Singing Out Loud

April 12, 2022

I will sing of your salvation. —Psalm 71:15

During Lent last year, our church offered a variety of small groups as we tried to take concrete actions of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. There were groups focused on reducing clutter (“making space for grace”), fasting from technology, fasting from Amazon shopping, reading and journaling with a daily devotional, daily poem writing, walking and picking up litter, etc. I joined a group committed to singing out loud each day—wherever we found ourselves when the inspiration struck. The invitation was to use our voices as instruments of praise, lament, or petition—to sing out to God whatever we were thinking and feeling. I have never sung in a choir before, and I’m not the type to break into song when showering, driving, or cleaning the house, but I have always enjoyed singing in church. It gives me the sense that “to sing is To Pray twice.” So I signed up, despite my self-consciousness and my question, “How will I know what to sing each day?”

I didn’t remember to sing out loud every single day of Lent, but I did more often than not. I was pleasantly surprised at how lifting my voice lifted my spirits. Instead of listening to the news on the car radio as I usually do, I listened to music and sang along. I went through an old playlist and fondly remembered singing certain songs with college friends many years ago, which prompted me To Pray for them. I sang along to songs that my husband had introduced me to when we were first dating—and subsequently felt closer to him. Sometimes I sang the songs from church the previous Sunday (making that prayer count four times, right?), and sometimes it was radio favorites from my childhood. Singing out loud had a cumulative effect over those six weeks that felt like praise and thanksgiving. There’s something to be said for singing of God’s salvation rather than talking of God’s salvation.

For Action: Pick a song—any song—that has a flavor of praise to it, and sing it out loud today.

To Pray: Gracious God, too often I forget to praise and thank you. Receive my thanksgiving and praise for you now.