P-articipate. Don’t just sit there, sing! Omitting a command is as wrong as adding to one. Remember that being able to bring praise to the throne of God is a high honor and deserves our full participation.
O-pen your mind. Think about what you are saying in song. Avoid “remote control” singing. May we never, in this “exercise,” be using our lips with hearts far from God.
W-orship. Realize that the deliberate exercise of worship in song is as much an activity of worship as prayer, preaching, or observing the Lord’s Supper. The Hebrews’ writer draws on the imagery of Old Testament worship, offering sacrifices, to show how singing is worship. He exhorts, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise ot God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Heb. 13:15).
E-xpect results. Worshipping God in song softens our spirits, sobers our mind, and fills our heart. Singing teaches, reminds, admonishes, challenges, and comforts us. It can produce peace, joy, hope, love, introspection, warning, and brotherly affection. If we will invest, we will be rewarded.
R-aise your voice. This is a lesson we often try to stress with our boys. Mumbling, “lipping,” or whispering the words to songs will not teach or admonish or fulfill the command to “speak to one another” (cf. Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19). Don’t think you have a pretty voice? I say this in love, but “so what?” Fortunately for many of us, that’s not what’s commanded. Don’t scream, but let your voice be heard.
F-eel what you sing. It seems that singing, by design, strikes a chord in the human spirit (see “expect results”). That requires deliberate investment in the activity. If we are audibilizing “Sing And Be Happy,” “There’s Sunshine In My Soul Today,” or “I’m Happy Today,” make sure to wipe off the scowl for at least those few verses. If the song is an admonition, be taught. If it is praise to God, pour out your heart to Him. If it is about appreciating God’s love or the cross, let there be a commensurate emotional response.
U-nite. While songs of praise are directed vertically, so many of our songs also have the added, horizontal dimension to them. Singing is a God-given way we unite in fellowship during worship. It is perhaps the most demonstrable way and certainly the most audible.
L-ove to sing. Surely, some must love it better than others. Not everyone has a burning desire to go over to friends’ homes to sing or to come early to services for “singing practice.” Some even stay home on nights when the congregation plans a “worship in song” service. May it be suggested that loving to worship in song may well be an insulation against apostasy and a safeguard against sin. David was the sweet singer of Israel. Look at Deborah. Consider Paul and Silas at midnight over at the jail. Moses had his song. The more you put your heart and mind into it, overcoming any self-consciousness or insecurity, the more you will love it, too.
Yes, how P-O-W-E-R-F-U-L is worshipping God in song. He asks for it. He pays attention to it. He is honored and praised by it. He blesses us through it. So, then, as the song leaders say, “Let us sing.”