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I Can Only Imagine

Updated on January 25, 2013

I Can Only Imagine - Christian Pop Song Still Going Strong

MercyMe, A Christian contemporary group hit it big with "I Can Only Imagine". It earned three Dove Awards in 2002 for "Pop Song", "Song of the Year", and "Songwriter of the Year" for Bart Millard the group's lead singer.

The song currently has 40 videos associated with it on YouTube and has been redone by Wynonna Judd and many other country and Christian groups. It seems to stand the test of time as Christian radio stations are currently playing it. The words are powerful. Listen to the song, take in the words and just imagine what it will be like when you do come face-to-face with Jesus in heaven.

If you have ever had somebody important in your life pass away, you know as a Christian, that they are up in heaven with our Lord. They are in a better place. We feel the loss down here. We may cry and be sad that they are no longer in our lives, but what a wonderful thing it is to know that they are free of pain, fear, and stress. I can only imagine what is must be like to be in heaven.

I Can Only Imagine Lyrics

Written by Bart Millard

"I Can Only Imagine"

I can only imagine

What it will be like

When I walk

By your side

I can only imagine

What my eyes will see

When your face

Is before me

I can only imagine

[Chorus:]

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel

Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still

Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall

Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all

I can only imagine

I can only imagine

When that day comes

And I find myself

Standing in the Son

I can only imagine

When all I will do

Is forever

Forever worship You

I can only imagine

[Chorus]

I can only imagine [x2]

I can only imagine

When all I will do

Is forever, forever worship you

I Can Only Imagine Sung by MercyMe

I Can Only Imagine - Background

How the song came to be...

Mercy Me's vocalist Bart Millard, whose father died in 1991 due to cancer, wrote the song in 1999 by drawing on his thoughts and personal faith about what one would experience upon meeting Jesus in Heaven.

The song attained the No. 1 spot on Christian radio in 2001 and churches began using the song in their worship services, but it was in 2003 when the song gained airplay on secular radio to impress the crowd. Dallas radio station 100.3 Wild-FM's morning show The Fitz Radio Program first played the song upon a caller's requests and the producer Tony Russell's urgings. It became one of the most requested songs not only at the Dallas radio station but also at radio stations across the United States as the band's label, INO Records, partnered with Curb Records to publicize the song.

The song was originally given to Amy Grant, who revised the lyrics and recorded it as "Imagine". Following the band's record contract, Grant decided to delay her own release of the song to allow MercyMe the chance to record and promote it as their own single first. Grant's version was later combined with "Sing the Wondrous Love of Jesus" and released on her 2002 album, Legacy...Hymns and Faith.

Four other country music acts, Jeff Carson in 2003, Kathryn Scott in 2003, Wynonna Judd in 2005 and more recently Emerson Drive in 2007, have recorded their own versions of this song.

I Can Only Imagine -Powerful Words

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel

Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still

Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall

Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all

I can only imagine

...Or to my knees will I fall...

...Or to my knees will I fall...
...Or to my knees will I fall...

"I Can Only Imagine" found on CD "Almost There" by MercyMe

Amazing Debut. I'm Sorry I Waited So Long, March 8, 2004

By Mark Baker (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews

When Mercy Me released their first widely distributed CD in 2001, they exploded on the Christian music scene, especially with the hit single "I Can Only Imagine." I heard people raving about them at the time, but for some stupid reason, I didn't give them a try. I finally got this CD a few months ago, and I can see what all the talk was about.

The guys of Mercy Me have created a worship focused CD that is enjoyable as a regular CD as well. It kicks off with the upbeat "I Worship You," a perfect companion song to "Call to Worship" later in the disc. Their passion to worship is seen in these songs as well as such songs as "Cannot Say Enough," "How Great is Your Love," and "Fall Down." Yet all these songs are offered with an incredibly fun pop/adult contemporary sound and thoughtful lyrics that put it above many other modern worship albums.

"Here Am I," a song inspired by Isaiah 6, especially challenged me. It's a catchy tune that I find myself singing, but as I do, I have to ask myself if I really mean what I'm singing.

