Eyes on the Prize

Album: Invisible Empires (2011)
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Songfacts®:

  • Contemporary Christian Music Singer-Songwriter Sara Groves is a long-term advocate of the work of International Justice Mission, a non-profit social-justice organization that works for victims of human sex trafficking and other forms of enslavement. She writes an IJM song for every album to keep the message of their organization in front of people and this gospel-inspired tune, in which she reminds us of the price still paid by those who are enslaved by others, is her IJM-inspired track for Invisible Empires. Groves explained her advocacy of the human rights agency to New Release Tuesday: "As a student of history, I wonder what my role would have been during the abolishment of slavery and during the Civil Rights Movement. Would I have risked losing friendships defending people being oppressed and abused? I have always wondered that about myself. When I learned about IJM in 2005, I couldn't sleep at night. I was pacing the floor and wondering how I could be in involved in their vision. It is broad-reaching vision to strengthen judicial systems and rules of law in communities where that has been trampled. It's working - that's the incredible thing."
  • The song opens with the hymn "The Gospel Plow," recorded for Invisible Empires acapella by Jersey City, N.J group, the New City Kids. She explained to NewReleaseTuesday: "The lyrics of this song were taken from a hymn that predates World War I called "The Gospel Plow." In 1956, the lyrics were re-written for the Civil Rights Movement. I wanted to bring new life to this song as I don't feel like this song is done. It's meant a lot to people over the years."
  • After the acapella intro, Groves enters the song singing about the account in Acts 16 where Paul and Silas found themselves in prison, but despite their dismal situation, didn't give in. She then tells listeners to keep their eyes our heavenly prize and hold on. The singer told NewReleaseTuesday: "I feel a little fatigued thinking about all of the needs in our world. This message of the song is two-fold, in every way the spiritual sense of keeping our eyes on the finish line as Paul says in Corinthians, Acts, Timothy and other places in the Bible. You need to ask God in prayer to reveal what that finish line is in your life. Then you need to ask yourself about the advocacy you support. For me, it's about International Justice Mission."

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