Published October 4, 2011

Paul's Epistle...

Back in July I did an all-hymns program and a column here about the undeniable worth of the old hymns of the church to today's church. One of our readers, Peggy Dunn, sent along a column she had written about the same thing, published in her local newspaper. She provides first-hand evidence of the power of singing God's praises. With her permission, I'd like to share that column with you today. Try what she recommends. It works!

- Paul

"Powerful Singing "
by Peggy Dunn

Have you ever been really frightened — afraid to move on your bed, holding your breath, thinking you heard strange noises in the house? Maybe you were sure you saw a man-sized shadow in the hallway. Or, maybe you had a bad case of the "what ifs"?

A few years back, when my husband worked a night shift, I was alarmed several times without cause. Fear, and its ungodly partner, doubt, were my unwelcome visitors when they found me alone. As sure as I settled into my bedroom to read or to pray, I became disturbed.

I tried several things to overcome my fears, but didn't succeed until one night I used a song. Recalling a proverb which says the name of the Lord is a strong tower, and that the righteous run into it and are safe, I loudly sang a hymn — "Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him, how I've proved Him o'er and o'er; Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, oh for grace to trust Him more." At the sound of Jesus' name, the shadow of fear disappeared, and doubt lost its influence.

"The Lord will command his loving kindness in the daytime and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life" (Psalm 42:8). A prayer may be silent and meditative, but a song must be sung to be most effective. Singing is an action which requires a certain amount of faith, and faith brings deliverance.

Unlike my imagined intruders, life in this world sometimes brings real and dangerous enemies. In those times having faith in God is our best defense. I believe singing is a way of strengthening faith and restoring hope that God will come through for us.

In II Chronicles 20, I read how King Jehoshaphat received word that a huge army of his enemies were on the march against him. He commanded his people and together they sought the Lord for deliverance, saying, "We don't know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." God gave an answer through a prophet who told them, "Do not be afraid ... for the battle is not yours, but God's. ...Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!" Jehoshaphat and the people bowed themselves and worshiped God. Then they stood up and worshiped the Lord with loud voices.

The next morning Jehoshaphat appointed singers to praise the greatness of God and sent them out ahead of the army. As they sang and praised the Lord, the Lord delivered them, completely destroying their enemies. Singing and praising God required putting faith into action, but through this God brought victory.

Though many difficulties and disastrous events touch our lives, we should get out the hymnals and worship melodies and sing. And not just on Sunday. Use tapes and CDs, old records; listen while others sing God's praises. God's presence is in the praises of his people. Invite his presence, night and day. There are volumes of songs which remind us of the greatness of God, of his loving kindness, and of past victories. We may use those, or as we are many times encouraged to do in the Scriptures, sing new songs of praise unto the Lord. We need to keep singing.

Above column copyright Peggy L. Dunn. Used by permission.

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