Why Irish worship leader Kathryn Scott isn’t fazed by unanswered prayer
Yet everything changed when she was 14. “My mom and dad got just blitzed by the Holy Spirit,” she recalls, “and that set our family on a whole new path.”
Her family began going to a Pentecostal church, where young Kathryn loved the expressive worship. But she soon missed the holiness aspect she learned growing up. “At times it seemed like it didn’t really matter how you lived as long as you were charismatic enough,” she says. “In the core of me, that didn’t sit right. Surely you could have both.”
She found a blend of the two while attending a Vineyard church in college, which eventually opened doors to lead worship. Vineyard’s record label began featuring her songs, including “Hungry” and “At the Foot of the Cross,” on compilation albums. She also saw the Holy Spirit move in worship. During a 2007 event she sang over the crowd what she felt God was going to do. Healing broke out all over the room, she says.
The experience marked the start of her journey of understanding our authority. “God gives each one of us authority to do the works of the kingdom and unique abilities as well so that we get to use our authority uniquely. … He’s asked us to use it; He will demonstrate the kingdom when we do.”
That’s been the case at Causeway Coast Vineyard, the church in Northern Ireland she and her husband founded in 1999, where in recent years 24 people have been healed of cancer. Yet Scott also understands that not every prayer is answered: “When you step out, there will be disappointment, but you can’t allow yourself to become disappointed. There is more, we just don’t know when it’s going to happen and we’ve just got to keep asking.”
Such perseverance is highlighted on Scott’s new album, We Still Believe, which proclaims God’s goodness through the realities of a broken world. While writing the album’s songs, Scott received word that something was wrong with her sister’s unborn child. The family prayed, believing that God could heal the baby, yet Scott’s niece lived only 16 days after birth.
But Scott still believes. “We’ve got to find this middle ground where there’s reality as well as faith. I love the song ‘We Still Believe’ because it’s exactly that. I was just writing it so that no matter where people were coming from we could all stand and say: ‘We still believe. You are good. And that’s it.’”