Worship as Prayer
Worship isn’t just corporate, it is personal. The choir is meant to lead the congregation in worship, not to perform for them. They direct us. The choir was placed earlier in the loft, but usually stays behind the pulpit (primarily since the Reformation), in order for the larger congregation to see how to respond and, when the special is going on, to participate vicariously through the expressions and feelings of the singers.
Corporate worship is enhanced by personal worship through the week. Singing is a great part of that because sometimes we cannot express the depths of our souls any other way but through song. That’s why God gave it to us. Our souls include our minds, wills and emotions. We can choose to worship God and use our minds to that effect, but sometimes even great truths cannot find their fullest expression in our persons until we express our devotion to our Lord through song. Remember that the Psalms were simply Israel’s Hymnal.
Songs are many times praise. Remember that God inhabits the praise of His people, and songs of praise to the Lord often are a wonderful weapon against depression, spiritual defeat, fatigue, and other Satanic devices. Keneniah led the singers of Israel in their assault on Jericho. It was the singers and not the worldly weapons that caused the walls to fall. Our weapons are not the same as the world, but are strong to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Corinthians 10).
Personal worship through song enhances our relationship with God. Praise and worship of God can take place through song and through prayer, so personal song can be a form of prayer as well. We can pray through music, when we cannot express our thoughts and emotions in another way.