Why do we sing when we worship?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed singing. I was born in South Korea, and when my family moved to England when I was only six years old, I learned English through watching and singing along with Disney animated movies like The Little Mermaid, An American Tail, and Beauty and the Beast. Singing is a deep part of who I am. But I understand that not everyone enjoys singing for one reason or another.

I’ve been part of different worship teams for over ten years, and have been a worship leader for more than half that time. No matter how many instruments are in the bands that I’ve worked with, one thing is the same–there is always singing.

So why do we sing when we worship God? I believe that there are five key reasons (I’m sure there are more, but for now, five will do).

God’s word dwells in us when we sing

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.

Singing improves our memory, and thus helps us remember God’s word. Almost every praise song is based on key verses or themes of the Bible. Some of my favorite songs that I find myself humming from time to time contain the message of the gospel or themes of grace: Come Thou Fount, It Is Well, and Man of Sorrows. What are some praise songs that are always on your heart?

We encourage one another when we sing

Ephesians 5:19 – …addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart…

Singing during worship is a fundamentally corporate activity. It unifies us. It builds each other up. It excites us. Sometimes when I’m in the congregation, and I am feeling down, I am almost instantly encouraged as soon as praise time starts. Something about the feeling of being surrounded by other believers who are worshiping the same God is amazing to me. If you find yourself at church, and just don’t feel like singing, look around you, brothers and sisters. Remember that we are all sinners, saved by grace. Through singing we remember our identity in Christ, and in God’s eyes, we are all the same.

God’s power is displayed when we sing

Acts 16:25-26 – About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.

Just read the rest of Acts 16. God shower up in a mighty way when Paul and Silas prayed and sang. I haven’t seen an actual building crumbling because of our worship, but I’ve witnessed people receiving physical healing during worship times. I’ve seen stubborn people with callous hearts melt during worship because of the words being sung. As we sing together, and as God’s word dwells in us, remember that God’s power is in all of it.

There is comfort and peace when we sing

James 5:13 – Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

Our God is powerful, but He is also a God of peace and comfort. Music has the ability to excite us, but also calm us. We should praise our God through the ups and downs in our lives. Reminds me of the song “Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman.

We are reflecting eternal worship and glorify God when we sing

Revelation 7:9-10 – After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

This is the ultimate reason why we sing during worship. This is why we were also created. To worship and glorify God, here on this earth, and for all eternity.

God is more than worthy of our praise. He deserves all we have. As we allow God’s word to dwell in us through song, as we encourage and comfort the body of Christ through singing, and as we believe in God’s power to strengthen us, remember that this is all for His eternal glory.

I am speechless when I imagine the “great multitude” of people, all coming together for one purpose-to glorify God. May that be our chief reason to sing with all we have.

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