William McDowell encourages us to turn to God in latest single ‘The Promise’

International Worship Leader William McDowell has recently made a return with the 3-track single ‘The Promise’, an extended and strongly scripture-based worship song centred around the topic of revival. This marks his first official release since collaborating with REVERE and Darlene Zschech on ‘Way Maker’ in 2020. As previously mentioned, his release is a call to repentance motivated by the depth of God’s love that approaches profound themes and the history of the Biblical text to create an experience for listeners beyond the deluxe single.

The Promise – Exhortation, Live

Those who are familiar with William McDowell’s works will know he often gives Bible-based context to some of the worship songs he leads – whether before, during or after the song – and ‘The Promise’ is no exception. He begins with a 10-minute exhortation track, a challenging sermon about revival accompanied by atmospheric chords, preparing the people for worship.

He opens by stating the common desire the church has for revival, and then brings a challenging angle with “often times we talk about a move of God, we sing about a move of God, but we do everything apart from what we need to do to get one”.

It soon becomes clear this is less a message about revival and really about God’s love through affliction and our repentance as a result. Teaching about how sometimes the tribulations we face, which we may often think are from the devil, are actually from God in order to cause us to return to Him. He backs it up with what he describes as an unconventional scripture to describe the Lord’s fierce love in Amos 4:6-11 (in the NLT if you want to read along while listening).

He wraps up the exhortation with the well-known prayer of Solomon and God’s response. This is where God declares the promise: sometimes He will bring affliction, to wake the people up. This is the segway that leads to the true context of the song about ‘The Promise’ of revival, “return to Me, and I will return to you”.

The Promise – Live

Then, we come onto the main song itself. Starting softly with introductory strings, piano and vocals from Nicole Binion, the song continues in the same vein as the exhortation. As you listen it becomes clear the song is taking you through a journey, to ensure the heart of the listener is right before making a cry out for revival.

The first stage of the journey, acknowledging the promise through scriptural declaration. Nicole’s lyrics come directly from scripture (2 Chronicles 7:14). This is not just a worship song. It is a message. It is a reminder. We have a promise of revival IF we repent and turn to God.

The second stage of the journey, crying out for forgiveness and turning to Him. The words are an earnest cry that the Lord will “forgive our sins, heal our land”. This is the point where the worship really kicks in with the choir joining in and instruments taking it up in a notch very much in the style which is all too familiar to regular listeners of William McDowell’s worship.

Finally, the call for revival through heartfelt single-word declarations crying out for God to bring revival to our land. This is the final 3 minutes of the song with the decrees being led by Dunsin Oyekan and followed by the choir.

The song is beautifully composed with full-band arrangements including a choir and organ. The crowd engagement which can be heard throughout is further evidence of the amazing atmosphere the song and it’s message ushered in.

The Promise – Spontaneous Reprise, Live

Similar to previous songs such as ‘Wrap Me In Your Arms’ and ‘Song Of Intercession’, William McDowell then takes the song from its planned arrangement to a spontaneous reprise where he just allows the Holy Spirit to flow and go where it needs to.

Expect fast drums, energetic guitars and strong declarations for revival as the reprisal goes on. Beginning with prophetic declarations again from Dunsin Oyekan accompanied by the choir, followed by William McDowell encouraging the congregation to really make that cry and shout for revival.

After a few minutes, the musicians reduce the volume down to just piano and keys, while you hear the congregation continuously crying after God in a beautiful moment of worship as William leads everyone to again sing the lyrics that most sum up the message of the song, “Lord I return to You” in this fitting close out of the single.

The single is available on all streaming platforms HERE. You can also watch the video of the set below:

William McDowell is a GRAMMY®-nominated, GMA Dove Award®-winning and Stellar Award-winning worship leader and pastor. With six albums to date, he has been writing songs crying out for God to bring revival for the past 20 years, a conviction that defined the trajectory of his life. McDowell also leads the Deeper Fellowship Church in Orlando, FL. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter.