Sing the Scriptures

Featuring Paul Baloche Posted on January 14, 2010

Often your songs may spring out of the Word of God as you meditate on it in your quiet times. A passage touches something deep in you and begins to set itself to music. Here’s a good exercise to try.  Shut yourself in a quiet place where no one can hear you. It’s very important that you not feel self conscious. If you don’t have a place of solitude, just find the most private place you can and sing under your breath, or at whatever level you feel comfortable.

 Open your Bible to a psalm and begin to sing it aloud, improvising in real time. Read slightly ahead, making up the melody as you go. Maybe it’s a psalm where the psalmist pours out his heart to the Lord. Feel all the emotions and express them spontaneously with the words. At times you’ll find yourself singing ringing high tones on words of high praise, at other times almost whispering anguished cries of the psalmist’s heart, possibly in minor modes.

What this sounds like will differ from person to person, depending on one’s musical background. It probably won’t have any form but will be more like “stream of consciousness,” or like a recitative from an opera or oratorio. Don’t worry about that—it’s because there is probably no metrical form in the passage you’re singing. If you’re a good improvising instrumentalist, you may want to accompany yourself with appropriate chords. Even if you tape this for your own amazement, don’t consider it a song. No one else is likely to sing it. It’s very private. You may however, as a byproduct, come up with a line or two worth developing into a real song. Whether or not you do, you will be practicing valuable lessons of setting emotions to music.

“‘Shout to the Lord’ came while I was having a quiet time with the Lord,” Darlene says. “It was one of those dark days in my life, and I turned to the Lord for peace.” She sat at the piano, opened her Bible to the Psalms and started singing. The song took form and she sang it over and over again and it lifted her spirit.

Darlene ventured to sing the song for her worship pastor and another team member at Hills Church, where she sang in the worship team. “I could hardly play it, I was so nervous. I kept starting and stopping and apologizing.” Finally she made them stand with their backs to her as she sang to them. When they praised the song enthusiastically, she thought they were just being nice.

The worship team sang the song in church, and before it was even recorded, Darlene was amazed to start getting letters from all over the world from people who were singing it in their churches.

What started as the cry of a worshiper’s heart has resonated with the hearts of believers all over the world.

Tags: , ,