Recently while I was watching our baby Samuel, I found myself dancing with him around our kitchen to hymns and songs of praise coming from our Apple HomePod. When we’re not dancing together, Samuel has begun to bounce along to the music in his bouncer suspended from the doorframe. The songs we listen to lately are creative and upbeat arrangements of hymns like “Crown Him with Many Crowns” and “How Marvelous, How Wonderful” from the album, Getty Kids Hymnal: Family Hymn Sing. A seasoned pastor and father was once asked how he and his wife trained their children to know and love the Lord, and the first thing he said was, “We filled our home with the songs of the Lord.”[1] Those words have remained with me, both as a new father and as a pastor who leads God’s people in song.


In James 5:13, James is exhorting his readers to direct every situation in life to God: Are you suffering? Pray. Are you sick? Ask for the church to pray and anoint you. But in between these exhortations, there is another that is probably not often cited: “Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise.”


Singing praise is a spiritual discipline that we are called to engage in every season, but James encourages us to sing praise particularly when we are cheerful. That’s what I hope we’re cultivating when we dance with Samuel in the kitchen. But there are any number of other moments and ways we could sing praise when we’re cheerful. Maybe you’ve had a great day at work. Why not sing along with a praise song in the car on your way home? Or perhaps you’re enjoying a beautiful and quiet Saturday morning at home. Why not sing a hymn with your morning devotion? Maybe you just got the notification that you’ve been accepted to a school. Why not sing the doxology?


There are many resources to help us sing songs of praise throughout the week. The Getty Kids Hymnal albums are great music for children, as is Sandra McCracken’s Rain for Roots project. You might also listen to the Holy Trinity Spotify playlist, which contains songs we sing in worship at church (just search “Holy Trinity Anglican Church” on Spotify). All these are great ways to “fill our homes with the songs of the Lord.”

[1] From a story Keith Getty shared at a workshop I attended last fall about a conversation with John MacArthur.