And of course there's "I Can Only Imagine." This song will be the group's signature song for years to come. Its powerful and thought provoking lyrics question just what our reaction will be when we finally get to Heaven. It's worth buying the CD for this song alone.

I've just been introduced to this group, and I'm already looking forward to picking up their other CD's. If this disc is any indication, Mercy Me will have a long and successful career ahead of them.

Almost There
Almost There

In today's worship-crazed phase of Christian pop, Mercy Me fits right in with smooth melodies, passionate lyrics, and a vertical focus. Yet the transition from worship band to major-label act demands more. Almost There promises just enough to allow it to rise above its inconsistencies. Prayer of Jabez-inspired "Bless Me Indeed" is a glimmer of brilliance where the group brings it all together, but it's the poignancy and power of "I Can Only Imagine" that testifies to Mercy Me's great potential. The dramatic ballad captures a believer's hope for the afterlife and is fueled by Bart Millard's authoritative vocals. The song will continue to be a staple in church worship services for years to come. Then there are the not so brilliant moments, including the cheesy "House of God" and "All Fall Down." Weak moments aside, Almost There offers enough fireworks to make Mercy Me an act to watch. --Michael Lyttle

 

Mr Wildcat - Remembering Mr. Bill - I Can Only Imagine playing in the background

Praying Hands Sterling Silver Pendant

Sterling Silver Praying Hand Pendant, 1 inch
Sterling Silver Praying Hand Pendant, 1 inch

Sterling Silver Praying Hand Pendant, Very Well Made and it comes with an 18" Sterling Silver Box Chain. It measures a little over 15/16" (24mm) Tall.

 

Heritage Singers Singing I Can Only Imagine

The Children's Bible

The Children's Bible in 365 Stories
The Children's Bible in 365 Stories

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4 Walter Wangerin's The Bible: Its Story for Children

The scope of coverage for the patriarchs, prophets and kings of the Old Testament and the life and teachings of Jesus is extensive, and there are good highlights of Paul's life and other events in Acts. Some material on the Epistles and Revelation and a tiny sample of Psalms and Proverbs are also included. All is drawn together into a consistent, well-constructed narrative and written in a lively, easily understood style which still retains the dignity of the original. However, a Christian bias is occasionally present in the imaginative amplification of some passages. Sentences of moderate length and a rich but reasonably familiar vocabulary should suit upper elementary readers. Younger children will enjoy hearing the short, vivid stories read aloud. The 365 sections indicate use as a daily Bible study or devotional. Although the text is in double columns, the print is large and clear, and illustrations of various sizes liven every page. The luminous artwork is realistic, expressive and well researched in detail. Scripture citations are provided for each section. Pat Pearl, First Presbyterian Church Lib . , Martinsville, Va.

Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

 

Lashell Griffin singing "I Can Only Imagine"

Wynonna singing "I Can Only Imagine"

MercyMe Gift Items

Word of God Speak : The Worship Songs of MercyMe : Resource Kit-Musician Resources
Word of God Speak : The Worship Songs of MercyMe : Resource Kit-Musician Resources

This resource kit is designed for churches, choirs and praise teams and enables worship leaders, musicians and vocalists to incorporate MercyMes best worship songs into worship services10 favorites like Spoken For, Word Of God Speak and the incredible hit song, I Can Only Imagine.

Resource Kit includes:

10 of MercyMe's best worship songs including 3 rare MercyMe songs

Demo Trax as sung by MercyMe

Stereo Trax without lead vocals

Piano/Vocal Charts (2 keys)

Lead Sheets (2 keys)

Chord Ch...

 
I Can Only Imagine
I Can Only Imagine

Never before have CCM artists of this magnitude been brought together in a single collection! This essential collection features the ultimate power anthem sogns that shaped the CCM genre over the past quarter century, and many have never been on a collection before! With Mercy Me, Michael W. Smith, Bob Carlisle, Point of Grace, Rich Mullins, Amy Grant, 4Him, Sandi Patty, Darlene Zschech and more, I Can Only Imagine highlights the most beloved stars that brought CCM to the masses over the years.

