“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” – Psalms 22:3
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” – Psalms 34:1
Who has ever been in a church where there is true worship of the Lord in praise and song and felt the powerful, tangible presence of the Holy Spirit fill the sanctuary? I have and it’s one of the most beautiful things one can experience.
Singing unto the Lord, whether you believe it or not, is a weapon used for spiritual warfare. Feel depressed and oppressed? Sing with all of your heart and soul to the Lord. I have heard testimonies of people receiving deliverance in the midst of singing to the Lord in praise and worship. I believe the reason it can be so powerful and effective is that satan’s kingdom absolutely hates to be in the presence of a Christian worshiping and praising the Lord in spirit and truth.
Many likely never associated singing and warfare together, as opposed to just praying and fasting. But singing is actually used in warfare in the Bible which would make sense. What makes one more aligned with God’s kingdom and against the Adversary than raising your voice to heaven with all of your heart and mind praising God in hymns or songs? Surely the devil hates such a posture.
As stated numerous times here, spiritual warfare is real, and humanity is the target of satan’s kingdom. What is spiritual warfare? Spiritual warfare is that conflict being waged in the invisible, spiritual realm that is being manifest in the visible, physical realm and affects all of us. We see it every day in our lives, and in the lives of others.
In pagan societies, they know their chants or singing conjures up their gods or spirits (which are really demons). According to the late Bible teacher Derek Prince, it was common for kings going to war in Biblical times to fight on the supernatural plane as they were fighting in the natural plane (Lucifer Exposed, 99).
We are in the midst of a spiritual battle (Eph. 6:10-17) and worship in singing can be an authoritative tool for spiritual warfare with incredible power to demolish strongholds and bring freedom from the enemy. Indeed, “for the weapons of our warfare not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;” (2 Cor. 10:4). The most blatant example of weaponized singing is in 2 Chronicles 20. Jehosophat, King of Judan, received the news that many nations around him were going to wage war against him.
20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. 21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.
22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. 23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
On a practical level, there is no purpose to put singers in the frontlines in battle. However, they knew singing to the Lord is worship and will draw the presence of the Lord. These songs caused the enemies to be confused and resulted in them killing each other. As a result of the worship coming from those appointed to sing at the frontline of the battle, the enemies were defeated!
However, we should never worship God because it benefits us. We should do it because God is worthy (Psalms 18:3; Revelation 4:11). We worship God no matter how dire our situation is. Indeed, we were created to glorify God.
Don’t underestimate singing unto the Lord. In heaven, there is a lot of singing going on (Rev. 5:8-14; Rev. 14:1-5). And it’s okay if your singing sounds like a screaming cat and can shatter windows. God looks at the heart anyways (1 Sam. 16:7).
Biblical passages about singing to the Lord
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts TO THE LORD.” – Colossians 3:16
“I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing PRAISE to thy name, O thou most High” – Psalm 9:2
“Sing praises TO THE LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.” – Psalm 9:11
“(A Psalm of praise.) Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” – Psalms 100:1-2
“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” – Psalms 95:1-2
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” – Ephesians 5:19
“A Psalm. O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.” – Psalms 98:1
Isaiah 12:2 sums it up wonderfully, “. . .for the LORD JEHOVAH is . . . MY SONG . . .”
“1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. 2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. 3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. 4 How shall we sing the LORD’S SONG in a strange land?” – Psalms 137:1-4
“1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 3 And he hath put a NEW SONG in my mouth, even PRAISE unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” – Psalm 40:1-3
“I will sing a NEW SONG unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.” – Psalm 144:9
Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a NEW SONG, and his praise in the congregation of saints. Psalm 149:1
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and SPIRITUAL songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16
“Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.” – Psalms 33:3
“O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.” – Psalms 96:1
“Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” – Psalms 30:4
“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints.4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” – Revelation 15:3 – 15:4
“For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.” – Nehemiah 12:46
“I will also praise thee with the psaltery, [even] thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. 24 My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.” – Psalm 71:22-24 – 22
“(To the chief Musician upon Gittith, [A Psalm] of Asaph.) Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. 2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.” – Psalms 81:1 – 81:2
“I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” -Psalm 13:6
“21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy [endureth] for ever. 22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.” – 2 Chronicles 20:21-22