“I like to listen to that song because it makes me feel a special way,” my little boy told me in the car the other day. He was speaking of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – Spring. And there he was in the back seat, humming enthusiastically along with it. But I was struck with the weight of truth in his words.
Music is incredibly powerful – and emotionally moving. Certain songs have the ability to bring us to tears or to move us to great exultation. God speaks often of singing and praise, I think because he knew how it would affect us and how it would also honor Him.
Why do we sing to God? Why should we sing to Him? I jotted down a short list (not comprehensive) of some good reasons we sing.
Singing helps us get our minds from the muck and focus on Christ.
Sometimes, it is hard to simply “will power” our way out of bad thinking – but placing good, wholesome hymns in our mouths and in our hearts often helps.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth ~ Colossians 3:1-2
Singing helps us when we don’t have the words ourselves.
Sometimes, when we are overwhelmed by life, either positively or negatively, we can’t adequately speak. But there are many wonderfully creative people who have written songs that describe how we feel (sometimes using the scriptures themselves!). And so, we can borrow their words to describe our gratitude and heartache to God.
Singing stirs the deepest part of ourselves
Singing, even to the musically challenged, allows us to express our hearts in ways that simply speaking cannot.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. ~ Psalm 62:8
Singing is natural when we are in the presence of God
Think of it – what are the angels always doing in the throne room? Singing praises to God. And when we come to worship Him, it is only natural and fitting that we do the same.
Singing can soothe the soul
How many times have I sat and rocked with a child and sung over them? And as I sing and hold them close, I feel their little bodies grow heavy and still, relaxed by my presence but also by the songs. Singing helps to soothe our own adult hearts too.
Singing helps us learn
How many spiritual truths have we learned from songs? And how much knowledge can we sing rather than say? Of course, this only works when we are singing good, Biblical songs!
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. ~ Colossians 3:16
Singing reminds us we are not alone.
Singing with others is of course encouraging because we hear the swell of voices beside us, reminding us that we are not alone physically. There are brothers and sisters who walk beside us on this path to heaven. But even when we sing songs in the night, when we are utterly alone, we are reminded that though no human might be present, the Lord is!
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life. ~ Psalm 42:8
May we all learn the joy of singing to the Lord, whether we have a golden voice or are vocally challenged. For our Lord hears the heart of what we sing (Ephesians 5:19)!