February 5, 2024

11th Hour’s “Dear Heavenly Father” is a vulnerable prayer

As the title track of their last all-new album, 2021’s Anthem Of The Ages, makes its way up the charts, contemporary Southern Gospel trio 11th Hour is looking ahead with the release of “Dear Heavenly Father,” the first single to feature the most recent addition to the group, Garrett Saunders.

Says founding member and acclaimed singer Amber Eppinette Saunders, “This song was written by Garrett and Nathan Woodard, and it is an actual prayer. Many times, people wake in the middle of the night with a burden so heavy, but we can remember there is always someone listening and always someone who cares, no matter the time of night.”

Fittingly, the song’s first verse is delivered over hushed guitar and a steady percussive beat that echoes the ticking of a clock marking the passage of time in a troubled night:

Dear Heavenly Father, it’s 2 a.m.

I know we talked a while ago, but here I am again

I hope I’m no bother but I’m wide awake

I’ve got a lot on my mind and all I know is You’re the only one up this late

I hope You don’t mind listening for a little while

Dear Heavenly Father 

And though the second verse deepens the texture and leads to two powerful choruses that frame Garrett’s voice with harmonies from Amber and Victoria Bowlin, the performance ultimately circles back at the closing, as his lone voice recaps the vulnerability of the song’s opening. With a message made all the more compelling by its frank depiction of a soul in need, “Dear Heavenly Father” shows once again 11th Hour’s ability to place bold, yet sensitive creativity in the service of bedrock faith.