On Prayer and Song

I have a needlepoint on my bookshelf that was given to me many years ago with a quote that is attributed to St. Augustine - “He who sings prays twice.”  It is a sentiment that is borne out by our worship life in the Church.  So much of what we do in worship grows out of singing.  There is something about singing that draws the heart of the believer in to a deeper appreciation of God’s Word that merely speaking the words cannot do.  Each of us has a favorite hymn or part of the liturgy that resonates in our hearts like nothing else is able to do.  John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, instructed his followers to sing and not worry about how harmonious they might be as the act of singing helps the faith to grow.

Luther also saw that music could encourage and teach the faith in a way that nothing else could do.  He wrote several hymns and encouraged Lutherans to sing in worship, a tradition that we still follow today and for which we can give God thanks and praise for voices lifted to Him in song.