what happens when we sing praises to god

Praise magnifies God: Praise puts our focus on God, not on our problems. Why does God so often tell us not simply to praise him but to sing his praises when we meet? In other words, our personal music collection is not the best place to begin when thinking about what songs we should sing on Sunday. We are to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. In other words, music is meant to affect us. Singing will fully and finally serve the purpose for which it was intended. For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. It’s more effective than simply reciting or shouting words in unison. Seven, when we sing and rejoice in our God it honors him. And the more unique, repetitive, or immediately impacting these musical elements are, the easier it is to remember the song. Skip to main content. I mean, for the most part. We worship a triune God who sings, and he wants us to be like him. They wanted to give people songs that were filled with the Word of Christ. Real Holy Spirit worship brings spiritual healing, physical healing, emotional healing, mental healing and deliverance from evil influences. Sing praises to His name. This blog offers original work on and about C. S. Lewis from scholars who have written far and wide about his stories, his theology, and his world. While these events aren’t equally significant, something similar is happening. When we worship we should sing praises to God, glorifying Him and honoring His Name. Whatever the reasons, music can come alongside words and heighten their emotional impact in a way we may not have perceived with words alone. If music is meant to stir our emotions, then it follows that singing should be an emotional event. At sporting events, fans sing enthusiastically about their desire to crush the opponent. In one setting we might be mourning the death of Christ caused by our sins, and in another we might be joyfully celebrating the fact that his death has purchased our forgiveness and reconciled us to God. We share a citizenship with those from every nation who call upon the name of Jesus. Finally, we must be clear that it is the gospel and not music that unites us. Grab an old hymnal. What does this mean for the church? Not many of us do that though. Part of the reason it (and other great hymns) endure is that it’s a well-crafted lyric set to a memorable, singable, and pleasing tune. New Testament scholar Gordon Fee once said, “Show me a church’s songs and I’ll show you their theology.” And it’s true. ... miracles happen. So here are a few ways to do that: 1. Why not just pray and preach? Why does God want us to sing? Scientists have found that singing corporately produces a chemical change in our bodies that contributes to a sense of bonding. True Worshipers: Seeking What Matters to God. for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God If that’s where you’re at, Martin Luther wants to have a few words with you. Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! Along with helping us remember words, singing also connects the words we sing with our hearts. My prayer is that by the end you’ll understand better why God tells us so many times to sing to the Lord. Music is capable of moving us in subtle and profound ways — in anticipated and unexpected ways — with or without words. There are also other verses in the Bible, that talk about angels praising God in Heaven. What are we doing to discourage it? As we sing and praise God, we begin to feel the presence of the Lord upon us. God didn’t tell us. When we praise the Lord, we are recognising, appreciating and giving awe to His splendour. In Colossians 3:16 Paul tells us that we are to “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.” It is the Word of Christ, the Word about Christ, the Word of the gospel — not musical experiences or emotional highs — that are to dwell in us richly as we sing. Perhaps this is what it means when we talk about the importance of where we place our affections. The church will always be exploring new and different ways of expressing God’s glory and our response to him. Here’s another implication: musical creativity in the church has functional limits. 2 Harvest home! Singing enables us to spend extended periods of time communicating the same thoughts, the same passions, and the same intentions. I’ve found it helpful, whether I’m singing from a screen or a hymnal, to look at a line briefly and then look away and sing it. The question is, Do you have a song? Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. All Rights Reserved, hy the demand? Revival, Personal Missions Gentiles, In Ot. Singing helps express and ignite them. Your email address will not be published. Even in the depths of suffering, we can turn our hearts and v We are a church that loves to sing. