Many of us would like to get together to sing but it’s on the ‘not allowed’ list. If its importance is questioned one would only need to count up the number of choirs in Warwickshire to realise that singing is enjoyed by a large number of people throughout the country. Not long before COVID-19 raised its evil head, I had to leave the choir I had enjoyed for years due to ill health and I had just joined the Harmony singing group. Sunday came, the Chapel was closed, so I went for a walk along country roads and I sang. I sang to the sheep, I sang to the cows, I even sang to a cyclist passing by who probably thought I was strange but what I was doing was lifting myself out of the sadness that had come over me on that first day of Lockdown.
My suggestion for this week is to sing. Why? Because it is uplifting, and research has shown that the benefits to our lives are great and overwhelming. Each Sunday during lockdown I have enjoyed the church service arranged online by the Reverend James Church, which gives me the opportunity to sing along in my lounge. I then turn on to Songs of Praise and sing along again. I know that until the pandemic is over, I will sing as much as I can and I urge everyone to try to do the same.
In Psalm 40, King David, after he’d been through the mire writes, “God put a new song in my mouth”. James wrote, “If anyone of you is in trouble he should pray. If anyone happy let him sing” (James 5 v.13). Even Job who had been through terrible times said people don’t ask the question ‘Where is God’ because he showed them by his faith that God gave him songs in the night (Job 35 v.10).
PRAYER TIMEAll the prayers this week will be taken from hymns that we love to sing.
PRAISE: “Praise my soul the King of heaven, to his feet thy tribute bring. Praise Him Praise the everlasting King!”
“Sing praise to the Lord all people on earth; in tuneful accord sing praise; praise Him for His grace from above.”
FORGIVENESS: “Dear Lord and Father of mankind forgive our foolish ways, reclothe us, in purer lives thy service…”
“O for a heart to praise my God; Gracious lord, write thy new name upon my heart, thy blest name of love.”
DISCIPLESHIP: “Hushed was the evening hymn, when suddenly a voice divine rang through the silence… O give me Samuel’s mind, a sweet unmurmuring faith, obedient and resigned to you in life and death.”
“Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy; in joyful obedience your tasks to fulfil, your bondage, freedom, service strong.”
FAITH: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, seek and ye shall find, ask and knock to open…”
“O Jesus I have promised to serve thee to the end. O guide me, call me, draw me, uphold me to the end.”
HOPE: “Sometimes a light surprises a Christian while he(she) sings. It is the lord who rises with healing in his wings”
PROCLAIMING: “Colours of day dawn into the mind, the day hast begun. So light up the fire & let the flame burn.”
FOR THE WORLD: “Brother, sister let me serve you, let me be as Christ to you, I will hold the Christ-Christ light for you, I will share your joy and sorrow, when you laugh, I’ll laugh with you, till we’ve seen this journey through.”
FATHER & SON: “To God be the glory, great things He has done! So loved he the world that he gave us His Son.
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father through Jesus the Son and give Him the glory- great things He has done!”
The parts of the Hymns speak for themselves when read as prayers.
Have you recognised twelve Hymns? If you need a hymn book, ask me and I will deliver one to you.