Faith Behind The Song: "In The Room" Matt Maher

Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2023 by Scott Savage

Faith Behind The Song: "In The Room" Matt Maher

Have you ever been in a room when God’s presence was especially palpable? Ever been in a gathering of believers when it seemed like God was as close as the person standing next to you? Ever been praying and you felt God speaking or responding in a way that confirmed His power, love, and care for you? 

I attended a Christian college and started one evening in our prayer chapel, praying with a friend who was taking a difficult but necessary step to end an unhealthy relationship. The friend left to have that crucial conversation, but I said I would stay and pray over the conversation. I intended to stay for an additional 15 minutes and then move on with my plans that night. 

But, as I prepared to get up from kneeling over a bench, I felt a strong presence like a hand on my back almost press me back to the ground. It was completely unexpected and bewildering. I didn’t know what to do with that sensation, but I sensed I should keep praying. So, I continued to intercede for my friend and multiple times over the next two hours, whenever I tried to get up, that hand would be there. It was as if God were saying, “Don’t leave yet, keep pressing in and praying.” 

To this day, this remains the longest time I’ve prayed continually and the most manifest experience I’ve had of the Holy Spirit. But, once I felt the freedom that night, I never looked at that building the same way. In that room, something profound and glorious happened. 

Later, I learned that my friend was having that conversation just outside the building and it was more difficult than expected. If I had left the building, would I have disrupted the conversation? Would my presence have made it easier for my friend to not take the courageous step which was needed? I don’t know what would’ve happened if I hadn’t kept praying, but I know that God wanted me to stay in the room and keep praying for boldness and obedience in my friend. 

I was thinking about that story as I listened to Matt Maher’s newest song, "In the Room." Maher partnered with Chris Brown of Elevation Worship to deliver a powerful, lyrically-rich song. 

WATCH NOW: Matt Maher - In the Room (Official Lyric Video) ft. Chris Brown

RELATED CONTENT: Matt Maher and Chris Brown Declare Desire to Witness a Miracle With "In The Room"

The chorus expresses a deep hunger for God’s presence. 

“I just wanna be in the room 
Wanna be in the room when You move 
And I’m not leaving 
Not leaving till You do”

We all know what hunger feels like. Perhaps you’re craving a certain kind of food for lunch or a certain type of dessert for later tonight before you go to bed. Maybe you’re looking forward to returning to the place where you grew up to have a childhood staple. 

But there’s a level beyond hunger and that’s desperation. The bridge of “In the Room” describes the kind of desperation people often have to experience God’s presence and God’s power. Specifically, the song mentions two moments when people had a “whatever it takes” attitude about getting into God’s presence. 

In Mark 2, we read about some men who were desperate to get their friend to Jesus, in order for him to experience healing:

“While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.”

In Matthew 9, we read about a woman who was desperate to get near Jesus, pressing through a crowd with the hope that even a touch of his garment would bring the healing she desperately needed:

“Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”

Maher echoes about their stories when he sings:

“Tear off the roof 
Lower me down 
Whatever it takes to get me to You 
Roll every stone 
Push through the crowd 
God, I wanna see You breakthrough”

RELATED CONTENT: Matt Maher - “The Lord’s Prayer (It’s Yours)"

So, as you consider my story, these stories from the Gospels, and the lyrics of “In the Room,” I wonder - what are you hungry for God to do? In what ways are you desperate for Him to break through? 

If you can name that longing or craving or work you long for God to do, then how can you emulate the relentless desperation these men and women had for God’s presence and God’s power? 

Here’s a few places to start:

Pray relentlessly. Like the story I told earlier, desperation often means staying in prayer or remaining in worship longer than you expected or perhaps even are comfortable with. Desperation always leads us out of our comfort zones.

Share vulnerably. My friend vulnerably shared about this scary, upcoming conversation. Because of that sharing, I was able to join them in desperately seeking God’s work in the conversation. People cannot support, encourage, or partner with us, unless they know what our needs are.

Care compassionately. In Mark 2, four men compassionately carried their friend to Jesus. We have people in our lives who need God’s presence and power, but they may be held back in some way. Our compassion can help them overcome those obstacles and find their way to meeting God in a life-altering way. 

If you need a breakthrough today, I hope you’ll go listen to Matt Maher’s “In the Room.” Make the lyrics your prayer to God. May a spirit of desperation and dependence grow in your spirit even as you seek the Holy Spirit’s movement. Seek first the Kingdom of God and trust Him with everything else!

Scott Savage is a pastor and a writer, and yes he does have the best last name ever. He leads Cornerstone Church in Prescott, Arizona. Scott is married to Dani and they are the proud parents of three children. He loves helping hurting people forgive others through his Free to Forgive course and you can read more of his writing at

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