Time to get to the point. The nuts and bolts of Bible revealed personal worship are found in snippets–here a little, there a little. Occasionally, we will look at the Spirit of Prophecy affirmation of Scripture in this process. When it all comes together, it may look like rocket science–but we really must go one stage at a time. And in the interest of time, this particular issue will be divided into parts so that brevity will prevent system overload.
Opening Hymn: My Maker and My King (recommended)
When beginning your private devotion, you should open with a hymn. You may object, “But, I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket!” Still no excuse. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” KJV, 5:17-19, emphasis added. “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.” KJV, Colossians 3:16, emphasis added.
If your environment is insufficient to sing with an indoor, quiet, normal talking voice, then do it in a whisper. Hear the melody in your heart even if you cannot hear it in the whisper. Speaking or singing the words of the hymn for your ears to hear will involve that much more of your brain in the act of private devotions. It will strengthen your concentration and improve your mind to handle the precious truths God will reveal in the words of the hymn, and later, in the words of Scripture.
You may think you have no talent to sing. But if you practice in your private devotions, God will multiply the talent when it comes to public worship. I have a friend who loves music. When we first met, he couldn’t stay on key to save his life. He was a fairly new church member, in love with the truths of the Bible that gave him hope in Christ, and he was full of enthusiasm. When he sang, I tried not to cringe too noticeably. And I never tried to discourage him from singing in any way. But after a decade of practice, my friend’s talent was polished even if not perfect, noticeably improved in my hearing, and a blessing (I believe) to those who worshipped with us.
Ellen White wrote, “Music forms a part of God’s worship in the courts above, and we should endeavor, in our songs of praise, to approach as nearly as possible to the harmony of the heavenly choirs. The proper training of the voice is an important feature in education and should not be neglected. Singing, as a part of religious service, is as much an act of worship as is prayer. The heart must feel the spirit of the song to give it right expression.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, 594.)