Why God Likes to Hear You Sing

Why God Likes to Hear You Sing

by Rachel Gregg

Anytime even a medium-sized group of Christians are gathered, it seems there’s bound to be a guitar. Christians sing...they sing a lot: in Sunday pews, around campfires, in backyards, and in living rooms. There’s a whole genre (and several sub-genres) of just Christian music.

So it's apparent musical worship is a big deal, but what exactly is worship and why should you use your voice to do it?

Worship is a Way to Respond to God and His Work in Your Life

Worship is how you express your adoration of God (Psalm 103:1-4). He has given you gifts, abilities, and interests. And when you use those gifts, abilities, and interests to serve him or to give him the credit for what you can do, that’s worship. It’s that simple.

That also means you can make worship a lifestyle: You can praise God while playing soccer or running, cooking, or doing homework, when you're alone or with a stadium full of people, in silence or with an orchestra.

Worship is a Way to Obey God

Scripture encourages, even commands, you to praise and honor God specifically by singing and playing music. The book of Psalms is literally full of examples of poets and instrumentalists composing songs to their Creator.

Ryan Cook, a member of the Urbana 12 worship team, says his favorite picture of musical worship comes from Psalm 150:

“As I read this Psalm, I imagine a giant orchestra of the most skilled musicians playing in response to God's power and awesomeness! I imagine hearing a gigantic wall of sound that can't be ignored—it draws you in and is only fit for a King!”

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary;

     praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power;

     praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
     praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,

     praise him with the strings and pipe,

praise him with the clash of cymbals,

     praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Worship Helps You Learn about God

Jackie Bode, a vocalist on the Urbana 12 worship team asks, “How do you remember the alphabet? Sing the alphabet song!” Catchy melodies, good or bad, easily take root in our minds. (Rebecca Black, anyone?)

“Imagine how your thoughts would be changed if you had songs about God's love and justice repeating in your mind throughout the day instead of lyrics that are not beneficial. When you have lyrics in your head that proclaim characteristics of God and his character, it reinforces Scripture.”

Ryan Cook points to Psalm 101:1, which reminds worshipers of God’s character and draws them into praise: “I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praise.”

Worship is Universal

Musical worship helps to connect you to God's mission and heart for the world. Laila Brand, a vocalist serving on the Urbana 12 worship team, sees musical worship as a way to connect emotionally to God’s heart with a large number of people.

“It’s universal,” Laila says. “Everyone can connect with music, regardless of their background.”

Sometimes when there are people of diverse backgrounds present, Christians will worship through songs in different languages or styles. By doing so, you get a taste of what heaven will someday be like. While we’re still on earth, diverse worship styles “communicate to people of different ethnic backgrounds that the gospel has the power to meet them in the context of their culture and experiences,” says Ryan.

For members of majority culture, worshipping in different languages or styles gives you the sense of being an outsider. In the end, it increases your capacity to be aware of others who regularly live in the margins of society, and it can set the stage for reconciliation.

No matter who you are, where you’re from, or how well you sing, God greatly desires you and your worship. He is pleased when you praise him.