February 3, 2008

Singing the Psalms

I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. ~Psalm 36:6

In Psalm 105:2 it says to "Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works." I love reading the Psalms and do so every evening before I get into bed. I try and read them aloud because there is something about "hearing" the Psalms that makes them all the more special (more powerful). In the Bible, we are encourage to sing the Psalms. This is sort of an old-fashioned practice that most Bible or non-denominational churches do not do. Only the most conservative churches still sing hymns and psalms each week. I think it is a shame that Christian's no longer follow the Lord's guidance and sing psalms to Him as a form of worship and praise. We favor popular Christian-rock, hip songs with a beat, that deal more with personal experience, than with worshipping the Lord. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy many of the contemporary Christian songs, especially those that are written around an old hymn or a psalm. I also love many of the contemporary songs that lift the name of the Lord and give us the opportunity to really worship Him.

I was thinking about singing the other day. I sing all the time, from the moment I get out of bed until the time I go to bed. I tend to sing while I do house work or other sort of mindless chores. Usually, I sing psalms, mostly without even knowing that I am doing it. I learned how to sing psalms when I first became a Christian. I attended a Lutheran church where we sang Psalm 51 before every communion service. I then attended a Disciples of Christ church where we sang Psalm 100 and Psalm 5:1 before every sunday school hour. Then throughout my growing up years, I learned a number of other psalms thanks to many wonderful artists like the Gaither's, Sandi Patty, and Kathy Troccoli. My husband and I have been long-time members at a large Bible church in Scottsdale, one that is well-known for it's impressive worship orchestra and choir. Over the past year or so, the Music Ministry department has started to incorporate more hymns and Psalms into worship. I wish they would do it more often, but I guess they feel they need to provide a 'balance' for the various members, many of whom, are new believers.

Recently, though, I have become more interested in learning how to sing the psalms properly. I found a link to this website while browsing the internet last week: Crown and Covenant Books
They have books for singing the psalms as well as CD recordings of the psalms so you can listen to them and learn them. I have added this link to my wish-list of purchases for our next school year.

I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
my God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised:
so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
~Psalm 18:1-3

Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence;
and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;
and uphold me with thy free spirit.
~Psalm 51:10-12

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.
Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King,
and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD;
in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
~Psalm 5:1-3

Oh, let us forget not to sing to the Lord, to tell of his wondrous works and to give Him praise with our hearts and our lips!

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