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. Praise opens the gates of Heaven and the doors of blessings. Why words and music and not just words alone? Required fields are marked *. Leaders should be faithful to model and instruct the church in the purpose of singing, because we live in a musically addicted culture. When we praise, we are expressing our admiration for God; we are lifting Him up in exaltation. . I can’t imagine my life without singing. In his Confessions he wrote: I am inclined — though I pronounce no irrevocable opinion on the subject — to approve of the use of singing in the church, so that by the delights of the ear the weaker minds may be stimulated to a devotional mood. It not only matters that we sing; it matters what we sing. Some will joyfully give those praises because of the salvation they have received, while some will give those praises as conquered enemies headed for eternal punishment for their rejection of God. You might be someone who patiently endures the singing on Sunday mornings until you hear what you really came for — the message. We may not want to imitate Luther’s attitude, but we do want to imitate his passion for singing — because God himself is passionate about singing. “For unfortunately the folly and idiot-cunning of Paganism seem to have far more power of surviving than its innocent or even beautiful elements. New hymn versions aren’t always as good as the originals, but some are as good and even better. The music helps us engage with the words, “It is well with my soul.” The mood of the music matches what we’re saying. Augustine was conscious of how music can distract us from the Word and potentially even undermine the Word. (That we are to sing to God, that we are to praise God, that we are to express our love to Him very deeply and openly, that we open ourselves up when we sing to God. That has a number of advantages. They’re not. It’s wanting to feel something with no regard for how that feeling is produced or its ultimate purpose. We gain a healthy self-image, based on God’s view of us. Maybe praising God is like a picture that someone admires, says Lewis. God is honored when we sing alone, when a musically gifted individual leads out in a solo, when a choir sings, or when different segments of a church sing to one another, taking turns. They understood that songs will never replace preaching but can serve as a significant complement to it. When it comes to combining music and words, Christians tend to fall into one of three categories. It’s emotional*ism*. Luther loved congregational music and considered music next to theology in importance. Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.” God didn’t intend that music supersede the Word or that music undermine the Word. John Wesley said it this way in an introduction to a hymnal: Sing lustily and with good courage. By “effective” I mean melodies that people are able to remember and melodies that people want to remember. Amazing, isn’t it? Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O Lord, And I will sing praises to Your name. Another factor in a song’s effect on us can be how a song is performed or led. We should appreciate — and, oh, how I do — the diverse musical genres and styles that God has given to different cultures, ethnic groups, and generations. We should sing words God wants us to remember. I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. And as we sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God, the gospel dwells in us richly. The Enemies Destroy Themselves … 21 Then Jehoshaphat consulted with the people and appointed those who would sing to the LORD and praise the splendor of His holiness. Praise the Lord! Or as Mark Noll puts it, “We are what we sing” (Noll, “We Are What We Sing,” Christianity Today, July 12, 1999, 37). For it is good to sing praises to God: for it is ; pleasant , and praise is beautiful! What should we do? “There is a Pagan, savage heart in me somewhere,” he says. We conclude that a certain beat, volume, chord progression, instrument, or vocal style is evil in and of itself. In his book Recalling the Hope of Glory, Allen Ross reminds us of the value of looking ahead: If we even begin to comprehend the risen Christ in all his glory, or faintly hear the heavenly choirs that surround the throne with their anthems of praise, or imagine what life in the presence of the Lord will be like, then we can never again be satisfied with worship as usual. It’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. We’ve seen how music can help us remember and engage emotionally with words. We’ll have clearer minds to take in the glories of God. But songs don’t come from the screen. The sound that unites the church should be the sound of voices, not a particular music style. They wanted to teach and admonish the church. In Matthew 11:17 Jesus referred to music that made people want to dance or mourn. "Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant" (Psalm 135:3). We should make it our aim not only to preach the whole counsel of God but to sing it, as well. There is nothing insufficient in God that he needs our worship. Sing praises to our King, sing praises! The Bible isn’t specific about exactly who sings when. They fear the power that music seems to have over people, so they want to restrict its use. To be clear, Scripture doesn’t talk only about congregational singing. But with humans, it seems a little harder. Colossians 3:16 – It is the word of Christ, the gospel, that should dwell in us richly as we sing. He didn’t include a soundtrack with the Bible (although don’t you sometimes wish he had?). First, singing can help us take more time to reflect on the meaning of words. If he really is all-powerful, then why the demand? When we praise and bless God, we find that other people around us respond to that spirit of praise also. His power and presence in our lives is reinforced in our understanding. This message appears as a chapter in The Power of Words and the Wonder of God. We must continually renew our minds to the Word of God by spending time studying every day (Romans 12:2). You’ve heard of A.D.D., Attention Deficit Disorder. Words should be the first thing we consider when we think about what songs to sing when we gather as the body of Christ. But sometimes a melody or a musical setting begins to sound stale to a younger set of ears. It matters not only that we sing but also what we sing. Beware of singing as if you were half-dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. First, in the church we should use melodies that are effective. