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Happy Easter from Kanye West.

On Resurrection morning the rapper shared the new track “Ultralight Prayer,” which is an extended version of Kirk Franklin’s part on The Life of Pablo’s “Ultralight Beams.”

And millions of his fans listened to the Gospel (maybe for the very first time).

Check it out:

 

Last month, for his second performance on Saturday Night Live, he performed the full song with The-Dream, Kelly Price, Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin and a full choir joining him on the New York stage.

The track started with the voice of a young girl praying passionately with her mom, “We don’t want no devils in the house. Yes, darling. We want the Lord, God, that’s it. My left hand over. Jesus Christ have mercy. Yes darling. Hallelujah. Yes darling.

Kanye then began declaring that this was a God’s dream. He was followed by the incredible voice of Kelly Price, singing about finding strength and looking to the light. Then, Chance the Rapper added his verses (and a couple of curse words).

The whole performance was loaded with talent… and a few “what just happened?” moments.

But at the end of the song (when the crowd was applauding because it seemed like it was the end of the song) Christian rapper Kirk Franklin came out, and did a live version of the same prayer that appears on the album.

And note that Kanye was prostrate on the floor as Kirk prayed over him

“Father, this prayer is for everyone that feels they’re not good enough. This prayer’s for everybody that feels like they’re too messed up. For everyone that feels they’ve said “I’m sorry” too many times. Jesus that’s why I’m glad you came to give us eternal life. I’m so glad about it. And in this war we’ve been looking for. God please keep me my little brother. And we’ll stand here fighting this war.”

When Kanye West spoke about this new album to Big Boy Radio, he said,  “When I was sitting in the studio with Kirk, Kirk Franklin, and we’re just going through it, I said this is a gospel album, with a whole lot of cursing on it, but it’s still a gospel album.”

No doubt, many will be tempted to judge. But here I am again, inviting us all to trust God with the heart of people, because I know (as a Biblical fact that was proven at the cross), Jesus really loves Kanye West.

“Christ preached the Kingdom everywhere he went, but He also indiscriminately and unconditionally forged relationships with those at the margins of society, offering them a seat at the table.” – Jonathan Merritt 

Kirk Franklin said it best on his Instagram account last night:

“Kanye is not me. I am not him. He is my brother I am proud to do life with. No sprints, but Marathons; like most of us are on. Before one song was released, I was crucified because my brother asked me to take a picture. Again “no Kanye, you’re not good enough”? No. That is a dangerous message I believe we send to the world when our posture is they have to meet certain requirements before they are worthy to kiss the ring. It says people are not redeemable, forgivable or candidates for grace. That my friend is religious. I will not turn my back on my brother. I will love him, prayerfully grow with him. However long he’ll have me, and however long the race takes. To a lot of my Christian family, I’m sorry he’s not good enough, Christian enough, or running at your pace…and as I read some of your comments, neither am I. That won’t stop me from running. Pray we win.

Amen.

I agree with Kirk.

And I pray.

You see, the preach/prayer on the album actually ends with the line, “You can never go too far where you can’t come back home again.”

With it, Kirk Franklin reminds a prodigal generation of the Father who runs to their encounter. The Father who sees them from afar. The Father who gives them affection and inheritance and a proper welcome.

That’s the Father that Jesus preached in Luke 15.

And that’s the story that will save a fatherless world.

It’s time for Kanye (and his fans) (and every prodigal alive) to discover God’s dream of being accepted into His arms of love.

Now, share this story of grace.

And pray we win.

Peace. 

“Our task is not to protest the world into a certain moral conformity, but to attract the world to the saving beauty of Christ.”  -Brian Zahnd in Beauty Will Save The World

* Read more on the 9 Reasons Why Sinners Went To Jesus But Don’t Come To Us and watch the full video of last nights performance here.

Ultra Light Beam Official Full Lyrics:

[Intro: Natalie is Great]
We don’t want no devils in the house
Yes, darling
We don’t want no devils in the house
Yes, darling
We want the lord, God, that’s it
My left hand over
Jesus Christ have mercy
Yes darling
Hallelujah
We don’t want no devils in the house
Yes, darling
We don’t want no devils in the house
Yes, darling
We want the lord, God, that’s it
My left hand over
Jesus Christ have mercy
Yes darling
Hallelujah

[Hook 1: Kanye West & The-Dream]
I’m tryna keep my faith
On an ultra light beam
We on an ultra light beam
This is a God dream
This is a God dream
This is everything
This is everything
Deliver us serenity
Deliver us peace
Deliver us love
Lord knows we need it
Lord knows we need it
Lord knows we need it
And I’mma need you now, oh, I
Pray for Paris
Pray for the parents
This is a God dream
This is a God dream
This is a God dream
We on an ultra light beam
We on an ultra light beam
This is a God dream
This is God dream
This is everything
This is everything

[Refrain: The-Dream]
I’m tryna keep my faith
But I’m looking for more
Somewhere I can feel safe
And end my holy war
I’m tryna keep my faith

[Verse 1: Kelly Price]
So why send depression not blessings?
Why, oh why’d you do me wrong? (more)
You persecute the weak
Because it makes you feel so strong
(To save) Don’t have much strength to fight
So I look to the light
(Lord) To make these wrongs turn right
Head up high, I look to the light
Hey, cause I know that you’ll make everything alright
And I know that you’ll take good care of your child
Oh, no longer am I afraid of the night
Cause I, I look to the light

[Verse 2: Chance The Rapper]
When they come for you I will shield your name
I will field their questions, I will feel your pain
No one can judge, they don’t know
They don’t, they don’t know
They don’t know
Foot on the Devil’s neck ‘til they drifted Pangaea
I’m moving all my family from Chatham to Zambia
Treat the demons just like Pam
I mean I f*ck with your friends, but d*mn Gina
I been this way since Arthur was anteater
Now they wanna hit me with the woo-wap the bam
Tryna snap photos of familia
My daughter look just like Sia, you can’t see her
You can feel the lyrics and spirit coming in braille
Tubman of the underground, come and follow the trail
I made Sunday Candy, I’m never going to hell
I met Kanye West, I’m never going to fail
You said let’s do a good ass job with Chance three
I hear you gotta sell it to snatch the Grammy
Let’s make it so free and the bar so hard
That there ain’t one gosh darn part you can’t tweet
This is my part, nobody else speak
This is my part nobody else speak
This little light of mine, glory be to God yeah
I’mma make sure that they go where they can’t go
If they don’t wanna ride I’mma still give them raincoats
Know what God said when he made the first rainbow
Just throw this at the end if I’m too late for the intro
Ugh, I’m just having fun with it
You know that a n*gga was lost
I laugh in my head
Cause I bet that my ex looking back like a pillar of salt
Ugh, cause they flip the script on your ass like Wesley and Spike
You cannot mess with the light
Look at lil Chano from 79

[Hook 2: Kanye West]
This is an ultra light beam
This is an ultra light beam
This is a God dream
This is a God dream
This is everything
Everything

[Refrain: The-Dream]
(Yes darling
Hallelujah)
I’m tryna keep my faith
But I’m looking for more
Somewhere I can feel safe
And end my holy war
I’m tryna keep my faith

[Outro – Kirk Franklin]
Father, this prayer is for everyone that feels they’re not good enough. This prayer’s for everybody that feels like they’re too messed up. For everyone that feels they’ve said “I’m sorry” too many times. You can never go too far where you can’t come back home again. That’s why I need …  Faith — Lord.