We have all fallen short of God’s glory through our sinful actions. Out of remorse for our actions, we often seek forgiveness so that we can be accountable by acknowledging our faults. Whether you are religious or not, you should know that atoning for past sins is often championed through music; that is why multiple songs about repentance exist.
Repentance is a life-changing action in spiritual life as it helps provide freedom from sin.
Sin can make one feel overwhelmed with guilt and regret, and it’s crucial that you seek forgiveness to not only unload the burden you carry but also open your heart and mind to God’s forgiveness and unconditional love.
21 Songs About Repentance
Here are some of the best life-changing songs seeking forgiveness and repentance that will help you build a strong connection to those you wronged and God.
1. Apology Song – The Decemberists
To start this playlist is a light-hearted song by The Decemberists where the singer apologizes because a friend’s bike was stolen while under his care.
Though it’s not that big of a sin to seek forgiveness for, this track shows that the little misfortunes you cause are still worth repenting for. Hopefully, Meloy’s friend forgave him.
Recommended: These 21 Songs About Prophets Can Inspire Your Faith.
2. Repent (What a Joy It Is) – Mitch Wong
Mitch Wong’s song about repentance gives us a different view on the subject matter of this playlist. It introduces us to a thought that perhaps repentance is less to do with our sins and the mistakes we have but is more about turning to Christ, our savior.
The song celebrates the joy of being a follower of Jesus and being a believer that through him, we are free from sin.
3. My Testimony – Elevation Worship
My Testimony is a praise and worship track that relates to the theme of repentance in the Bible through an emphasis on the transformative power of God.
The song talks about the importance of repentance and the belief that their name is registered in heaven.
4. So Sorry – Feist
Feist “So Sorry” is a clear indication that the act of repentance is not only in a spiritual sense, as it can fit in some romantic situations.
In her song, the singer is sorry for her irresponsibility as it caused the end of a relationship.
5. Back To December – Taylor Swift
Back to December is one of the most popular songs about repentance that has nearly 300 million views on YouTube.
The lyrics are a remorseful plea for forgiveness for treating an ex-lover badly when they were together. It has been confirmed that the person she was talking about was Taylor Lautner.
6. O Come To The Altar – Elevation
The song’s lyrics are a reminder that God calls us to lay unto him our burdens and regrets so that our sins can be forgiven. His offer to us is a new life filled with joy in exchange for repenting.
We are able to receive unconditional love and find peace in Him.
7. His Mercy Is More – Matt Papa
His Mercy Is More draws our attention to the profound mercy of God when we repent our sins. We see that his son has paid for our sins so that we can afford a life lavished with his kindness.
The theme is echoed throughout the Bible, reminding us of God’s forgiveness and hope.
8. If I Could Turn Back Time – Cher
Cher released this piece in 1989 for her nineteenth studio Album, Heart of Stone. The lyrics talk about the singer’s feelings of remorse because of the bad deeds she committed, leading to the end of their relationship.
She wishes that she could go back in time so that she could undo all her mistakes and fix their relationship.
Recommended: 21 Songs About Redemption That Can Inspire Positive Change.
9. Repent – Shaggy
Repent is one of Shaggy’s most popular tracks as it helped popularize his name. The song about repentance was released in 2005 and it is part of the Clothes Drop album.
The song’s lyrics are directed toward us, the listeners and the composer tells us to look at the state of the world we live in. He highlights that we are only a few steps from a disaster and the only way for us to pray and repent.
10. Brokenness Aside – All Sons & Daughters
“Brokenness Aside” has such a powerful message and yet simple in truth such that in all our power, we end up sinning. Yet despite all that, God in his glory is able to turn our weakness into strength, forgive our sins when we repent and even bring beauty from our brokenness.
This is such a beautiful worship tune full of originality and creativity.
11. Purify – Beth Croft
Though it is one of the least popular worship songs from Beth Croft, it has a heavy message of seeking repentance. The song’s lyrics center on the composer seeking forgiveness and purification of her heart.
The composer humbles herself to God in seeking forgiveness and guidance so she can live a righteous life.
12. This Is My Surrender – Life Worship
This is my surrender, a worship song that teaches us the importance of letting go of our fears, struggles, and doubts about God. The song’s lyrics beautifully highlight the idea of repentance and trusting God.
It is also filled with the expression of a desire to be closer to the almighty so that we are able to understand His will.
13. Hurt – Johnny Cash
Hurt by Johnny Cash is one of this playlist’s most heart-wrenching songs. This song is a rendition of a song of a similar title by Nine Inch Nails and it has gained nearly 200 million views since its release.
The remorseful lyrics summarize the life of Johnny Cash and his regret of the life he lived now at a time that death is around the corner.
14. God Would You Forgive Us – Here Be Lions
This track by Here Be Lions is one of the most spiritual songs about repentance I have ever listened to. The singer asks multiple questions throughout the song to the almighty, asking him if we laid down all that makes us short of his glory, would he forgive us for our sins?
The remorseful nature of the singer to show that we are sinners and seeking forgiveness makes this song so spiritual.
15. Song of Repentance – New Wine Worship
This band’s message is to spread the word of God through music. Their song of Repentance is one of their prominent tracks as it is easy to master and sing along to.
The song is a plea to God for forgiveness for sinning and asking for his mercy in our lives.
Recommended: 21 Songs About May Day that Capture the Spirit of Workers’ Rights.
16. Repentance Song – Jermaine Edwards
Repentance Song is one of Jermaine’s most powerful worship tracks in his entire music catalog. It has a powerful message of repentance as it acknowledges us as being broken, and only God has the ability to fix us and restore us to our intended glory.
The song is also thankful for God’s abundance of chances despite us being sinners.
17. Lord, I Need You – Passion
Discover more of your spirituality through this song by Passion, which will bring you a clear mind and much peace.
Lord I Need You is a confession and repentance song for our need of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. The singer shows how dependable God is, especially in times of need.
18. This Is Amazing Grace – Phil Wickham
The song’s lyrics are about God’s power to forgive all sinners who come to him to repent their sins. The singer is in celebration in this track as he marvels at God’s amazing grace by giving his only son in place for our redemption.
He also highlights the importance of acknowledging Christ as the ruler of our lives, and we should turn away from our sinful nature to follow Him.
19. For What It’s Worth – Liam Gallagher
Acknowledging past mistakes to not only God but also fellow men can be the first important step when seeking forgiveness. This track from former Oasis band member Lim is a prime example of what seeking forgiveness and repenting can look like.
It also states that our actions should be sincere and match our words of apology.
20. Give Us Clean Hands – Charlie Hall
This next song is a prayer of repentance to God to renew us in his glory. The song is inspired by the book of Psalms.
The word Hand in the song is a figure of speech representing the entirety of a person’s actions. The song reminds us that God triumphs over judgment, and his willingness to forgive allows us to flourish.
21. I Forgive You – Kelly Clarkson
The last song in this playlist is by Kelly Clarkson, reassuring the listeners of the forgiveness they are seeking. The song is also a prime example of how we can also forgive those who wrong us and are remorseful for their past mistakes.
Some of us end up holding in so much hurt in our hearts and grudges rather than forgiving. Showing empathy and being forgiving can help in letting go of the resentment that may be holding you back.
I hope these songs about repentance will pave the path for the forgiveness you seek. They can be the first step you need to heal any pain you cause through your words or actions.
The playlist also shows that seeking repentance is not only a religious action. Though most songs are based on the Christian faith, their lyrics apply in any situation where one might seek forgiveness from those they have wronged.