In the Bible and throughout the ages, God’s people have praised, worshipped, and expressed their deepest sentiments to God by raising their voices in song to Him. Many of us consider the times we sing together to the Lord on Sundays or in other larger gatherings as times of praise and worship. Singing with others when we come together as the church is a wonderful and important part of our Christian lives.
But many more moments remain in our life that we can fill with singing thanks and praise to God. We don’t have to wait for a certain day or setting to sing to Him. In fact, singing to the Lord on our own in the private moments of our everyday lives can yield some marvelous benefits for us. We’ll look at just five in this post.
1. Singing to contact God and enjoy His presence
From the moment we wake up in the morning until we go to sleep at night, our lives are filled with things to do, responsibilities to fulfill, and matters that occupy our minds. We may want to spend some time with Jesus in the mornings, but thoughts and anxieties can flood our mind before we even get started. We can counteract this problem in perhaps an unexpected way: by opening our mouth to sing to the Lord.
Singing to the Lord helps cut through the haze of sleep or the crowd of cares in our mind, and ushers us into our spirit, where we contact Christ. As we sing a hymn like Just As I Am, for example, our hearts can be warmed, our thoughts quieted, and our hearts directed to Christ to enjoy His presence at the start of our day.
2. Singing to let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly
In Colossians 3:16 Paul exhorted the believers in Colossae to do something particular:
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to God.”
Things like our job, education, family, goals, hobbies, etc., take up space within us. But what about God’s Word? This verse tells us that singing with grace in our hearts to God is one way we can let the Word dwell in us richly.
Throughout the centuries, inspired believers have written thousands of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Their hymns, rich with spiritual experiences and full of biblical truths, can help us let the word of Christ dwell in us. For example, let’s say we feel condemned and even wonder if we’ve lost our salvation. But when we remember hymns like Why Should I Worry, Doubt and Fear? and Blessed Assurance, we can sing their precious lines to remind ourselves of the unchanging truths of our redemption and forgiveness in Christ.
We can also sing the Scriptures themselves, just as they are, using a familiar tune to sing a verse to the Lord. For example, though you might have to stretch some words out or squeeze some in, you can use a folk tune like Michael Row the Boat Ashore to sing Matthew 11:28 to the Lord:
Come to Me—all who toil
And are burdened,
And I will give you rest.
We can also sing Scriptures that someone else has put a tune to, such as this one for 2 Timothy 3:16.
We can even create a tune of our own. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or musically correct. It’s just a simple means to help us sing the Word of God, something between us and the Lord that lets His Word abide in us.
A verse we enjoy in the morning can remain in us all day long as we sing our verse-songs to the Lord throughout the day. This may take some practice, but singing the Scriptures is an enjoyable way to let the Word fill us.
3. Singing to spontaneously praise and worship the Lord anywhere, anytime
At times an unspeakable thankfulness or inexpressible praise can well up within our being, and we find our words alone aren’t enough to convey the depth of our feeling to the Lord. At such times, singing can provide the perfect outlet for our worship to Him. And we don’t have to wait for a certain time or place; we can sing to the Lord right then and there!
Let’s say we’re taking a walk, reflecting on what the Lord has done for us, and we’re filled with a sense of thankfulness. We can express our thanks to Him right away with a song that puts words to our feeling. We might sing the lines of Charles Wesley’s well-known hymn, “O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer’s praise, the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace.”
If we can learn and memorize a good number of hymns, we’ll be better able to sing them anytime throughout our day. Even just learning a few short choruses and singing them to the Lord can enrich our walk with Him. Websites like hymnal.net have thousands of songs, with both their music and words, posted for us to learn and enjoy. And, again, we can always compose our own!
4. Singing to enrich and deepen our personal walk with Christ
Christ wants to have a personal, affectionate, and intimate relationship with each of us, and singing helps us open our heart to Him in a way that’s sometimes difficult using just words. By singing we can tell the Lord all that’s in us, whether it be our sadness, needs, or fears, or our appreciation, love, and consecration to Him. Singing helps us contact the Lord in a deeper way with our whole heart. For instance, a hymn like Thy Mighty Love can really touch our heart and help us open to Him.
As Christians, we have a wonderful treasury of hymns written by believers who have experienced the Lord in a deep way, and singing their hymns can help us grow in our relationship with Him. Their songs can inspire us, show us more of Christ and what He is to us, become our own prayers to Him, and enrich our experience and enjoyment of Him.
5. Singing to be filled in spirit
In Ephesians 5:18-19, Paul instructs the believers,
“Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissoluteness, but be filled in spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and psalming with your heart to the Lord.”
Paul tells us to be filled in our regenerated spirit instead of being drunk with wine in our physical body. When we sing with our heart to the Lord, we can be filled in spirit with our rich and wonderful Christ. We may find even ourselves filled to overflowing, effortlessly sharing God’s Word to the people around us.
Developing a singing life
It’s good to remember the Bible doesn’t say, “Sing with a beautiful voice” or even “Sing on key.” In fact, the Word tells us to “make a joyful noise” to the Lord (Psalm 98:4). God just wants us to open our mouth and sing to Him not as a form or ritual, but with our hearts. No matter how we sound, when we sing to Him, God is happy, and we are filled with joy.