Song of the Week - Draw Me Close - Kelly Carpenter

This week, we'll look at one of the slower, more intimate songs that is going onto Gospel Light Worship's upcoming record, Prepare. "Draw Me Close" is perhaps the most personal and moving song we've selected. It is also by far the oldest: written in 1994, it is seven years older than the next-oldest composition.

Why, on this record of modern, contemporary songs, did we chose to put this one? Mainly because of its intimacy, and the way it truly personalizes the heart's quest for a connection with God.

Kelly Carpenter wrote this song during a time when he had come to realize that he had put things in his life ahead of God. The lyric "I lay it all down again to hear you say I'm your friend." came out of a time of personal prayer on the issue. Carpenter says the song "just spilled out" after that, during a 20 minute period.

Much like Matt Redman's "Heart of Worship," the song almost never saw the light of day, except when worship leader Andy Park heard it. It wound up on Park's 1994 Vineyard release Live Worship: The River is Here. After that, the song slowly took off. Perhaps its most well-known cover is by Michael W. Smith on his 2001 album Worship. (Ironically streeted on September 11, 2001.

Some have criticized the song for being too simplistic and un-theological. To them I would say "Look into your heart. Are the words you cry to God based on theology, or on your feelings?" Clearly, this song speaks to the latter. Jesus told us that no one came to Him "unless the Father draws him." This is a cry for just that.

Technically the song is simple. We're doing it in D. I really like the flavor that the minor chord adds to it, as if proving a point. The arrangement we have done for Prepare is a stripped-down acoustic ballad, allowing the vocals to come through, and the words to speak.

Read about the song story here, in Crosswalk. And here is Smitty doing the song live:


  1. Mike - I posted a comment here this afternoon - any idea what's happened? Your comments software seems to be shedding mine.


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