Why You Should Sing Praise to God More Often

Man on mountain praising God
Photo: Joshua Earle via Unsplash

Why You Should Sing Praise to God More Often


My wife and I were leading a retreat recently. She and I run the Alpha program at our church and it was time for our Alpha Day, which focuses on the Person of the Holy Spirit.

An important part of that day is inviting attendees to expressive praise of God through singing. Despite my musical limitations, I played guitar for this day and my wife led our singing.

Because I play so seldom, when I do break out the guitar I always get pain in my fingers (because the callouses a guitar player is supposed to have on his finger tips have long faded away). But despite the discomfort, it is always such an enlivening experience to praise God!

It was the case for our attendees as well. One experienced a physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit (sometimes these come as tingles, or a feeling of heat on ones hands or somewhere else on the body). Others experienced other feelings- comfort, consolation, awe.

We had a similar time of praise and prayer at an Alpha session on healing, and though I was focusing on my own prayer (and trying to remember the chords of the songs), I didn't see it but was told that many of the attendees were moved to tears (another manifestation of the Spirit).

I remember how powerful and unexpected it was when I once felt God’s presence while praising. It caught me completely off guard, and truth be told, it changed my life (read more about that here, or check out the video below).  

It is fitting for the Christian to sing to his maker. Here are 4 reasons why we should praise God this way more often:

1. It is in the Bible

A tiny sampling of encouragement to praise God in the Bible:

Because thy steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise thee.
So I will bless thee as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on thy name
(Psalm 63:3-4)

Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
(Psalm 47:1,6)

I will sing of loyalty and justice;
to thee, O Lord, I will sing.

(Psalm 101:1)

"Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes;
to the LORD I will sing,
I will make melody to the LORD, the God of Israel.

(Judges 5:3)

When we read such exhortations, doesn’t it make you want to sing?

2. It engages the heart

We are called to love our God with all our mind, heart, soul and strength (cf. Mk 12:33; Lk 10:27).

We can prefer to engage things with our head more than our heart. I think of a time we were running an evangelization program at our parish. For the first few weeks we had talks but no music. Then we introduced some songs of praise before the talks, and for some people this was the turning point.

One lady said it was then, in singing, that she felt connected back to the faith of her youth.

When things feel arid, or even when things are great, singing praise to God can bring our heart into the process, connecting us with our both our past and our ultimate destiny.

3. It edifies us with joy

Pope Francis notes in Evangelii Gaudium that there are Christians “whose lives seem like Lent without an Easter.” (6)

Singing praise to God is an antidote to this!

Pope Francis speaks of people whose lives seem like Lent without an Easter. Praising God is an antidote to this!

We praise because it is fitting to give God honour. It is good on its own. But it is also ok to acknowledge that it brings us joy! It edifies us.

“Cantare amantis est” ("To sing is the act of the lover"), says St. Augustine. The lover delights in the loved one and in the act of loving.

And (spoiler alert) love comes from God. So amazingly, he gives us the love to love. i.e. we love him and he fills us up with more love to give.

It’s a true win-win.

4. It unifies people before God

Singing praise to God can be a beautiful communal act. It brings people together in one aim, in one heart.

Fill the heavens with one accord,
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord.   

Analogous to when believers receive Jesus in Holy Communion, singing praise together similarly (through to a less perfect degree) unifies us into one.

So inviting people to an experience where praise happens can be a powerful and transcendental thing. We might think, how might our friends and family benefit from such an encounter? 

Again, this is our ultimate destiny, to praise God for eternity with all angels and saints. And we can touch this in the hear and now when we go before God in song.


I think that it is so unfortunate that we Catholics don’t have experiences of extended praise more often. What kind of changes might we witness in people’s lives if we did?

Do you get a chance to really praise God often? What difference might it make in your relationship with him if you did?

Question: Where can you go find (or create) space to enter into sung praise of God?

It is fitting for the Christian to sing to his maker. Here is why we should praise God this way more often — Josh Canning

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