Many (not all) Christians agree that the Psalms should be an important part of our lives. At the very least, the Psalms were important to Jesus, so they should be important to us, too.
But do we have to sing them? Can’t we read them during the service or pray them to ourselves?
I think there are solid Biblical reasons to sing the Psalms, but let me start with four not-necessarily-Biblical ones.
1. Singing takes time.
You can skim through your Bible reading, but you can’t skim while you’re singing. It forces you to pay attention through every verse of Psalm 68 (the agony!).
2. Singing is public.
You can read silently. You can recite the Psalms to yourself in your mind. But if you’re singing, there’s gonna be some noise. Someone standing near you might hear. That’s a good reason to sing the Psalms.
3. You can sing when you don’t feel like praying.
When words are put to music, it becomes easier to get them out. You may have trouble speaking or remembering the words to a prayer – or even knowing what to say. Singing a Psalm can be your prayer.
4. Singing is corporate.
Of course, you can sing all by yourself. And you can recite as a group. But, generally, music is the best way for a group of people to say something at once. Plus, one person’s singing can support another’s in a way that simple recitation can’t, so the Psalms become the voice of the body in a real way.