 
I Can Only Imagine [Accompaniment/Performance Track]
I Can Only Imagine [Accompaniment/Performance Track]

Without Background Vocals Key: High - Eb Low - Bb

 
I Can Only Imagine
I Can Only Imagine

This book features a wonderful blend of the lyrics from the platinum best-selling song I Can Only Imagine, with compelling stories received by MercyMe from a variety of people who have their own "heartstrings" I Can Only Imagine testimonies. The content is matched with beautiful and touching imagery that brings this inspirational song to life.

 
I Can Only Imagine: 12 Praise Favorites for the Instrumental Soloist Bb Treble Clef
I Can Only Imagine: 12 Praise Favorites for the Instrumental Soloist Bb Treble Clef

This fantastic collection features a dozen choice PandW favorites arranged for solo instruments: Above All * Agnus Dei * Breathe * Draw Me Close * Go Light Your World * God of Wonders * The Heart of Worship * I Can Only Imagine * Lord Have Mercy * No Greater Love * Press On * Wonderful One. The arrangements may be performed with piano and optional rhythm section.

 
Coming up to Breathe Acoustic
Coming up to Breathe Acoustic

Acoustic Versions Of These Songs: Coming Ups To Breathe - So Song Self - Hold Fast - Something About You - You're To Blame - No More No Less - Where I Belong - Bring The Rain - Last One Standing - One Trick Pony - 3:42 am (Writer's Block) - Safe And Sound - I Would Die For You

 
I Can Only Imagine: Becoming the Worshipper You Long to Be
I Can Only Imagine: Becoming the Worshipper You Long to Be

This generation wants to know what true worship is and how they can best experience it. I Can Only Imagine takes a fresh, realistic look at biblical worship that converges the reader with a lasting, more meaningful daily encounter with God. This book will meet those who have grown up with "sound-byte" theology and are searching for something deeper, something challenging, and something inspiring.

 
I Can Only Imagine (Easy Piano Sheet Music, Sheet Music)
I Can Only Imagine (Easy Piano Sheet Music, Sheet Music)

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE

Series: Easy Piano

Artist: MercyMe

Easy piano sheet music.

 
I Can Only Imagine: 25 Modern Praise Favorites
I Can Only Imagine: 25 Modern Praise Favorites

This contemporary collection features songs recorded by today's top CCM artists, including Michael W. Smith, Sonicflood, Third Day, Delirious?, Avalon, Point of Grace, dc Talk, Rebecca St. James, Newboys and others. Songs include: Above All * Adonai * Adore * Agnus Dei * Breathe * Consume Me * God of Wonders * Joy * Ocean * Reason * and more.

 
Karaoke: I Can Only Imagine
Karaoke: I Can Only Imagine

Christian World, Inc Soundtraks Three Key : I Can Only Imagine, as made popular by MercyMe.

Your favorite classics, as well as the hottest new titles are now available in keys that work for everyone! Our Soundtracks offer a full, rich quality sound, produced using cutting edge technology. Each 3-Key Soundtrack has been digitally formatted in two brand-new keys, as well as the original artist key, newly produced background vocals and live orchestration.

1. Demonstration

2. Performance Trac...

 
The Worship Project
The Worship Project

Original songs by MercyMe.

 
I Can Only Imagine The Songs Of Mercy Me Piano Solo
I Can Only Imagine The Songs Of Mercy Me Piano Solo

10 of the most recognizable songs from this popular Contemporary Christian group, including the smash hit "I Can Only Imagine," plus: Cannot Say Enough * Here with Me * Homesick * How Great Is Your Love * The Love of God * Spoken For * Unaware * Where You Lead Me * Word of God Speak.

