Instrumental Music for Reflection

Playlist of wordless tracks

Written By:
Sam Hargreaves

People often ask about the music we use when leading reflections, prayer stations or other meditative parts of worship. So I've put together a playlist of some of the pieces we most commonly use. If you use Spotify you can just make use of this playlist. You might prefer to buy the tracks and have them downloaded - if so, you can do that from iTunes or other vendors.

A carefully chosen piece of music can really help people to engage with a scripture, some images or a particular theme. Here are some of the things I look out for:

  • No words. I am almost always distracted by lyrics, and especially if they do not fit the theme of the reflection. I virtually never use worship songs as a soundtrack for reflection, unless I specifically want people to focus on the words of the song.
  • Emotional connection with the theme. This playlist is generally quite floaty and ambient, but there are different moods expressed throught the music. Make sure you choose something which connects with the kind of reflection you are leading.
  • Fits the congregation. This playlist mixes ambient, jazz and classical. Be aware of who is going to be in the room, and choose something which will connect with them.
  • Avoid heavy beats, fast tempos and large changes in volume or energy. Most of these tracks are slow, helping the listener breathe more steadily and focus on God.

And no, most of these tracks are not by Christian artists. My experience is that God is in the process of renewal and re-creation, drawing the good out of every creative act. I sense something of God even in the music of non-Christians, and I believe that using their work in worship allows God to sanctify and speak through it.

Feel free to make other suggestions for tracks in the comments below.


Sam co-leads with his wife Sara. He completed the LST degree in Theology, Music and Worship, and an MA in Contemporary Worship from Kings College London. He was Programme Leader for the LST Theology and Worship course and now teaches as a guest lecturer there. He also co-leads the worship song website, and has led musical and creative worship at events like Spring Harvest, Youtwork Summit and Greenbelt. Sam and Sara's book 'How would Jesus lead worship' was published by BRF in 2009.

Comments / Responses

Please sign in to add your comments - ask questions, disagree, add your own perspective.

Previous Comments:

Andrew Mitchell
15 Jul 2016 10:24
Thanks for this Sam. Will be using some of these on Sunday evening for 20 mins of prayer stations.
Area 52
Another Arrival
Bible Refs: Matt 1:19, Matt 2:3-18, John 1:11-12, Luke 1:26-38, Luke 2:34-35, Isa 40:1, Rev 21:1-4
SPOILER ALERT - contains major plot spoilers for the film Arrival (dir. Denis Villeneuve 2016). Arrival is one of those movies that stays with you. Amy Adams’ wonderful performance as Louise...
Face to Face with Jesus - video Bible reading
Bible Refs: John 1:43-51, John 3:1-8, John 4:5-26, John 12:1-8
Face to Face with Jesus Outdoors - prayer stations
Themes: outdoor, Jesus
Bible Refs: John 1:43-51, John 3:1-8, John 4:5-26, John 12:1-8
Psalm 119 - A Confession
Bible Refs: Psalm 119:1-8
FINALIST: 2011 Christian New Media Awards
Not registered yet?
Sign up here for a free account