Sung or Said

One or more of the following may Psalms is sung or said

Psalm 119: Your word is a lantern to my feet, and a light upon my path.

Psalm 121: I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?

Psalm 126: When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, they were we like those who dream…

It makes a difference, whether you sing or say a psalm. Psalms are poems, sung or spoken in Jewish and Christian worship services. Singing comes from a different place in the heart and brain than speaking does – it’s why people who cannot speak can sing (and swear!).

There are times when I cannot speak to God. Words fail me, or seem incapable of conveying what is most important and true for me. Grief can steal my words; anger can keep me from talking with God; I can murmur memorized words without really paying any attention to them or God.

Singing is different. It bypasses my grief, anger, and complacency. Singing can bring me before God when I most need to be there and I am least able to find my way.

There is such wisdom in setting our prayers to music. Sing along, why don’t you?

Published by

Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

4 thoughts on “Sung or Said”

  1. Ned Wright writes:
    “In particular, I propose in this book that the regular praying and singing of the Psalms is transformative. It changes the way we understand some of the deepest elements of who we are, or rather, who, where, when, and what we are: we are creatures of space, time, and matter, and though we take our normal understandings of these for granted, it is my suggestion that the Psalms will gently but firmly transform our understandings of all of them. They do this in order that we may be changed, transformed, so that we look at the world, one another, and ourselves in a radically different way, which we believe to be God’s way.”
    Let all the people say (or sing) “AMEN”!

    Excerpt From: N. T. Wright. “The Case for the Psalms.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-case-for-the-psalms/id599882653

  2. Johnna,
    I couldn’t agree more! So often when words escape me I am able to express myself in song. Singing/music bypasses the thoughts and pulls from a deeper part of the soul, evoking emotions in the singer and the listener that often get lost by just merely speaking the words. Songs weave the stories in a different way,
    So often when we are moved by something being sung we will say “ that person is singing from the heart.” How beautiful ……and what a gift!

    1. Thanks, Debbie! One of the choir directors I knew had a sign posted on his board: Those who sing pray twice. I”ll add “that person is singing from the heart” to my thoughts on it. Peace, Johnna

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