Have you given much thought to the role of SONG in your faith walk?
I love music. It is one of the ways God chooses to speak most clearly to me. Whether it’s participating in corporate worship through song at my church, singing along with the radio in the car, or listening as it plays in the background at home, these times of singing and music are often the sweetest moments of communion with my heavenly Father.
Precious as this gift of song is to me, God has delighted in the past week or two to teach me much more about the power of song in my life.
A Weapon of Worship
In his sermon, Ambushing Satan with Song, John Piper states that God has give us two weapons to fight Satan with: His Word and song. Piper supports his statement with two examples from the Bible.
2 Chronicles chapter 20
Read it for yourself. It sounds a little crazy! But in this account, Jehoshaphat is facing battle and puts the CHOIR in front. The result? The Holy Spirit comes and does something. Jehoshaphat sings with the choir, and Ammon, Moab, and Mount Sier are utterly wiped out.
Paul and Silas are thrown into a Philippian prison. Stripped, beaten, and placed in stocks, what do Paul and Silas do? They sing! And God protects them from death.
Yes, there is power in song.
According to John Calvin in his Institutes of the Christian Religion, songs are prayer. Calvin considers corporate songs of worship to be sung prayers. For example, this might translate to:
- A song of praise and adoration is a sung prayer of adoration.
- Singing of a traditional hymn is a sung prayer of thanksgiving.
- That chorus declaring an intention to surrender is a sung prayer of dedication.
Singing your prayers has several benefits. It helps to unite us (the church, brothers and sisters in Christ). It helps bring focus to our minds (away from distraction and toward Christ). Singing also stirs our affections for Him and engages us our fulling (including our bodies).
The Language of Thanksgiving
Psalm 28:7 – The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
Song is one of the languages of Thanksgiving. We can express our gratitude through many languages including the languages of reading, writing, journaling, thought, prayer, and song. In fact, the Bible encourages us to give thanks through song.
Psalm 47:1 – Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
Colossians 3:16 – 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.
The Power of Song –
A weapon of worship for fighting Satan
Prayer that unites believers, focuses our attention, and stirs our affections
A language of Thanksgiving
What a precious, precious gift, this gift of song!
Singing is not merely a response to grace. Singing is a means to grace. -John Piper, Ambush Satan with Song