But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.
When you are singing to God, singing is praying. Singing is part of our prayer life. Songs of joy, songs of praise, songs of love. God says to us, "Let them sing! Let them ever sing!"
It's rather surprising, in fact, how often the Psalms mention singing. Consider, for example this flurry of verses beginning with Psalm 95:
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
to you, O Lord, I will make music.
That's a flurry! And there's more.
But why all this emphasis on singing?
Music is powerful. Music is emotional. Music is passionate. Music so often is the language of love. At times mere words, music-less words, just won't do. We need to sing if we are going to adequately express the love and joy and exuberance we feel. Psalm 98 describes the heart that newly bursts with love and praise: "Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!" (98:4)
I love singing to God. I do it practically every day. And I can't sing worth a flip! But still, sing I do. I love it. And when we sing together, and the skilled musicians are playing and the praise singers are singing, and we are expressing the depths of our grace-filled hearts to God, and the presence of God fills the room, it just doesn't get much better. Our hearts are so full.
It's a gift. A gift from God. Songs of joy. Songs of love. Songs to Jesus.