Multicultural WorshipStories

Song Story: Salaam

This song came from stories of sleepless nights and cries for peace.

Seven years ago, when I (Dareen) first came to America, I lost my peace. Because of the culture shock and the struggles here, I couldn’t sleep for many nights. I fought with my thoughts for hours, feeling frustrated and forsaken by God. I tried to close my eyes and imagine myself back in my bed in Saudi Arabia, like nothing had changed. But it didn’t work.

Over and over, God would bring this verse to my mind: “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8)

Because of this verse, I began to worship and pray during the night. I felt the greatness of my Father, remembering that He holds everything including my burdens. And I began to find the peace that I had been missing for several years.

My friend Grace is a songwriter, and at one point I suggested to her that Psalm 4:8 could be the inspiration for a new song. Then she invited me to co-write this song with her. I had never written a song before, so I was hesitant but willing to try. And as we collaborated together, we began to see how our stories connected.

The word “salaam” means peace in Arabic. It is also used as a greeting: “I wish you peace.” Sometimes, when I am singing the word “salaam,” it is an expression of receiving God’s peace. And sometimes it is a cry of seeking, desiring, and asking Him for the peace that I’ve tasted before.

Our cry for peace became so desperate and so a part of our stories that it turned into a song. What is your cry for peace?

This song became not just about sleepless nights, but about a peace that goes wider and deeper than any understanding. Our Prince of Peace is indeed near. May you be encouraged into the rest of God’s peace today.


SALAAM

Written by Grace Funderburgh and Dareen Sayar
Download mp3 and chord chart

LYRICS:
Lord, we will lie down
We will trust you tonight
Defend and protect us
In your dwelling we hide

Salaam, Salaam
Salaam, Salaam

Lord, we are weary
We are hungry for peace
Beyond our own systems
And our vision we come

Lord, make us one mind
Make us one heart, one soul
We long for your justice
Loving mercy the most

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