Song of the Week - God of Wonders

Last year I was in the local Guitar Center looking over several guitars, in preparation for buying a non-Strat electric for use in church. I was surrounded by a bunch of guys noodling and playing Pink Floyd and AC/DC riffs. So I busted out with the opening chords to "God of Wonders" in a Third Day kind of way. One of the salesmen came over to me and said "You must play in a church." I was glad that 1) he recognized the song and 2) I was being a good witness by playing that instead of the standard GC fare.

Like the Song of the Week from a couple of weeks ago, this is one of those songs that has proliferated around so much that few people know where it came from. It was written by Steve Hindalong and Marc Byrd, childhood friends who both currently belong to the alternative Christian rock band The Choir. The song comes out of a weekend where Byrd was reading the psalms, and kept going back to the phrase "You Are Holy" over the familiar chord progression. When he brought that to his friend, Hindalong came up with the "God of wonders beyond our galaxy." lyric.

The song was originally released on 2000's City on a Hill: Songs of Worship and Praise compilation album, where it was performed by Mac Powell with Caedmon's Call. Caedmon's Call later released it on their In the Company of Angels: A Call to Worship album the following year. it has been covered by Paul Baloche, Chris Tomlin, Rebecca St. James and several other artists. For me, the definitive version is on Third Day's Offerings II: All I Have to Give album from 2003, a powerful live version featuring Michael Tait of dcTalk fame.

I first heard this song when I was a fairly new Christian. I was doing sound for a small ministry who were using our church for a concert, and they played this song. I got a copy of their practice CD which had both the Chris Tomlin and Rebecca St-James versions. I thought it was interesting to have a worship song with the phrase "beyond our galaxy" in it. But as I began to listen to it, I became aware of the beauty of this simple, modern-day psalm. Especially notable on the Third Day version is the weaving of a traditional hymn (Lord God Almighty...) into the chorus of the song.

This has become one of my favorite songs to play on an acoustic guitar. I like to play it keeping the high G and D ringing (Dsus4, Em7, C2) in the verse, and full open chords in the chorus. This is a really popular song with our congregation. I know this is one of those songs that you can get tired of quickly because it's been so overplayed. But I urge you to take a fresh listen to it, or to look up the lyrics, or grab a guitar and sing it yourself. (C'mon, you know you know it!) It's really as timeless as the psalms because that's what it is - a simple song of praise to the God who created the universe.

Here we are playing it at an all-acoustic set a couple of months ago.


  1. Now this is a song that's little know and little played over here. The only version I know is Vicky Beeching's, which has some nice driving guitars as well as an acoustic riff. We done it a few times, although as I never cared for the acoustic intro I've not actually sat down to work it out. It's one of those songs that works when it's been done, but will slide off and disappear in another year or so I think.


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