Let Us Sing

Do I hear singing?

In a prison cell?

“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them …” (Acts 16:25)

This week, we’ve been spending some time with Paul and Silas in a rather distressing situation – as they sit in a cold dark cell uncertain of what the next day might offer. We have thought together about what they might have been praying. However, these hurting prisoners were not only praying, they were also singing hymns to God. 

These hymns, of course, were not any of our familiar hymns – but I think we can imagine the flavor of the hymns they were singing. They were singing TO God – they were actually worshipping – no doubt praising God for His goodness, His faithfulness! They weren’t singing some of those country music songs that sound more like lamentations – bemoaning the unfairness of life. They were singing praises to God!

Music may not be your “go to” when life presents you with awful stuff, but you might want to consider it! I love music – I wake up singing a song to myself (often some praise song we sang the previous Sunday). When I need an extra boost of energy to accomplish some mundane household task, I turn on oldies music full blast and soon find myself smiling as I tackle my chore. When I need to redirect my focus upward, I turn on Christian music and sing along.

I looked up some of the benefits of singing – just because I’m a curious sort of person – and found an article that listed twenty-one! Among them were: improves your posture, helps with sleep, lowers stress levels, improves mental alertness, enhances mood, energizes, stimulates creativity – all rather convincing reasons for adding singing to your daily routine!

But perhaps the most important benefit of singing praises TO God – actually directing our singing God-ward – may be that it adjusts our focus from our problem to our Problem-Solver, from our sense of being wronged to the One who will make all things right, from our hopeless situation to our Hope-Giver.

The situation was indeed horrible for Paul and Silas, and their future was uncertain. Yet they sang. Let us do the same. Will you take a moment and focus on the faithfulness of our God by lifting up to Him this chorus from an old hymn by B.B. McKinney:

“Have faith in God, He’s on His throne;
Have faith in God, He watches o’er His own;
He cannot fail, He must prevail;
Have faith in God, have faith in God.”


By Judy Shrout

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