As disciples of Christ we tend to place a greater value on reading Scripture and prayer than we do praise. Praising God is as powerful and as important in the life of a believer. The Bible says in Romans 15: 4 that God’s Word provides encouragement and hope. The apostle Paul taught us in his letter to the Church in Philippi that prayer can relieve stress and anxiety, because it helps us relinquish all control over to God (Phil. 4: 6 – 7) and we no longer worry about the things that trouble us (Matt 6: 25 – 34). Also, the Bible describes the Word of God and prayer as part of the “Armor of God” that all soldiers of Christ must wear to go to war against the enemy (Eph 6: 10 – 20). Let us not forget Hebrews 4: 12, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” The Word of God and prayer are immensely powerful in our spiritual journey. However, let us not take our “Praise and Worship” lightly, because it is equally important to God.
In her book, “Music Medicine: The Science and Spirit of Healing Yourself with Sound,” Christine Stevens discovered through clinical research that singing or listening to music can help reduce stress, prevent illness, and even strengthen the immune system. Christine Stevens (MSW) is a therapist who often used music to help her patients heal. If scientific data can prove the benefits of singing and listening to music in therapy, we can rest assured that the same is true for believers singing praises unto God. When we are praising God with songs and Hymns, we are also praying and recalling scriptures in the process. Many of our worship songs are literally taken from the Bible. For example, At the Waterbury Church of Christ we love to sing “The Greatest Command.” “Love one another, for love is of God. He who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love…” Some of you cannot see these words without singing the melody, and we all know where these words come from: 1 John 4: 7 – 11. “As the Deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you,” that is from Psalm 42: 1. There are many more songs I could mention to show you the correlation between singing, scripture and prayer. Singing is about expressing our gratitude to a good God for who He is, what he is done, and what He is about to do (Psalm 13). Singing is about being in the presence of the Lord and understanding that we are filled with the Holy Spirit that intercedes on our behalf. In the book of Acts 16: 25 – 26 we read of Paul and Silas being arrested and thrown in prison. While they were in prison, the Bible says “They were praying and singing hymns to God… 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 chains were loosed.” HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS. That verse gets me excited every time. Praise has the power to break every chain that is holding us down: chains of depression, chains of anxiety, chains of fear and anger. God can work on our behalf when we are praising Him. God defeated King Jehoshaphat’s enemies as they were praising HIM. Listen to what the Bible says in 2 Chronicles 20: 22 “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.”. Brothers and sisters let us value “Singing and Praise” in our lives more than ever before, because the enemy is not happy when we are singing praises unto God.
Although we may not be together in the Church building to sing, we can still worship and fellowship in our own home because God is always worthy to be praised. Remember, when Israel was taken captive by the Babylonians away from their home and the temple, they found it hard to sing praises unto God in a foreign land (Psalm 137: 1 – 4). However, God wanted them to understand they ought to praise Him regardless of where they were in life. Social distancing might be keeping us apart physically, social distancing might be keeping us away from the Church building, but it cannot stop us from lifting our spirit and our voices singing and praising our Lord and Savior. As long as we have breath within us, we have the means to praise (Psalm 150: 6).
PRAISE THE MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS