Sylvester Murray’s composition opens with delicate acoustic guitar fingerpicking. After a few gentle vocal “oohh’s”, The O!K! team of Obeji Williams & Kareen Foster blend their voices beautifully as they introduce us to the first of many recurring instances of the meditative refrain “When I proclaim ‘I believe in the Lord‘. Each iteration is followed by a lead vocal line which completes the thought in a slightly different, yet always single-minded and consistent manner.
Much of the song seeks to clear up some common misconceptions by stating things that the singers are NOT saying whenever they proclaim they believe in the Lord. Here are a few examples:
- When I proclaim I believe in the Lord: I’m not boasting about my success. I’m saying I’ve come short of my goal. And He’s got something better in store for me yet.
- When I proclaim I believe in the Lord: I’m not saying I know everything. Life is filled with anguish and confusion. Without God’s wisdom I am nothing.
- When I proclaim I believe in the Lord: I’m not saying I’m better than thee. Only God’s way is perfect. My imperfections are there for you to see.
The piece truly reaches its apex, however, toward the end when it transitions our focus toward a series of unmistakably affirmative statements. This is what the singers ARE SAYING when they proclaim their faith in the Lord…
When I proclaim I believe in the Lord, I’m saying…
- Jesus bore my pain.
- In Calvary He was my salvation.
- And that’s why I praise His name.
When I proclaim I believe in the Lord!