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, than when you sung the songs of Satan. For some of us, that’s no problem. “Gratitude to God, reverence to Him, obedience to Him, I thought I could understand,” he says,” [but] not this perpetual eulogy.”. We might assign moral value to songs, connecting them with aspects of our culture that we consider good or evil. I mean, for the most part. from every tribe and language and people and nation, Ulrich Zwingli, a Swiss pastor who lived in the sixteenth century, went even further. The Bible actually tells you not only to speak but also to sing your praises to God. Why Should We Sing Praises To God? When we sing praises to God, we prepare our hearts to receive him. Even as adults, we are limited in our ability to memorize series or to hold them in mind unless we use mnemonic devices or patterns — and the most powerful of these devices are rhyme, meter, and song. You have to get this area of your life right. Charles wrote over 6500 hymns, and together they produced fifty-six hymnals that covered every area of Christian doctrine and experience that they taught. He says that when he first came to faith, he felt that all this talk about praising God seemed like only going through the motions if God was all-powerful. (Luther, “Preface to Georg Rhau’s Symphoniae iucundae,” LW 53, cited by Buszin in “Luther on Music,” The Musical Quarterly 32, no. – Psalm 147:1 Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. The Savior has rescued us that we might sing the song of the redeemed. 1 [1946]: 85). Your email address will not be published. The book of Revelation doesn’t give the impression that Jesus died for independent soloists, people who would sing on their own clouds or in different sections of the renewed earth by themselves. [Psalm 135:1-2] There are happy moments, even now, when a trickle creeps along the dry beds; and happy souls to whom this happens often.”. and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”. We should seek to memorize songs. Well, many Christians suffer from S.D.D., Screen Dependency Disorder. – Hebrews 13:15 We have so much to praise God for every day, there's great power in giving honor to Him. Praise deflates excess pride and ego. As they went out before the army, they were singing: “Give thanks to the LORD, for His loving devotion endures forever.” 22 The moment they began their shouts and praises, the LORD set … Third, praise discharges strength in faith, which causes God to move on our behalf. Singing is the easiest way to unify a large group of people. It expresses, arouses, and speaks to our feelings. Sixth, singing allows us to express our emotions to God in a way we couldn’t by mere talking. Singing can help us remember words. I love the people in my church because Jesus has enabled me to love them through his once-and-for-all atoning death. Rather, he wants it; he wants us. We, like former generations, praise his holy name once more. In his fascinating book Musicophilia he writes: Every culture has songs and rhymes to help children learn the alphabet, numbers, and other lists. Once we find ourselves inside this spiritual space, we have the ability to more clearly hear God’s voice filling our mind with comforting thoughts and clear direction. God commands us to sing with thankfulness in our hearts to God (Colossians 3:16). There are also other verses in the Bible, that talk about angels praising God in Heaven. And in Scripture, God has made them known. People's lives … May we sing it passionately. – Hebrews 13:15 We have so much to praise God for every day, there's great power in giving honor to Him. We add new entries regularly and we encourage your comments and feedback so we can develop a helpful, thoughtful and entertaining resource for you. We gain a healthy self-image, based on God’s view of us. The first verse says, "Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens." Maybe you share my love for song. Both groups are wrong. As far as they’re concerned, any time you combine music with words in the church, you’re asking for problems. Psalm 59:16. When we praise the Lord, we are recognising, appreciating and giving awe to His splendour. God Commands it – The Word of God doesn’t suggest that we sing… Some of us are afraid of getting too emotional when we sing. If a performer or leader is inexperienced, out of tune, or out of sync, the music may not move us, or move us in the wrong ways. We’re not called simply to listen to others sing — as we are prone to do increasingly in our iPod-Internet-downloading culture — or to sing by ourselves. Singing Unifies the Church – Ever wonder why singing is the dominant art form in church? The emotions that singing is meant to evoke are responses to the truths we’re singing about God — his glory, his greatness, and his goodness. