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ODJ: Songs in the Night

February 4, 2017 


Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God (v.25). 

READ: Acts 16:16-40 

Keith Getty, cowriter of the classic modern hymn “In Christ Alone,” says that believers in Jesus “want to sing deep things about God.” He would like to see local churches using a rich repertoire of both traditional and new songs—music that can truly carry us through life and its challenges. Getty encourages pastors to select forty to fifty songs they want their people to grow old singing, then make sure they sing them at least twice each year.

We pray when we’re in trouble. But when we’re in deep trouble, either depressed or physically weak, it can be hard to muster the energy to pray. So God gave us songs.

Paul and Silas knew when to lift a tune. They’d been “severely beaten” by a mob armed with “wooden rods.” They were then thrown into “the inner dungeon” and had their feet clamped “in the stocks” (Acts 16:22-24). Their bruised bodies slumped against the wall in the damp darkness while blood trickled from gashes they couldn’t see. Yet, praise for God filled their hearts and they began to sing.

There’s a reason why athletes pump themselves up with music. Music touches our heart and lifts our spirits. It’s a boost for the soul. Though the bodies of Paul and Silas were shackled in a cold dungeon, their souls grabbed hold of a melody and were lifted above the pit of despair. And so, “Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening” (v.25).

What are your favorite worship songs? We should choose our songs carefully, for they’re essentially sung prayers. We should sing only what we would pray, because that’s exactly what we’re doing. May God lift us as we lift a tune to Him today!

—Mike Wittmer

365-day plan: Exodus 5:1-23

MORE
Read Ephesians 5:18-20 and ponder the role music should play in your life. 
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What’s your favorite worship song? Sing it now, worshiping our great God!