Worship for Non-Singers
I have been in a choir once in my life. That was in Indonesia in the halcyon days of my very brief YWAM stint. As a so-called baritone, a label very optimistically bestowed by the Indonesian choir leader, I successfully managed to butcher every hymn and song that we were scheduled to play. Let's just say I was a much better puppeteer and clown than singer.
Yet, worship is something the Lord God desires from us and it is something that is right to give Him. How does one achieve worship with a voice that renders anything musical much more akin to long fingernails being dragged down an old blackboard? I am hoping that a solution I have found helpful may help others with tonally challenged voices such as mine.
First up, a disclosure. When I worship, I do not use Christian music per se. That is not from any conscious choice, just that the music I actually use has few, if any, Christian artists. Furthermore, there is something redemptive about using non-religious music for the Lord God Himself.
I tend to use what is known as drone, which is an electronic music that often has a base-line of drones underlying the melody at certain frequencies. I don't pay attention to the frequencies (I really don't give a hoot), but rather for ones that can be played in a background and do not drag my attention away from Jesus Christ, my Lord and God. A couple of tracks that fit into the drone genre are:
For something a little different is 36's track Black Soma. These are three songs, among others, that have proven really suitable to establish that ethereal mood while not drawing attention away from Jesus. I play them at a low volume. I just set the music going and get into it.
If you pray in tongues, this is a good time to do so, I think. If not, that is also fine. It is good to focus the mind on Jesus Christ. I do that through visuals, scenes from His life on Earth. One of my favourites, though, is Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father or the empty cross.
For the worship proper, I declare the attributes and names of God and Jesus. I offer thanks and praise with my mind focused as much as possible on Him. If the mind wanders, I will also focus on the words I am saying. Whatever the mind does, I draw it back to His presence and nature.
One of the good things about this is that you really need to read the Bible to know more and more about God. If you do not, then you end up repeating the same old things again and again. This “way”, I have found, pushes me to know more about the God that I call my Saviour and Lord.
I have not had any great mystical experiences or visitations, but there has been a regular sense of the Lord's presence and guidance. Usually, it has been to read certain parts of the Bible (which unerringly hit the mark with what is happening in life at that moment). Less commonly, a name of someone possibly on the other side of the world will come for me to pray for.
I have found this works for me well and I do not need to put up with listening to my own caterwauling in the vain attempt to sing. I hope it helps someone out there too.
Blessings to you in Jesus' Glorious and Wondrous Name.