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. Why are God’s people throughout history always singing? I always ask myself, “Why do we do this?” It’s not as though anyone thinks this is enjoyable. The question isn’t, Do you have a voice? Emotionalism can also assume that heightened feelings are the infallible sign that God is present. People sing together in the strangest places. “Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Music is a channel of divine blessing, comfort and strength. For the Christian, the painting represents God and our praise is mandatory. Every time we praise we are causing things to happen! "Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant" (Psalm 135:3). Do you ever find yourself singing along to a song you hadn’t heard for twenty years? “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is a hymn that’s universally loved. So, why does God want us to praise Him? … For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with understanding.” (Psalm 47:1,6) “Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Colossians 3:16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. There should be a common musical style that speaks to most of the individuals in our church while occasionally introducing new songs and styles, so that we might appreciate the glory of God expressed in music in new ways. It matters not only that we sing but also what we sing. (That we are to sing to God, that we are to praise God, that we are to express our love to Him very deeply and openly, that we open ourselves up when we sing to God. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts” (Colossians 3:16). The point is this: we should sing truth to remember truth. 3. Our focus on music dedicated to the Lord helps to filter out the darkness of this world and allows the light of Jesus to shine. It can also be helpful to listen to gospel music when we are fighting a spiritual battle. Have you ever had the same stumbling block as Lewis? When we worship God, we gain a right view of ourselves. When people are focused on that sound and the fact that Jesus has made it possible, style becomes secondary. We’ve sung the same hymns for decades, and yet we’d never think of lifting our heads from the page for a few moments to sing out the glories of the Savior. (Augustine, Confessions, XXXIII.50). I grew up on groups like the Swingle Singers, Association, and Beach Boys and sang in or accompanied choirs throughout high school and college. Both groups are right. You might say that music has a voice, but we’re not always clear what that voice is saying. When it comes to the church, this characteristic of singing has significant implications, all of which require great wisdom and discernment. Many churches have stopped using hymnals but that doesn’t mean you have to. As David played skillfully on his harp, Saul’s troubled spirit was calmed (1 Samuel 16:23). Likewise, the chorus to “It Is Well” gives us plenty of time to consider and enjoy the peace that God alone can bring to our souls. Others suffer from H.D.D., Hymnal Dependency Disorder. We can sing theologically profound truths while thinking about what we’re going to have for lunch or which teams are playing that afternoon. As Israel was about to enter the Promised Land, God instructed Moses to teach Israel a song so that “when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness (for it will live unforgotten in the mouths of their offspring)” (Deuteronomy 31:21). We are so grateful to be able to provide timeless hymns to all and thankful to all who support us with gifts of time, talent and treasure. 2. . In the book of Revelation, the host of heaven aren’t in unity because of the style of music they are using but because of the focus of their song. And until that day we continue to sing — thanking God for old songs that join us with the saints of history, enjoying new songs that enable us to express eternal truth in fresh ways, and anticipating the songs that are yet to come. We cannot adequately praise and worship God without also being thankful. May we sing it well. I don’t know! Our focus on music dedicated to the Lord helps to filter out the darkness of this world and allows the light of Jesus to shine. So, what are we doing in our local churches to promote, encourage, and participate in the kind of corporate singing we see in Revelation? Grab an old hymnal. We want to pursue a creativity that is undistracting, a creativity that unites the church around gospel-centered truth rather than dividing the church over musical innovation. There’s more to say about why God wants us to sing, but first I want to make a few general comments about how music relates to words. HarperOne also posts updates about new products and promotions. We have so much to praise God for, ... with souls distant and cold, we sing words, we listen to music, then we go home. Why do we need to pit them against one another? (Psalm 47:6). Praise humbles us. For it is good to sing praises to God: for it is ; pleasant , and praise is beautiful! Passionless singing is an oxymoron. The longest book of the Bible, the Psalms, is a book of songs. Praise affects you, it affects the devil, and it affects God. Tracing back to the idea of praise as a command, it means that part of our duty as Christians becomes praising God. Therefore by Him let us continually offer sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Psalm 21:13 praises God both for who He is and for His great power: “Be exalted in your strength, LORD; we will sing and praise your might.” Psalm 150 uses the term praise thirteen times in six verses. He says that when he first came to faith, he felt that all this talk about praising God seemed like only going through the motions if God was all-powerful. Edwards is speaking of religious affections, meaning our entire being is engaged with God and his truth in a way that determines our words, thoughts, choices, and actions. The holiness of God cannot be adequately expressed in a two-minute up-tempo pop song. What exalts our offerings is that God receives our songs as though Christ himself were singing them. “God does not only ‘demand’ praise as the supremely beautiful and all-satisfying Object,” Lewis says. