ODJ: Singing Is Praying

September 27, 2018 

READ: Psalm 25:1-22 

O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God! (vv.1-2).

Sometimes we can feel guilty about our prayer lives. No matter how much we pray, we’re sure it’s never enough. We think we should pray more, but the phone’s ringing or emails are piling up or our toddler just squeezed syrup in her hair. What can we do? Consider this: you just might be praying more than you think!

Where could you turn in the Bible to find an inspired prayer? The book of Psalms. But the psalms are more than prayers. They’re Israel’s hymnal. Godly Jews didn’t merely recite the psalms in their quiet time. They sang the psalms with others in the synagogue. Their prayers were meant to be sung.

Consider Psalm 25, a song that includes many elements of prayer. Praise: “The Lord is good and does what is right” (v.8). “The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness” (v.10). “The Lord is a friend to those who fear him” (v.14). Confession: “Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth” (v.7). “For the honour of your name, O Lord, forgive my many, many sins” (v.11). Request: “Do not let me be disgraced” (v.2). “Show me the right path, O Lord” (v.4). “My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all!” (v.17).

Do you enthusiastically join others during worship? Do you catch yourself singing worship songs throughout the day? Then take heart. You’re praying more than you thought. Also take care. If singing is praying, then consider singing words that you would pray to God.

There will be days when it’s hard to pray. So sing instead. You’ll find it’s not really ‘instead’. Your songs, like the psalms themselves, are prayers. And prayers, whether spoken or sung, are received by God as the incense of heaven (Psalm 141:2; Revelation 5:8).

—Mike Wittmer

365-day plan: Matthew 27:57-66

Read Ephesians 5:15-20. How might “making music to the Lord” be one way we “make the most of every opportunity”? 
How can songs of praise be a vital form of expressing your love for God? What song will you sing as a prayer today?