Worship ministry Upperroom is slated to independently releasing its third recording, Moments, on May 18. The five-song digital EP is a collection of inspiring songs, selected from moments captured in the Prayer Room at the Dallas church, including a recording of Michael W. Smith's recent hit single "Surrounded (Fight My Battles)," which originated at Upperroom.
Being called to gather the Lord's people daily for corporate worship, praise, thanksgiving, adoration, and intercession through song and scripture, Upperroom opened its doors without much fanfare in 2010. However, today people around the world are singing their songs and around 100 vocalists, songwriters, and musicians contribute their talents to leading people in worship three times a day, six days a week.
"We really wanted to love Him well. We wanted to set a table for Him," says Upperroom Pastor Michael Miller. "God has brought some of the most gifted musicians, singers, and worship leaders just to help steward this vision."
Among those gifted people are songwriter Meredith Mauldin and worship leader Elyssa Smith, who leads worship at the church's second location in Denver.
"The power really comes from the Prayer Room," Mauldin says of their artistic inspiration. She leads a writing intensive once every three months, gathering Upperroom's songwriters in one place to expand melodies and lyrics, often spontaneously birthed in worship. "Basically, what we're doing is stewarding the songs that we're getting in the Prayer Room."
While Upperroom has been leading people in worship and prayer for eight years, it was not until recently that they began to record and release music publicly. Beginning on YouTube, the church slowly started putting out videos of their musical performances.
"We have a unique worship culture. We've been experiencing it for a long time," Miller shares, "but we hadn't put anything out there, so we decided to prayerfully start releasing these moments, which were just nights of worship from our services. We put those online, and they really went viral."
Legendary Christian artist Michael W. Smith recently released the song "Surrounded (Fight My Battles)" as the title track on his latest live album Surrounded, a song he first heard after his producer discovered the song and Upperroom on YouTube.
"We didn't really do anything; and the Lord, He's just breathing on it," the writer of the song, Elyssa Smith, says. "We're just so humbled by the whole thing."
On Moments, a broader glimpse of Upperroom's heartbeat can be heard, capturing special live "moments," including spontaneous worship taking place in the church's Prayer Room. According to the ministry, the EP's songs showcase instances of authenticity and surrender and are a poignant snapshot of what has been taking place there for quite some time.
"I think the title of the album is really indicative of the heart behind the project, which are these moments of a community that's living this lifestyle around the presence of Jesus," shares Miller. "We really are just capturing moments from our community that we feel like the Lord is highlighting."
The full Moments track listing:
1) "Tremble (Live) (feat. Abbie Simmons)"
2) "Adoration (Live) [feat. Meredith Mauldin]"
3) "Defender (Live) [feat. Abbie Simmons]"
4) "All Hail King Jesus (Live) [feat. SarahBeth Smith]"
5) "Surrounded (Fight My Battles) [feat. Elyssa Smith]"