My soul finds rest in God alone
Source: Singing the Faith: 633
Words: Aaron Keyes, Stuart Townend (Psalm 62)
Music: Aaron Keyes, Stuart Townend
Note: This hymns is based on Psalm 62. Aaron Keyes and Stuart Townend originally conceived the opening of verse 2 as: “Find rest, my soul, in God alone” – not as in StF. See below for the significance of this difference.
Ideas for use
Read Psalm 62 aloud before singing this song. Alternatively, follow the song with a period of silence and have the congregation members read the psalm as a prayer.
This is a song that would work well at the end of a service and is especially suitable for sensitive use within a Healing Service.
Aaron Keyes wrote “My soul finds rest in God alone” with Stuart Townend, who Aaron describes as one of his heroes. They called the song simply Psalm 62.
The three-verse hymn evolved out of a session together in which Aaron and Stuart discovered that they had both been reflecting, separately, on Psalm 62. They were struck by what they understood to be a small but subtle shift in the words of the psalmist. Their reading of the psalm has it beginning with the assertion: “My soul finds rest in God, my rock and salvation…” (“It’s going to be OK. I’m going to go through hard times, but it won’t be that bad”). Where these words are repeated, however, Aaron and Stuart read them as “My soul find rest alone…”, which Aaron interprets as modelling the need, on occasions, to “command our souls” to find rest in God in the knowledge that “not only is it going to be OK; it’s going to be great!”
Not all translations support this interpretation (e.g. NRSV and The Tanakh), but see The Jerusalem Bible’s “In God alone there is rest for my soul… Rest in God alone, my soul!” (vv.1 & 5).
The verses came together first, and then the chorus – which Aaron describes as a “simple praise response”. In performance, he uses as a bridge passage the refrain from All creatures of our God and King (StF 99), attributed to St Francis of Assisi: “O praise him, O praise him, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!”
In an interview with the laid-back Jonny Parks, Aaron talks about the writing of Psalm 62, sings an extract, and demonstrates the chord progression.
Aaron Keyes serves as the worship pastor at Grace Fellowship Church (outside Atlanta, Georgia) where his priority is to see biblical texts restored as the focus of worship leading. He aims to “see a shift in the next generation of worship leaders (who lead songs) to becoming more biblically empowered worship pastors (who lead people)”. Several months out of the year, Aaron has younger worship pastors living in his home as part of an intensive worship discipleship course.