Wise Singing

Wise Singing
by Joni Eareckson Tada
“I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.”
1 Corinthians 14:15-16
The other week during Sunday worship service, I was singing, “Take my voice and let me sing, always, only, for my King. / Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold. / Take my will and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine…” Suddenly I was jolted, What in the world am I singing?! These are powerful words!
I have glossed over the text to that hymn — and others — many times. Sometimes if I know the song, I’ll sing by rote. I’ll put myself on automatic and just let the music carry me. Other times, the tune becomes the focus and I work hard to get the harmony notes just right. But I often fail to “sing with my mind,” as today’s verse says.
If only people in the pews could stand on the platform and observe the congregation singing during an average church service. It would reveal many who have come to church without the express purpose of encountering God or truly worshiping him. What does it mean to sing with our spirits and our minds? It means happy, intelligent praise. In short, to sing with your mind, is to sing what you mean… and mean what you sing.
This Sunday when you sing praise choruses or hymns, ask the Lord to prepare your heart and mind before each song. Ask the Spirit of Christ to quicken the words on the page, illumine your understanding of the text, and make your worship of Him pure and purposeful as you sing. Pray that others around you will sing the same way!
Help me to worship You in spirit and in truth, dear Lord. And when I worship You in song — no matter what day of the week — I want to sing with my spirit, as well as sing with my mind.
Joni and Friends
Taken from Pearls of Great Price
Copyright © 2006
By Joni Eareckson Tada
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.
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