Singing is important. Whether or not you have the skill and ability is irrelevant.
I’ve found a really great illustration of this through the parenting of a 2.5 year old. She can be in the back seat of the car, upset, mad at the world, and I’ll just start singing a song, mainly to just tune her out. A few moments later, the entire atmosphere in our car is completely different. Usually, she’s singing right along with me. (Her favorites right now are Savior’s Here by Kari Jobe and Your Name High, or the Woah Woah song to her, by Hillsong United). The point is singing changes your attitude and turns your heart in the direction of the One of whom you’re singing. It gets your mind off your own junk!
Take a look at Acts 16:16-40. In summary, these verses talk about how Paul and Silas cast out an evil spirit in a slave girl who was being used to make money for her masters. Once the spirit was cast out, there was no way for her to make money, so the masters got Paul and Silas thrown into prison. After being severely flogged, they were placed in stocks. You can imagine the physical pain and torture they had endured and were enduring, all for doing something good and right.
Verse 25 is where things start to get really good.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.
Paul and Silas were in a desperate condition, but they knew that their God was right by their sides. In order to overcome and not be overtaken by despair, they decided to sing. It wasn’t just the atmosphere that changed for them, but their entire physical environment literally shifted!
One thing that I believe is important to note here is what their singing did to the prison guards and the jailer. After the chains were loose, the jailer awoke and was ready to kill himself, but Paul and Silas shared the Gospel of Jesus with him and all of the others in the prison. The jailer then took Paul and Silas to his home and washed their wounds and fed them. Verse 34 states that the jailer “was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God-he and his whole family”. Singing not only changes your outlook and your atmosphere, but it changes the hearts of others around you.
I’ve been reading through the Psalms quite a bit lately, and I believe what David, Moses, and the other writers of the Psalms were trying to do was remind themselves of exactly Who their God was. These men faced some pretty wicked trials and tribulations, some of which we could never imagine. They sang their despair to God. They sang their triumph. They sang their repentance to God. They realized the importance of this type of communication with God.
I must remind you all here that it is not important whatsoever if you are singing on a stage, in your cars, in your bedroom with the door shut tightly; if you’re skilled or completely tone deaf. God wants to hear your voices! It never says anywhere in the Psalms or in this story in Acts that the situations changed because these men were amazing vocalists. It is all about Who you’re singing to or about.
I’ll leave you with some Scripture:
1 Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints. 2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. 3 Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp. 4 For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. 5 Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. 6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, 7 to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, 8 to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, 9 to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of the saints. Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
How has singing changed situations in your own life? How has God spoken to you through singing? I’d love to hear your thoughts!