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Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

timeless teaching

 // Timeless Teaching Kenneth E. Hagin

IT'S GOD'S PLAN for Christians to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit and worship in the Spirit. The way we maintain a continual infilling and walk in the Spirit is through speaking divinely inspired utterances to the Lord.

These divinely inspired utterances can have several different means of expression. One way is to magnify and worship God in other tongues. We see this in Acts 10:46: "For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God." Paul also mentioned several other expressions.

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

Colossians 3:16 also emphasizes worshipping the Lord.

16 . . . teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Paul was speaking to every believer when he said we are to speak to ourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. This is something we are to do in our personal communion with God.

A psalm is a spiritual poem or ode. It may or may not rhyme, but there is an element of poetry about it. It may be sung, chanted, or recited. A person given to music would naturally sing a psalm given by the Spirit. Others who are not inclined to sing would simply speak out the psalm.

Many times, God will give us a psalm in our private prayer life for our benefit. On the other hand, a hymn is a song of praise and worship addressed to and directed toward God.

A spiritual song brings forth the revelation of the word that the Holy Spirit has given you. It may be a scripture, a word of encouragement, a word of exhortation, and so forth.

Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are given by the Holy Spirit. They're "hot off the wire" from Heaven. Jesus called this kind of utterance New Testament worship.

Once we are initially filled with the Spirit and speak supernaturally, we are to continue speaking supernaturally.

Ephesians 5:18–19 and Colossians 3:16 are talking about the supernatural utterance the Holy Spirit gives us on the spur of the moment by the spirit of prophecy.

What is prophecy? It is inspired utterance in a known tongue. The simple gift of prophecy "speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort" (1 Cor. 14:3). It should not be confused with the prophet's office, which often gives revelation of the future.

According to First Corinthians 14:31, every believer should prophesy—or, in other words, should speak to himself in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in his private devotional life. Consider what Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: "When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm" (1 Cor. 14:26). The reason everyone in the Early Church could have a psalm when they came together was that they had been speaking in psalms in their private prayer lives.

The benefits of speaking to ourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are great.

First, it enables us to have true communion with God and worship Him in Spirit and in truth. It's also a means of spiritual edification—we stay encouraged and built up in the Lord. Finally, it keeps us separated from the world. It causes us to be conscious of His indwelling Presence. If we're conscious that He is living in us, it's bound to affect the way we live.

It is God's plan that we be filled with His Spirit and speak forth in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. But some may say, "I don't know how to do that. How can I enter into that kind of walk in the Spirit?"

Stir Up the Gift
Some believers have been filled with the Holy Spirit and have spoken in other tongues. Yet they've either never spoken in tongues again or have spoken very little since their initial infilling. They have not maintained a fresh experience with God.

Notice what Paul, in writing to Timothy, said:

6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

What "gift" was Paul talking about? There is a twofold application of this verse. The word gift here can refer to impartations by the Holy Spirit given when God sets people aside for service. For example, Acts 13:2 says, "As they ministered to the Lord, . . . the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." Something was imparted to Barnabas and Saul by the Holy Spirit as they were set apart for service.

The second application of this verse is that the gift Timothy received when Paul laid his hands on him was the gift of the Holy Spirit. We know from scripture that Paul laid his hands on many people and they received the Holy Spirit.

Notice what Paul said Timothy was to do with this gift. He said, "Stir up the gift of God that is within you" (2 Tim. 1:6). In other words, stir up the Holy Spirit on the inside of you!

You can stir up the Holy Spirit yourself within your own spirit by praying in other tongues. After you do that for awhile, you can begin speaking to yourself in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19). This is how you enter into New Testament worship.

To learn more about speaking in psalms, hymns, and spiritual melodies, go to khm.com/songinyourheart.

[Editor's note: This article was adapted from Kenneth E. Hagin's book Plans, Purposes, and Pursuits.]

To learn more about speaking in psalms, hymns, and spiritual melodies, go to


Today is not as dark
as some men would have you believe.
Today is not as desolate and desperate
as the media ofttime would portray.

Today is the day of the Lord—
a day of deliverance,
a day of blessing,
a day of visitation.

For, you see, those who walk with the Lord
walk in the light.
And they walk by faith and not by sight.

But those who walk in darkness cannot see.
Yea, even the god of this world
has darkened their minds,
and all they see is desolation, darkness,
and the end of time.

The end of time will surely come.
But remember, the Master said to us
who walk and live in this time,
"When these things begin to come to pass,
lift up your heads and look up!
Rejoice! For your redemption draweth nigh!"

So today is not dark;
Today is bright, and today is light.
Walk in the light and all of your pathways
will forever be bright.



Romans 4:20 (NIV) says that Abraham “did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God.” Many years ago my father, Kenneth E. Hagin, wrote in the flyleaf of his Bible, “God said it; I believe it; and that settles it.” Abraham had this same attitude, and we need to grab hold of it too. No matter how bad our situation looks, our victory is found in God’s promises and in never letting go of what our Heavenly Father has said.
Don’t Be Double-Minded
Often today believers affirm their faith publicly, but when they are by themselves, they begin to question God. They wonder if He can really help them. The moment they start doubting, they begin wavering in their faith.
The Bible is very clear about the danger of wavering.
James 1:6–7 (NIV)
6 When you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Faith does not look at circumstances, and it doesn’t regard feelings. It stays completely focused on God’s Word. Unfortunately, some people allow their situations and feelings to “speak” louder than Scripture.
Some people lose their healing because they stop looking at the Word and focus on what’s going on in their body. It’s dangerous to do this, because before long they will start talking wrong. They’ll begin to say things like, “I thought I was healed. I guess I lost my healing.”
When we start talking like that, we throw out our healing and open the door for the devil and all of his junk to come back in. If we would just stand strong on the Word, every symptom would leave.
Look to the Word
Anytime the enemy bombards your mind with his lies, you must counter those lies with the Word of God. When lack rears its ugly head, read what God said about prosperity. When sickness impacts your body, meditate on healing scriptures. When fear invades your life, find peace scriptures to read. When impossibilities stare you in the face, the Word holds your answer.
Reading God’s promises keeps us focused on them instead of on the distractions that are sent to prevent us from receiving what God has for us. When facing the impossible, we can’t afford to look at whatever is coming against us.
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