Paul Baloche (pronounced /bəˈlɒʃ/ bə-LOSH; born on June 4, 1962) is an American Christian music artist, worship leader, and singer-songwriter. A native of Maple Shade, New Jersey, Baloche is currently the worship pastor at Community Christian Fellowship in Lindale, Texas. Baloche composes on piano and acoustic guitar, favoring guitar when leading worship. His wife, Rita Baloche, is also a Christian songwriter. Baloche is one of the writers for Compassionart, a charity founded by Martin Smith from Delirious?.
Leading others in worshiping God is not a talent that can be learned; it’s a mission that must be placed on a heart. It’s one that has been warmly embraced by Paul Baloche. A prolific songwriter and inspired praise leader, Paul has written or co-written more than 120 recorded worship songs. His experiences as a worship leader fuel Paul’s creative expression. He’s led worship in a variety of locales including Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, not to mention his home church, Community Christian Fellowship in Lindale, Texas, where he serves as praise and worship pastor.
Among the most moving of his songs is “Open the Eyes of My Heart.”
“Of all the songs that I’ve written, it’s amazed me how people have responded to this one so quickly,” says Paul. “I’ve gotten more e-mails and calls and letters and responses from churches saying, ‘This is the theme of our church this year,’ or ‘This is the theme of our conference,’ or ‘This is the cry of our hearts.’ It’s great hearing people resonate with that same desire to say, ‘I’ve been in religion a long time and that’s not enough. I want to know Him. I want to see God. I want to wake up each day and be more aware of Your presence in my life. I want to see Your kingdom in the midst of this world, so I can be a part of it and I can do my part.’”
Paul says the song was inspired in part by Ephesians 1:18.
“The Apostle Paul was writing a letter to the Ephesians and he says, ‘I pray that the eyes of your heart would be enlightened.’ That verse stirred in my heart. One morning, while playing during a ministry time at my church, I began to sing that phrase over and over again: ‘Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. Open the eyes of my heart.’ The whole song pretty much rolled off my tongue while prayerfully playing my guitar and singing out to Him. It really is a simple song that reflected the sincere prayer of my heart.”
He admits the song was also influenced by his teaching experiences.
“For years, I’ve taught at these worship conferences on Biblical worship and Biblical expressions of worship,” he says. “It occurred to me that so often we’re teaching the externals. In Psalm 95 it says, ‘Come let’s sing for joy. Let’s shout out loud. Let’s kneel in worship. Let’s clap our hands.’ That’s all neat, but I began to realize you can teach externals, but unless something is happening from the inside out, it’s just really a form. It’s like a cloud without rain.”
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