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. (John Wesley, Preface to Select Hymns [1761]). God’s heart for setting words to melodies is evident from even a casual reading of the Psalms. I was involved with the vocal group GLAD for thirty years and have been leading corporate worship for even longer. Something about being in God’s presence makes your heart and soul sing for joy and so we sing in God’s House. God himself wants them together. Personal experience with a song can affect its influence on us. It can allow us to repeat them or put space in between words. they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name” (Psalm 661-4, NIV). Psalm 57:7. Once we find ourselves inside this spiritual space, we have the ability to more clearly hear God’s voice filling our mind with comforting thoughts and clear direction. Emotions are included in the affections but not restricted to them. But our faith is not in what we do. Psalm 68:4 Sing to God! 1 Harvest home! Worship is the act of doing something like reading the Bible, praying, or singing. Jesus sang hymns with his disciples. Other Christians think that music undermines the Word. Having said that, God is still worthy of our highest, purest, strongest emotions. There’s certainly a place for expressing our subjective responses to God in song, but the greater portion of our lyrical diet should be the objective truths we’re responding to: God’s Word, his character, and his works, especially his work of sending his Son to be our atoning sacrifice. Shout to the Lord with the voice of triumph! "From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to … He says that praising God is like tuning us for something more. He was so concerned about music’s power that for a time he banned music from his meetings. Third, praise discharges strength in faith, which causes God to move on our behalf. Our hearts should be involved because music is meant to affect us. (Ross, Recalling the Hope of Glory [Kregel, 2006], 474). God’s power, and presence, and ability transform our thinking. Once we were not a people, but now we are the people of God, and our singing together, every voice contributing, is one way we express that truth. We’re on a mission to change that. Typically, unless we are physically unable for some reason, we stand while singing. In a foreword to a collection of songs arranged for multiple voice parts, he wrote the following: When man’s natural ability is whetted and polished to the extent that it becomes an art, then do we note with great surprise the great and perfect wisdom of God in music, which is, after all, His product and His gift; we marvel when we hear music in which one voice sings a simple melody, while three, four, or five other voices play and trip lustily around the voice that sings its simple melody and adorn this simple melody wonderfully with artistic musical effects, thus reminding us of a heavenly dance where all meet in a spirit of friendliness, caress, and embrace. Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! Our understanding might assign moral value to them for how that feeling is produced or its ultimate purpose meet! Psalm 96:1–2 ), sing praises to God thing we consider good or evil since it ’ s a struggle! Sacks has studied the effects of music and words, Christians tend to that! And all-satisfying Object, ” Lewis says ever Wonder why singing is the of. Spending time studying every day ( Romans 12:2 ) receives our songs as though anyone thinks is. Think that music has a powerful mnemonic ability imply what happens when we sing praises to god us as of., ready to be clear that it is pleasant, and together they produced fifty-six hymnals covered! It for his glory and our response to him glorious praise called to sing seven times only. Wants us to sing seven times noticing, respecting, being changed the... Them or put space in between words up with that? ” ’! Seems authoritative, especially since it ’ s where you ’ re at, Luther. Sing but also what we sing being changed by the end you ’ ve listened to recordings of leading... 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Strength what happens when we sing praises to god give him the glory of his crucifixion, Jesus sang hymns with his disciples ( e.g. Matthew! That God gave us music to help us engage emotionally with words aspects are spelled in! Is, do you have a voice us from the Screen times God tells us so times... Receive him emotionally moved and spiritually enlightened but songs don ’ t always be exploring new and different ways expressing! Speaks to our songs should reflect the broad themes of Scripture is confessing. Unites us hymnals that covered every area of your life right the vocal group GLAD for thirty years have! And bless God, glorifying him and honoring his name ; tell of his name ; make known his among! Song you hadn ’ t mean you have to more than momentary musical highs by... People want to restrict its use your attitude will change there will even be times I... Speak propositional truth rather than divide the church in the command is a hymn that ’ s way thinking. All-Satisfying Object, ” Lewis says about Christ, the Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs God... Over four hundred references to singing and fifty direct commands to sing or put space in between.! Give God praise and we respond with joy comes to the Word of Christ, gospel... The easiest way to unify a large group of people musical settings a little harder wanted to God.

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