This Week’s Running Playlist: Worshipful Edition


Shelli Latham (whose blog is quickly becoming a must-read for me) put together a great mix of tunes to help her “worship in her running shoes.” I tried it out this morning (had to download a couple of the songs) and can testify that it’s great for running, and for running as a spiritual practice.

Someone commented on her blog how fun it would be to have with a whole series of playlists that follow this pattern, starting with gathering/call to worship, proceeding through the liturgy of the Lord’s Day, and closing with a blessing/sending.

I decided to come up with my own mix. I used Shelli’s criteria:

(1) You have to be able to run to it.

(2) It has to have the capacity to point you to God, even if you have to be a little creative.

(3) No references to pimpin’, guns, or anything that may sound like making out with Jesus… This is not the place to come for your Jesus is my Boyfriend fix.

Regarding (1), I’m a pokey, look-at-the-trees-while-gasping-for-breath runner, so my challenge was to pump up the energy with this mix, rather than fall back on the sad-sack aging girls with guitars stuff I usually listen to. Regarding (2 and 3), some of these actually do mention God, but Jesus is nobody’s boyfriend in these.

I also changed a couple of the categories and added baptism and communion. What do you think?

Prelude: Great Day, Eddie from Ohio

Call to Worship: Get Up Offa That Thing, James Brown

Prayer of Confession: Been Caught Stealing, Jane’s Addiction
I liked Lori McKenna’s Mars here, but it’s not fast enough for running. See sad-sack thing above.

Assurance of Forgiveness: Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours, Stevie Wonder

Prayer for Illumination: Ray of Light, Madonna

The Word: I’d suggest putting several things in this slot and/or mixing and matching depending on what inspiration I need that day. Options off the top of my head: 
World Leader Pretend,
Dare You To Move
, Switchfoot
All Star, Smash Mouth
Yahweh, U2
Where You Been, Carrie Newcomer, which is actually about Jesus, but he visits the gay pride parade in a borrowed El Camino… so a bit of a midrash, no?
Anything by the Psalters. Gypsy gospel punk makes ME wanna run, how about you?

Affirmation of Faith: Let It Ring, Amy Ray

Baptism: Glass of Water, Coldplay
That seems too on-the-nose, but it works.

Communion: Cheeseburger in Paradise, Jimmy Buffett
It’s sad the extent to which I’m chuckling at this one.

Prayers of the People: Higher Ground, Red Hot Chili Peppers version
See how skillfully I avoided doubling up on the Steve Wonder? But the RHCP version really is better for running.

Offering: Hammer and a Nail, Indigo Girls

Benediction, aka Cooldown: Joy to You Baby, Josh Ritter

Can’t wait to try it out. Marathon training starts next week and I’ll need all the help I can get. Suggest your favorite running/workout/feelgood song in the comments.

photo credit: eschipul via photopin cc

8 thoughts on “This Week’s Running Playlist: Worshipful Edition

    1. Jo Ann Staebler

      That’s the one. It’s on Iona’s “One Is the Body” recording–final track. Great for benediction, since it means “we will walk with God.”

  1. Bob Braxton

    my aging brain did a look-up and found “Running on Empty” and so my first take on this post was “Running ON Liturgy” (sort of like – running on fumes?) – the work of God’s people.

  2. Kim

    I was also thinking of following Shelli’s lead, but haven’t felt completely inspired. Your list rocks! Will be adding these to my playlist soon!

  3. Rev Dr Mom

    I don’t run with music…I like the silence actually, but this might inspire me to give music a chance.

    But then do you miss it on race day? –the races I’ve done so far discourage music while running.

    When is your marathon?


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