Adventist Online

Hear that: a few years ago, I mean recent years, some well meaning people made you feel that if you do not pray the Prayer of Jabez, you have not started praying as yet. Nowadays in some congregations, you have not started to worship if you do not have a Praise and Worship session.
What think ye?

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By "praise and worship," the person probably meant that time where we have a team of song leaders taking the congregation through a session of singing mostly contemporary worship songs in contemporary style. For me, that's just the in-thing; it's what most western protestant churches are doing. It's "good and pleasant;" it's comely--when well done. But it's not indispensable. Far from that. To think that way is to imply that before "Praise and Worship" sessions became the vogue, no congregation really entered into a worship experience. (Really?) Forty years ago, we had no Praise and Worship sessions. What did we miss? Guess what: if we're around the next fifty to sixty years, we may be doing things differently. What then?
I contend that we have always had praise and worship, but not necessarily with capital P and W (the current format, of sining contemporary songs). And true, true, my brother, when our singing consisted of lusty roof raising, mainly vocal (unaccompanied by musical instruments) rendition of Church Hymnal and Singing Youth, and even more recently Advent Youth Sings, songs and choruses, we praised, and we really did worship. We do the same today, when our songs of praise ascend from hearts of gratitude to God, drawn from an experience of daily fellowship with Him. Let the soul be immersed in Him, songs of praise and worship (contemporary or otherwise) will arise spontaneously from our lips, not because it is required of us, nor because it is that time in the worship service.
I would like to suggest though, that our members seek to develop a better appreciation for the many meaningful songs in the SDA Hymnal, which speak of our identity, mission and destiny, which spell out the distinctives of our faith. We need more musicians (not just instrumentalists) who can learn the hymns, and songs of praise and worship, and teach them to the church. Trust me, if we did more of that, we would find so much soul satisfaction in those songs, that we would not crave so much the generic music imported from our religious neighbors.
A thought (not an attempt to denigrate the contemporary songs): could it be that in matters of singing the songs of Zion, we have forsaken to some extent the fountains of living water, and drinking from patched up cisterns?


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