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The Best Of Gospel Rock Is Petra

Updated on September 6, 2013
This Petra in 1979
This Petra in 1979

Who Is the music group Petra?

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The purpose of their music has been to reach the masses of listeners to believe in God the Father, accept His Son Jesus, and be anointed by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God that is in their lyrics. Their concerts have resulted in many people receiving Salvation in the belief and reliance on Jesus Christ as Savior.

Reasons To Listen To Petra

When I made a choice to live according to the Gospel of the New Testament, and to dedicate my life to Jesus Christ, I loved the fact that Music was a major part of worship. I started listening to Petra after I attended a Youth Fellowship every Friday night back in 1984. The fellowship, called POWERHOUSE, was really a worship service for teens and twenties to enjoy. Older individuals attended also, with an appreciation of being around young people who wanted to make a difference in their lives.

I had already made a decision to follow Christ in 1978, but became needy for fellowship with worship music. I liked Petra not only for their style of music but because of their lyrical message. Just recently that I was able to listen to Petra music again, and enjoy the nostalgia of my earlier musical tastes, (Back in the 1980's all the Christian music I had were either on long playing records or cassette tapes). It is great to now have them on CD.

When doing a little research on my favorite music group Petra, I found out that the members of the group have changed several times in four decades. When I listened to them, Greg X. Volz was the lead singer. My favorite songs are originally heard from the albums, Beat The System(1985), and Not of this World (1983). When Greg X. Volz left the band in 1986 and then John Schlitt took his place in the lead vocals.

The Message that Songs by the group Petra Convey

When creating my Petra Music playlist I arranged the songs in the order to the lyrical message that represents how I would share my Witness to others, as if I could find Petra music as a tool in teaching others about Jesus Christ. The songs are ready to appeal to anyone who likes the style of The Eagles, Lynard Skynard, Foriegner, Styx or Journey (as stated in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). I have always been flexible to listen to any genre especially when the Message is of Jesus Christ. There are music groups out there now professional and amateur that say that they are Christian but really do not compare to the Pioneers of Christian Rock. Petra is definitely a Pioneer, originally formed by Bob Hartman, Greg Hough, John Degroff and Bill Glover in 1972.(stated in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

My first song on the playlist, is called Creed. (From the album, Beyond Belief) Creed lyrics state what I believe in. It represents Purpose in His Word.

"I believe in God the Father, the maker of Heaven and Earth.And in Jesus Christ, His only son, I believe in the Virgin Birth. I believe in the Man of Sorrows who was bruised for iniquities, I believe in the Lamb that was crucified, and hung between two thieves. I believe in the resurrection on the third and glorious day; and I believe in the empty tomb, and the stone that the angel rolled away."

The second favorite song in my Petra playlist is called First Love. Here are some of the Lyrics by Bob Hartman. It is based on Revelations 2:9,1 John 4:19, and Song of Solomon 2:4. This song still hits me hard because it reminds me of all the struggles I have been through in my life and how the Lord has convicted me to believe in Him.

Here are lyrics from one of Petra's Songs:

"Some times I feel that I've been pulled in all the wrong directions. Sometimes I feel the world seducing my affections. Its not that I don't know the way, its just a heart that's prone to stray, But as my weaknesses admitted, you will keep all that I committed, so I will commit my heart to You, My First Love. First Love, first love , my Soul longs after You..."

The next song on my playlist of favorite Petra music, is called Thankful Heart. Its title speaks for itself. All the joy, satisfaction, and even all the struggles I have gone through in my life gives me reason to give God thanks. It is because He deserves the glory in it all. The lyrics of this song says it all. And according to the Word in the Bible, giving the Father thanks and praise is what He wants us to do in order to receive Him through Jesus Christ's Name. This song emphasizes that by offering Jesus a thankful heart, it is enough because of what He did for us on this earth.

" I have a Thankful Heart, that you have given me. And it can only come from You..."

One other song on that I have on my Petra playlist that I wish to share with you is the song called Strong Convictions. This is a more powerful lyric with even a more powerful Rock edge. And the last verse says it all.

"Pressure makes a perfect diamond , measure of the saints refining. Don't ever want to stray.I really want to stay steadfast and immovable in Him."

So, therefore, you see what is important in the Petra Lyrics. I wanted to show to the younger readers hear who have never heard the group Petra, especially their earlier music how the goal that they have is to draw the audience to Jesus Christ.


Gospel in Rock oriented music offers the opportunity for the listener to make a decision in what to believe. As I am a writer, I only want to convey an interest, and it is up to the reader how they apply what they read to their daily life. As a Minister in my Faith, I have a call to intercede for others in prayer, as God wants us to love one another by supporting each other. And as an amateur musician and lyricist myself, I have a goal to convey the message that the Holy Bible offers.

I do admire the success of the Christian Artists I listen to, and the world does a really great job in recognizing their talents and their musical gifts, through the media and by rewarding them with Awards through ceremony and billboard posts. The message in their music is what has convicted me to a new Way in life. The message to live by in the Word of God is voiced in what I listen to. My wish for others to hear what I hear is the same; this world needs more believers. Music is a great way to bring the Almighty into living a better life.

Copyright @ 2010 CMCastro


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    • Thief12 profile image

      Thief12 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Well, for what it's worth, when I saw Schlitt live, most of the songs he sang were Petra songs. But I would totally recommend his solo albums. I'm not that familiar with his latest one (The Grafting), but I love the previous two (Shake and Unfit for Swine).

    • CMCastro profile image

      Christina M. Castro 4 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      Thanks Thief12 for telling me about John Schlitt as a solo act. I will have to check him out. I made a playlist of my favorite Petra hits and they are still my favorite.

    • Thief12 profile image

      Thief12 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Yeah, huge fan of the band. I started listening with Beyond Belief back in the 90's, and stuck with them up through the 90's and 2000's until they "retired". I've gone back and revisited all of their previous albums (I own all their CD's, original) and I love almost every single album, with few exceptions.

      I also saw them live during the Double Take tour. Great concert. Saw John Schlitt solo as well, and he seemed like a great, great guy.

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      My husband loves their music.

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 7 years ago from Australia

      I enjoyed reading this CMCastro. I was a much younger man when Petra were in their prime, and can't say I enjoyed their music style, however the words they sang are truly inspirational.

      "The message in their music is what has convicted me to a new Way in life" ~ what more need be said about the power of Christian lyrics/music. great hub. voted up