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Christian Music As Therapy, A Biblical Perspective

Posted by on Aug 3, 2012 in Biblical Counseling Topics, Christian Music Therapy |

Christian Music As Therapy, A Biblical Perspective

“. . . Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord . . .  (Ephesians 5:19).”

God is exalted when we praise him in song. He even inspires sacred music to help us and gave us an entire songbook in the Bible – Psalms of David.  The Psalms (sacred songs, spiritual poems or hymns) teaches us that praise and worship music stirs the soul, causes your spirit to be uplifted and helps you to enter into throne room of God.  This can promote holistic healing!  The Apostle Paul helps us to understand the benefit of sacred music in his teachings to the early church at Ephesus (cf. Ephesians 5:19).

Music can be a great catalyst for therapeutic healing if it is the right kind of music.  However, not everything that is called Gospel or Christian will have a positive impact on your health, spirit and well-being.  The Apostle Paul conveyed this to the believers in Colosse: “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 (Colossians 3:16”).  Here Paul is exhorting the church to use wisdom in counseling one another through sacred music.  The word “admonish” is the Greek word “noutheteo” which means to warn, to teach or to counsel.  Paul instructs the church on the wisdom of singing three specific types of music: psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  In this context, Psalms can be defined as songs that have been recorded, hymns as new spontaneous songs and spiritual songs as prophetic songs.  Sacred music has been one of the means by which God has personally healed me in times of stress, anxiety, depression and grief.  I have also witnessed the healing power of music through the testimonies of other people including some of those to whom I have provided Pastoral Counseling.

By the Word of God, and by my own experience, I am also a believer in singing in unknown tongues. My personal testimony, one who has had sleep apnea and chronic asthma, is that God has prompted my breathing through singing in tongues.  I truly believe that, through singing in unknown tongues, He has literally saved my life several time while I was yet asleep.  The singing prompted me open up to receive the ‘pneuma’ (wind, breath or spirit of God) and not die in my sleep from the breathing complications of sleep apnea combined with chronic asthma. The pneuma of God enters a person, fills them and suffuses their whole body just as the pneuma of their own breath. Just as a person’s mortal breathing of pneuma/breath gives life to their body, so the pneuma/spirit of God gives life (cf. John 6:63). It has been in my spirit that the Holy Spirit led me to make melody in my heart to the Lord and receive His pneuma!   My affirmation is ‘by Jesus stripes I am healed’ (cf. Isaiah 53:4-5) knowing that He is the Wonderful Counselor and Therapon.  Now, by faith, I await the divine manifestation of my healing.  Paul, in his teaching on spiritual gifts to the church at Corinth said, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the result then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding (1 Corinthians 14:14-15). In this passage Paul equates singing in the spirit with singing in tongues.  Please bear in mind, however, that a song sung in an unknown tongue is sung to God and not to man (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:2).

Here are three biblical examples of ‘therapeutic’ singing with understanding:

  • Saul was invaded by evil spirits and David played music.  The music was for therapeutic intervention and provided relief to Saul (cf. 1 Samuel 16:14 – 23).
  • King David and the Ark of the Covenant.  Through music, singing and dancing, David conquered his fear and hesitation in bringing ark into the City of Zion from Obededom’s house (cf. 1 Chronicles 15).
  • Paul and Silas in Prison.  The jail where Paul and Silas was imprisoned was a place of tension, mental anguish and physical pain but they sang to desensitize the distress associated with their imprisonment (cf. Acts 16:25).

Listening to Christian music can be a very beneficial form of self-help therapy.  Sacred music can reduce stress and promote a healthy mind and body.  When it comes to lyrics, it is very important to recognize that what you are listening to will directly affect how you feel. Christian music therapy can lift our spirits, especially when we sing praises and worship the Lord with our voices in song.

*The scriptures noted in this post are from the New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise noted.  You are welcome to share your comments and testimonies about how Christian music has been a blessed and therapeutic intervention in your life.  You may also be interested in the following upcoming articles: “Christian Music As Therapy, A Counselor’s Perspective”, “Christian Music As Therapy, A Clinical Perspective” and “Christian Music As Therapy, A Genre Perspective”.

Dr. Linda H. King is the Founder, President & Chief Ministry Officer of Soul Care Ministries International, Inc. and The Soul Care Institute™, an N.C.C.A. Certified Academic Institution; an Ordained Minister of the Gospel and N.C.C.A. Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor – Board Certified; Christian Coach, Mentor, Speaker and Blogger. Dr. King can be reached 1 (888) 761-5777, Ext 1 or

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