Dr. Dan Hayden •

Before we were married, I once sang a song to my wife. Actually, I’m surprised that she married me after that! But I wanted to express my feelings to her, so I did it with song.

When you sing a hymn or spiritual song in your church, do you ever sing to the Lord? You know – singing with a specific intention in your heart that the Lord will know that you are singing it to Him.

In Ephesians 5:19, Paul says, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Now did you notice that last phrase, “singing and making melody in your heart,” where? – “to the Lord”! NOT – to the song leader. NOT to each other. But, “to the Lord.” Well, that’s not a new idea, but I wonder how often we actually do that.


The words, “to the Lord” is a dative phrase showing direction. It’s the exclamation point on the end of this verse, telling us that when we sing as a result of being filled with the Holy Spirit, we are to do it “to the Lord.”

You see, whenever the Holy Spirit is involved in something, all the arrows will point to Jesus. “He will glorify me,” Jesus said, “for He will take of mine and show it unto you” (John 16:13-14). Well, the point here is that when we engage in worship in our churches, the emphasis should not be on ourselves. “Did I like the service? Did I like the songs?” Rather, the emphasis should be on the Lord. Did He like the expression of our worship? Did He appreciate our hymns and songs? You see, worship is primarily a vertical experience, not a horizontal one. What He thinks about our worship is much more important that what we think about our worship. So next Sunday, when you sing in church – sing in your heart “to the Lord”!

Now you know the real meaning of the word. Say, worship services were never meant to please the seeker. They were meant to please the Lord. Think about it!