 
I Can Only Imagine: 12 Praise Favorites for the Instrumental Soloist C Treble Clef
I Can Only Imagine: 12 Praise Favorites for the Instrumental Soloist C Treble Clef

This fantastic collection features a dozen choice PandW favorites arranged for solo instruments: Above All * Agnus Dei * Breathe * Draw Me Close * Go Light Your World * God of Wonders * The Heart of Worship * I Can Only Imagine * Lord Have Mercy * No Greater Love * Press On * Wonderful One. The arrangements may be performed with piano and optional rhythm section.

 
I Can Only Imagine: 12 Praise Favorites [Instrumental]
I Can Only Imagine: 12 Praise Favorites [Instrumental]

Track Listing: 1. God Of Wonders 2. No Greater Love 3. Draw Me Close 4. I Can Only Imagine 5. Agnus Dei 6. The Heart Of Worship 7. Go Light Your World 8. Above All 9. Breathe 10. Wonderful One 11. Lord Have Mercy 12. Press On

 
I Can Only Imagine - CD Stereo Trax (Tracks)
I Can Only Imagine - CD Stereo Trax (Tracks)

Songs/Tracks

1.God of Wonders - Byrd, Hindalong 2.No Greater Love - Eaton, Becker 3.Draw Me Close - Carpenter

4.I Can Only Imagine - Millard 5.Agnus Dei - Smith

6.The Heart of Worship - Redman 7.Go Light Your World - Rice

8.Above All - LeBlanc, Baloche 9.Breathe - Barnett

10.Wonderful One - Ahlstrom, Carswell

11.Lord Have Mercy - Merkel 12.Press on - Burgess

 

MercyMe Christmas Sessions MP3 Downloads

Creative Pictures with "I Can Only Imagine" in the background

Do you have this song? What do you think when you hear it?

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    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Great song!

    • BigRedDomino profile image

      BigRedDomino 4 years ago

      Yes. My Grammy introduced it to me many moons ago. I think of her when I hear it and wonder if it will be playing out of Heaven's sound system when I meet up with our Creator. I can relate to the author of the song...I can only imagine if she will be there waiting for me with pom-poms and a party blower.

    • ccsonian profile image

      ccsonian 5 years ago

      It makes me tear up almost every time I hear it. We have no clue how wonderful heaven is going to be. I think we will all fall on our faces when we are in front of the Father. We take so much for granted, we don't realize what Jesus has done for us.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 5 years ago from State of Confussion

      Nice to see this being song by others and used in the back ground. Even if I don't watch the videos I can still listen to them.

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 5 years ago

      Awesome song and lens. I'm adding this as a featured lens on one of mine. Great job!

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 5 years ago

      Beautiful song and I especially love it when I hear it on all types of radio stations. Brings us to a place of worship.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is still my favorite song and probably always will be!

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 6 years ago from New Jersey

      I love this song and I love Mercy Me. Thanks for a great lens which told me much about the history of the song I did not know.

    • James43302 profile image

      James43302 7 years ago

      Oh yes I most surely do love this song. This and maybe 100 or more cont. christian songs. I can't way to the day we no longer have to imagine it we will be living it. Great lens, God bless :)

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 7 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Thumbs up! I love Mercy Me!

    • TheJVilleKid profile image

      TheJVilleKid 7 years ago

      This song always gets me back on track when I start to wonder.....Thanks!!!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 9 years ago

      Nice to get the lyrics to this song, thanks.

    • SunnyDaze LM profile image
      Author

      SunnyDaze LM 9 years ago

      [in reply to LaughFriendly] This is what Squidoo is all about. Touching lives and sharing experiences. Thank you for your comment. I am truly blessed and I thank God each morning when I awake and each evening when I lay down to rest and every opportunity in between. "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

    • profile image

      LaughFriendly 9 years ago

      Thank you for this lens! So beautiful! This song took me through a rough, long period and truly was the only thing that pulled me through some of the darkest, most "hopeless" days. I pray you've been able to see Mercy Me perform this live . . . what a gift! Truly this song enables you to completely "see" the whole story played out. I've walked with Jesus many a time and sat in the sunsets with Him. Bless you!