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God has blessed humankind with the ability to sing. From patriarchal times we read of people singing (Genesis 31:27). The psalmist exhorts, “Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2). Paul and Silas sat with their feet in stocks in the sweltering, stinking dungeon. So what did they do? They sang! (Acts 16:25). That text indicates at least some of their songs were prayers. Did God hear and answer? You need only read the rest of the chapter to find out! Some of our songs are also prayers. Many others are designed to teach. Paul wrote that we are to be “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). He made the same point to the Colossians in slightly different words: “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (3:16). Several hundred songs appear in our hymnal. Even at that, we sing certain songs quite often, and there is nothing wrong with that. We must, however, avoid the trap of mouthing the words to a familiar tune while our minds wander elsewhere. We are worshiping! Here’s a shout-out to our brothers who lead the congregation in song. Let’s appreciate them and make their task as easy as possible by singing right along with them. We are participants, not spectators, in worship! A few years ago I heard brother Dalton Key make this remark: “The songs I like will tell you who I am.” Think about that!

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