When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (Mk. 14:26, NIV)
Can you picture Jesus and His disciples singing? What might Jesus’ voice have sounded like? An operatic baritone? A lyrical ballad singer? Is it possible that He might have sung slightly off-key (It’s not a sin to sing out of tune, after all, so couldn’t it be possible?)
In any event, Jesus did sing. And His disciples sang with Him. Since it was the Passover, tradition suggests that Jesus and His disciples probably sang Scripture prayers taken from Psalms 113- 118 and known as the “Hallel.”
Singing our worship and prayers has a way of engaging the heart that praying silently or even speaking words out loud does not. It is thoroughly biblical—angels sang at creation, sing now before God’s throne, and will continue singing into eternity. And God’s people, from Moses to David to Paul have also sung to God, privately, and in the congregation. Paul even tells us to “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:1, NIV).
So how about singing your prayers today instead of just saying them? Is there a worship song floating through your head? A favorite hymn? A song from a favorite Christian group? Maybe a YouTube video you could sing along with? Need some ideas? Consider these: “God, I Look to You,” “Jesus, Messiah,” “Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful,” “Rock of Ages,” “Whom Shall I Fear?” “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” or “How Great Thou Art.” Or, if you’re musically inclined, sing your own spontaneous song (or one adapted from words of Scripture) to the Lord. However you do it, let a song engage your heart with God’s as you sing to Him.