The Worship Quote of the Week for (05/03/2005):

Singing the Psalms
Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is an introduction to the Psalter by John Stott.

If you have never heard John Stott preach, may I suggest that
you listen to his powerful message on Romans 11:33-36. Go to and click on “other resources.”

It would be impossible to stop Christians singing. One of the sure signs of the fullness of the Holy Spirit is to “sing and make music in your heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:18, 19). Especially when we come together to worship, our praises would be inconceivable without songs. So we say to one another, “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout aloud to the Rock of our Salvation” (Psalm 95:1).

In every generation new hymns have been written and published. Yet the oldest hymnbook of the church, the Psalter or Book of Psalms, has never lost its appeal.

Jesus Himself loved the Psalms. He often quoted them. He also applied some of them to Himself. He was David’s son and lord (Psalm 110), He said, and the rejected stone which became the building’s capstone (Psalm 118). He also saw Himself as experiencing the terrible sufferings of the innocent victim who is depicted, for example, in Psalms 22, 31, 41, and 59.

The reason why Christian people are drawn to the psalms is that they speak the universal language of human soul. . . . Whatever our spiritual mood may be, there is sure to be a psalm that reflects it—whether triumph or defeat, excitement or depression, joy or sorrow, praise or penitence, wonder or anger. Above all, the psalms declare the greatness of the living God as Creator, Sustainer, King, Lawgiver, Saviour, Father, Shepherd, and Judge. As we come to know him better through the Psalter, we fall down and worship Him.

—John Stott, from the preface to FAVORITE PSALMS. Chicago: Moody Press, 1989, p 5. ISBN 0-8024-4770-8.

[For many more wonderful quotes on worship and prayer by John Stott, please go to and click on “quote index” at the top left corner of the page.]

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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