I have enjoyed singing for as long as I can remember. As a young girl, I sang at school, sang around campfires, sang in a church choir, and sang at home daily while practicing the piano. As an adult, I continued singing in church, singing at home with my husband in times of worship, and just for our enjoyment. My life has been tied to “song.”
Neuroscientists, for the past fifteen years, have studied singing more closely. According to neuroscience, while singing, our neurotransmitters connect in new and different ways that supply us with profound benefits. Singing stimulates our right temporal lobe, which releases endorphins that stir up our creativity; this gets us out of the left analytical, processing side of our brain. We get stuck there regularly due to all the information we have to process daily. Singing puts us literally in our right mind – making us happier, healthier, and less anxious. And to top it off, when we sing with others in groups or choirs, there is a communal release of hormones, both serotonin, and oxytocin. These hormones bring about trust and bonding that naturally cause the synchronization of the beating of our hearts. Singing in a group unites hearts to beat as one!
God’s Word has essential things to say about singing. The Apostle Paul encouraged us in Ephesians 5:18 to “….be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” He also told us in Colossians 3:16, “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.” Paul was found practicing what he preached in prison with Silas in Philippi: “But at midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; immediately, all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were loosed.” I’ve experienced earthquakes all my life living in California, and never once have earthquakes produced prison foundations shaking, all the doors opening and chains being loosed. Their prayers and songs brought supernatural results because they were filled with the Spirit of God! Remember, Paul wrote, “…being filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.”
I will briefly mention the great battle in 2 Chronicles 20 where King Jehoshaphat and all Judah faced enemy armies on every side. The singers went out before the army, to sing to the Lord, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” All the armies began to fight one another rather than making a unified force against Judah. They fought and killed one another. The only action on the battlefield for Judah was singing and praising God! And I will leave you with that to consider in your life situations. If you’re feeling the pressure of life’s battles, sing to the Lord, be filled with His Spirit, and believe the victory we have in Christ!
In my own life, I continually enjoy how uplifting singing can be. You don’t have to be a ‘great singer’ to enter into these benefits that improve your quality of life, naturally and spiritually. All you have to do is sing, which you can do anywhere and at any time!
Sharon Stark is a wife, mother, grandmother and worshipper of Christ Jesus. A member of ZChurch and the ZTeam, Sharon has assisted in pioneer works, co-pastored and ministered in Africa and Mexico on short term mission trips. She sings daily.
Very encouraging Sharon and a good reminder to sing. I love how you brought in the neuroscience on singing.