Singing is a beautiful and powerful channel that can delight, encourage and inspire. In our communion with God, singing is one of the upmost of our expressions of praise, worship, and thanks. It is right and acceptable to God when done sincerely and from an honest heart – even if it is not perfectly in tune.

Due to the potential increased risk of coronavirus transmission from airborne droplets, the Government has issued restrictions and guidance concerning communal singing in churches. While we know that such measures are necessary to help keep ourselves and others safe, many will find it a great challenge not being able to connect with fellow believers and God through praise and worship songs as we continue to return to our church buildings. 

We’re not to lose heart, however, as this does allow perfect timing to sing in our personal surroundings. We can embrace this aspect of our Christian worship like never before in our private spaces – just you and God and perhaps those you live with, family members or even flatmates. After all, whether in a leading worship setting, ministering in song, in a congregation, alone at home or with relatives or friends, our singing should be raised to God first. 

A new melody

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The coronavirus pandemic has seen songwriters penning their expressions. Drawing immediate attention is the title of Kim Collingsworth’s song Joy is not cancelled’. Perhaps, looking backwards to move forwards and upwards are the songs and exhortations of the Psalms from the vivacious, brave and God-loving King David. Various songs have been written based on or inspired by David’s beloved 23rd Psalm, The Lord is my shepherd’.

For myself as songwriter, the pandemic inspired me to write No other place to go’. My consideration was the core feeling in the 23rd Psalm of the only perfect healing, welcome, hiding, comfort and resting place is with our God. Each attribute in the verses are the faint earthly gleanings of the sheer beauty and joy experienced in the presence of Jesus. 

There is no other healing place
And there’s no other well
Where I can calm
My mind and soul
No other place to go”

Tips to get started

One of the simplest ways to sing your joy in your private space is to sing along to a CD, DVD or online video. Alternatively, join in at a televised service or radio broadcast and sing along at the appropriate time during the Christian worship service. Sing freely along to your favourite worship songs and alongside your favourite Christian singers.

If you have a hymn book at home, now is the time to dust it off and open it to some of the great hymns and songs there. How Great Thou Art’, Leaning on the everlasting arms’, Amazing Grace’, Breathe on me breathe of God’, are just a few of the classics you’ll possibly see there. Set aside a time and sing through some of those great words. If you have family or friends at home with you, why not gather with them, letting the strongest voice lead? Share this as God and family time together.

If you are on your own at home, set aside a time; I find mornings best. This could also be your prayer time. You could start with the simplest chorus or worship song – the less lines, the better. Sing them over and over and over again, until the song penetrates through in the spirit. 

Sing out unafraid and then don’t fear to sing silent’ by hearing the song from within. Consider the words in Hebrews enlightening us about the myriads of angels singing in joyful assembly in that all-embracing heavenly realm where we hope to enter with our singing (Hebrews 12:22).

Start with a song you know well, perhaps one remembered from childhood. It could be the popular, simple yet profound Jesus loves me’ or the modern day Shine Jesus Shine’. In any case, don’t be at all surprised if this song you’ve embedded in your spirit in the morning returns to your mind and lips at unexpected times during the day.

If you have a hymn book at home, now is the time to dust it off and open it to some of the great hymns and songs there.