Make a joyful noise unto the Lord… Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing… Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (Psalm 100: 1-4 KJV)
Singing Our Prayers: Maybe you have heard the saying, “Those who sing, pray twice.” I think that’s true at least in worship. Moreover, I like to think when we sing to God, we join a great chorus of angels singing along with us. As the psalm above indicates, we don’t have to be blessed with a good voice to sing with the angels we just need to sing!
I am blessed with a strong voice and sing on tune, but I’m not in the choir, preferring to get down in the pews with rank and file believers. A few weeks ago I sat by an old gentleman who clearly loved singing. Side by side we had a good time praising God together. After, he pulled me aside, “You are a really good singer.” I replied, “You are too, and didn’t we make beautiful music together?”
To Whom Do You Sing? Speaking of “together” (an important word in our blog), did you know a big part of worship is singing to one another? In days gone by we sang “one another” hymns like, “Come We that Love the Lord” and “We Are One in the Spirit.” Today vertical church songs monopolizes almost all of our worship songs. Yet God’s original song book, The Psalms, has more songs directed to the congregation than to God. Don’t believe me? Psalm 100 (above) is one example of a horizontal song. Check it out in your Bible. You’ll find many like it.
Saints in the New Testament church were encouraged to sing to God and to each other. In all wisdom teach and exhort one another through psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing your hearts out to God as well. (Col. 3:16, Our Translation). When I show this to people they are surprised. They didn’t know that was in the Bible. Today we think we should sing only to God. Some years ago a group of us were in a circle singing “I Love You with the Love of the Lord,” I looked around and smiled. Even though it was a horizontal song, i.e. a one another song, everyone had their eyes shut and were looking up. Our comfort zone is expressing love to God—to one another? Not so much.
Do You Sing in Church? Did you know Jesus was a singer?. (See Mark 14:36). Jewish worship has always had lots of singing. I notice many around me do not sing in church. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because we are such a spectator society. Yet we are told to “come before his presence with singing,“ so true worshipers do sing. Try it, you may like joining the angels.
I love the hymns, old and new, many modern songs. I like the organ, piano and the four dudes who play hot guitars, keyboard and drum at our contemporary service. I often clap my hands, sway to the music and tap my toes. The God of Creation has loaded the universe with such variety. He must like variety in our worship as well, as Psalm 150 indicates.
Praise ye the Lord….Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Hallelujah! (KJV)