy and a realness that blogging doesn’t have. It also is a venue for long-form speaking that YouTube does not have. Would you like to learn podcasting? My friend, Cliff Ravenscraft has crafted the course with you in mind. This course starts on July 22, and you can save $100 off by using the coupon code ALEXANDER.

by Nick Alexander and Ed Luchansky

I surrender all
Entirely to Thee
I pledge my life, my will
Entirely to Thee

I give unto Thee
All I am
Entirely to Thee
All I am

For You know all my needs
And I know You will provide
And You show me,
You’ll never leave my side.

Lord, You know all my needs
And I know You will provide
And You show me,
You’ll never leave my side.

Copyright (c) 2001 Nick Alexander Music

The songsheet for “Entirely To Thee”, which was used in this podcast, is available for free download. (Right-click and select “Save As”).

Pentecost Extended Worship Set, John Michael Talbot and “Why Worship?” Veni Sancte Spiritus! Come Holy Spirit! (Ep. 032)


Veni Sancte SpiritusThis episode is a special Pentecost-centric episode, focusing solely on the Holy Spirit, and to ask the question, “Why Worship?”

The Holy Spirit is a promise to those who follow Christ, to assist us in our talents, to assist us in following His will for our lives, and ultimately, to lead us to worship God, for all eternity.

Different denominations and churches have different approaches to worship, but the bottom line is to worship.

We worship because we are not God. (Psalm 95:6-7) It’s not about what we get out of it, but because God is worthy.

We worship because He has done marvelous things, especially for fearfully and wonderfully making us. (Psalm 98, 139).

We yearn for riches, power and fame, but God is the Creator, and sole recipient of all these. We’re to worship no matter what.

When we worship, we change into more of who we’re called to be.

A songsheet is available for this episode. Right Click Here and select “Save As” to retrieve it.

Episode Log Times
3:37 – Worship Session (Music and Prayer)
4:19 – When the Spirit Says Move
6:41 -Ruach (Spirit)
8:34 – Veni, Sante Spiritus (Vogler)
10:18 – Come Holy Ghost
12:20 – Come And Fill This Temple
14:56 – Every Time I Feel The Spirit
16:44 -This Joy That I Have
20:28 – Again The Slowly Circling Year
24:51 – Come O Creator Spirit Blest
28:55 – Veni Sancte Spiritus (Chant)
31:58 – Spoken, Spontaneous Prayer
38:35 – Song of the Week (“Come Holy Spirit/Veni Sancte Spiritus” by John Michael Talbot)
46:53 – Reflections – Why Worship?
65:50 – Final Comments and Doxology

Includes "Come Holy Spirit (Veni Sancte Spiritus)"Come Holy Spirit (Veni Sancte Spiritus)” by John Michael Talbot. Copyright (c) 1993 Troubadour For the Lord Music. Published by OCP Publications; From the album Meditiations in the Spirit (affiliate link).  YouTube link.





1.When the Spirit says move, you’ve gotta move.
When the Spirit says move, you’ve gotta move.
When the Spirit says move, you’ve gotta move,
oh, Lord.
When the Spirit says move, you’ve gotta move.

2. Sing. 3. Shout. 4. Clap 5. Laugh 6. Worship 7. Pray

Public Domain;

Traditional Hebrew Melody

Spirit, Spirit, Spirit of God.
Spirit, Spirit, Spirit of God.

Not by might or power,
But by Your Spirit, oh God.

Copyright unknown

George Vogler (1749-1814)
Veni, veni, veni, Sancte Spiritus
Veni, veni, veni, Sancte Spiritus

Public Domain

Rabanus Maurus, 776-856;
tr. by Edward Caswall, 1814-1878
LAMBILLLOTTE, LM w repeat; Louis Lambillotte, SJ, 1796-1855

Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest
And in our hearts take up Thy rest
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

O Comforter, to Thee we cry
Thou heavn’ly gift of God most high
Thou Font of life, and Fire of love
And sweet anointing from above.
And sweet anointing from above.

Praise be to Thee, Father and Son
And Holy Spirit, Three in One;
And may the Son on us bestow
The gifts that from the Spirit flow.
The gifts that from the Spirit flow.

Public Domain
Arlene Friesen

Come, O come, and fill this temple.
Fill this temple with the glory of the Lord
Come, O come, and fill this temple.
Fill this temple with the glory of the Lord

Lord we wait, with open arms
We’re hungry for Your touch
Lord, we worship now Your Name, O Jesus
Forgive us Lord, for grieving You
Pour down, Your hearts anew
With the fire and the zeal of Pentecost!

Public Domain


Every time I, feel the Spirit
Movin’ in my heart, I will pray.
Every time I, feel the Spirit
Movin’ in my heart, I will pray.

Upon the mountain, when my Lord spoke
Out of His mouth came fire and smoke;
Looked all around me, it looked so fine,
Till I asked my Lord if it were mine.

Oh I have sorrows, and I have woe
And I have heartaches here below;
But my God leads me, I’m in His care.
And I can feel Him everywhere.

Copyright Unknown

Author Unknown

This joy that I have, the world didn’t give it me.
This joy that I have, the world didn’t give it me.
This joy that I have, the world didn’t give it me.
The world didn’t give it, the world can’t take it away.
(The world can’t take it away.)

2. This fire that I have…

Public Domain

Edward Caswall, 1814-1878

1. Again the slowly circling year
Brings round the blessed hour
When on the Saints the Paraclete
Came down in grace and pow’r.

2. In fashion of a fiery tongue
On each and all He came
Their lips with eloquence He strung
And filled their hearts with flame. (cont…)

3. Straighway with divers tongues they speak
Instinct with grace divine
While wond’ring crowds the cause mistake
And deem them drunk with wine.

4. These things were mystically wrought
The Paschal time complete
When Israel’s law remission brought
Of every legal debt.

5. O God of grace, to Thee we pray
To Thee adoring bend
Into our hearts this sacred day
Thy Spirit’s fullness send.

6. Thou Who in ages past didst pour
Thy graces from above
Thy grace in us, where lost, restore
Establish peace and love.

7. All glory to the Father be
And to the Son Who rose
Glory O Holy Ghost to Thee
While age on ages flows.

Public Domain

Nick Alexander, Veni Creator Spiritus

1. Come, O Creator Spirit Blest
And in our souls take up Thy rest
Come with Thy grace and heav’nly aid
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made

2. Kindle our senses from above
And make our hearts o’erflow with love
With patience firm and virtue high
The weakness of our flesh supply

Great Paraclete! O Fount of Life!
O Sweet Anointing from above!
O Highest Gift, of God Most High!
To Thee we cry, Fire of Love!

3. Far from us drive the foe we dread
And grant us Thy true peace instead
So shall we not, with Thee for guide
Turn from the path of life aside.

4. Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
The Father and the Son to know
And Thee thru endless times confess’d
Of both th’eternal Spirit blest.

Copyright (c) 2001 by Nick Kleszczewski Music

Roman Gradual
Véni Sáncte Spíritus, réple tuórum córda fidélium:
et túi amóris in éis ígnem accénde.

Come down, Holy Spirit, now
And fill all the empty hearts of Your faithful
And pour Your great love in them
Through fire enkindling.

Public Domain

Feel free to leave comments, questions, and/or prayer requests, at
http://www.prayermeetingpodcast/ or call 203/701-7771

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