Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Singing as Worship

What is it about singing that particularly praises God? I found 40 different Psalms that exhort us to sing our praises to God: not counting those that use a different word, like "song", or the psalms that are found in other books of the Bible. There is some truth in the maxim "He who sings, prays twice." Something about the nature of singing a song we have memorized (at least mostly) engages us in a way that simple spoken words do not. I find I'm more distracted if I have to read the words or pay attention to the musical notes, but when I know the song fairly well I can enter into the act of worshiping God at a deeper level than I might be able to using spoken words or silent prayer. It engages a part of my being that I don't even realize exists at other times. I don't think I'm talented as a singer; it's not the pleasure of singing itself that makes the difference. Rather, it's the act of worshiping the Lord using song, of honoring Him with my voice.
Like I said, I am not a great singer. I sing to God because 1) The Bible says I should and 2) I want to praise Him with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength (Mar 12:30) and I can do that more completely through song. I do notice a significant difference in my ability to worship more fully through singing when I know the song well compared to songs I have to read the words as I sing. So if you are new to using singing in your worship of God, I recommend that you pick 3 fairly simple songs that you either already know or that you can pick up quickly. This is probably not the time to choose a long, worshipful hymn: I really like "Be Thou My Vision", but it would take much longer to memorize than a short song with only 1-2 short verses or that simply repeats the chorus a couple times. Find an opportunity to practice these songs every day, preferably without distractions, so you can sing them as praise to God. Once you've experienced for yourself the depth of praise that comes from singing praises to God, you won't want to lose it. That's one portion of my daily prayer time that Works for Me.

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