Each year I have been challenged to pick one word that reflects a central focus for the upcoming year. This is not an easy task. Obviously, what one word could top the word JESUS as anyone’s central focus—since He is to have the preeminent first place spot in all we say or do (Colossians 1:18, etc.)

However, in the past I have also chosen other words:

  • In 2014, I chose the word WISDOM – since it was a year of major decisions
  • In 2015, I chose the word HEALTH – to reflect my desire to focus on my physical and spiritual health.

Now in 2016, I have chosen a rather unique word—PSALMING

I was going to choose the word WORSHIP or even the word SINGING — reflecting my desire to give more attention to the musical part of worship in my life. I certainly, in no way, imply that music is the only form of worship.

But why the word PSALMING?

The Greek verb psallo, which can quite literally be translated psalming is used five times in the New Testament. It comes from a root word (psao) which meant to pull out…to cause to vibrate (e.g. by touching a stringed instrument). Of course, it also means to sing One wonders if it refers to the vibration of our vocal chords—which I believe is God’s favorite instrument.

Below is a brief overview of the five uses of the word psallo in the New Testament. From them, I have begun drawing some personal thoughts. This is far from complete and is a work in progress…

Psalming in the New Testament and in My Life in 2016

  • James 5:13 “…Is anyone cheerful? (euthumeo = in good spirits) he is to sing praises (psaletto = present active imperative of psallo).

 My thoughts:

  • Psalming is a response to the goodness and mercy of God in my life
  • Psalming is commanded
  • Psalming is to be continual
  • I want to also spend a great deal of time this year
  • reading the Psalms
  • bombarding myself with praise and worship
  • singing more
  • reflecting on the words of many of the great songs of the faith
  • 1 Corinthians 14:15 “…I will sing (psalo = future active indicative of psallo) with the spirit and I will sing (psalo = future active indicative of psallo) with the mind also.”

My thoughts:

  • Psalming involves spirit and the mind (content, substance, theological accuracy)
  • I am praying the Holy Spirit will stir my spirit in a greater way
  • I am praying that my mind will be filled with the words of psalms and songs
  • Ephesians 5:18-19 “…but (alla = strong contrast word) be filled (plerousthe – present active imperative of pleroo) with the Spirit, speaking to (lalountes = present active participle of laleo) one another in psalms (psalmos) and hymns (hymnos) and spiritual songs (pneumatikos), singing (adontes = present active participle of the verb ade) and making melody (psallontes = present active participle of the verb psallo ) with your heart to the Lord…”

My thoughts:

  • Psalming is a response of an obedient choice to be continuously filled with the Spirit
  • I am to continuously speak to others in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
  • I am to continuously sing and “psalm” with my heart to the Lord. He is the primary focus.
  • Romans 15:9 “Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles,
    And I will sing
    (psalo = future active indicative of psallo) to Your name.”

My thoughts:

  • Psalming is to be directed to the Lord – “to You”… “to your name”
  • Psalming is also a witness to others. May those closest to me witness the psalming part of my life.
  • May my Lord be pleased with a deeper heart of worship that overflows in a singing and making melody in my heart and with my mouth.