This is an excerpt of a sermon from John Piper on Ephesians. The prayer following is what he asked his congregation to pray for their leaders who were in charge of assisting with singing. Please pray this for those of us who help plan the Sunday morning service.
"So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (18)And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, (19) speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; (20)always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father."
John Piper in regards to Ephesians 5:17-20….
Once you see this - that the work of the heart (the emotions) is as important for reflecting the glory of God as the work of the head (understanding) it is, then you will begin to see why music and singing is so important for Christian worship. The reason we sing is because there are depths and heights and intensities and kinds of emotion that will not be satisfactorily expressed by mere prosaic forms, or even poetic readings. There are realities that demand to break out of prose into poetry and some demand that poetry be stretched into song.
So music and singing are necessary to Christian faith and worship for the simple reason that the realities of God and Christ, creation and salvation, heaven and hell are so great that when they are known truly and felt duly, they demand more than discussion and analysis and description; they demand poetry and song and music. Singing is the Christian's way of saying: God is so great that thinking will not suffice, there must be deep feeling; and talking will not suffice, there must be singing.
1. that we would be filled with the Holy Spirit,
2. that all our worship would be "from the heart,"
3. that we would be radically God-focused and God-centered,
4. that all would be undergirded by deep, Biblical theology of God's sovereign goodness,
5. that we would provide the most helpful ways for you to speak to each other with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and
6. that we would embrace the variety of music and singing that is most helpful for this cultural setting and this great God.