Praise the Lord; for the Lord is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. Psalm 135:3
As you well know here at Christ Audio we study science and prove Scripture true nearly every day. There isn't a week that goes by that we aren't amazed at how scientists prove God's word true. But nothing has come close to the ancient principle of chanting.
The English version of Genesis 4:26 recounts that after the murder of Abel men began to call on the name of the Lord. Although the general meaning is correctly translated, a deeper look reveals that calling on the name of God is synonymous with reciting, or singing, God's name. Today we call this chant. From that time chanting has been practiced by Jews and Christians for thousands of years.
The most astonishing facts about chanting is that science is now revealing that our brain and body are finely tuned to benefit from chanting. In fact, the brain is so finely tuned that just listening to music can drastically stimulate the brain of Alzheimer patients. In a 2009 interview, Dr. Oliver Sacks professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine explained how patients became reanimated after listening to music. They carried conversations, remembered family, friends, and past events. Many of them appeared healthy and completely unhindered by the disability.
MIT scientists studied brain scans of the phenomena and determined that the neurological connections associated with musical stimulation were so numerous that it could take decades to study. They weren't the only ones completely amazed by the effects of music.
In 2008, the US National Library of Medicine published a scientific document by Dr. Marc F Schmidt, depicting the hemispheric activity between the left and right brain of songbirds. What he found was that both left and right brain work together to produce sound and harmony, and it works the same way in humans.
The left side of your brain is in charge of logical activity like language, writing, and reasoning. While the right side helps you with creativity, imagination, art, and music.
When we sing or chant, we engage both sides of the brain almost simultaneous. The activity has a way of balancing and clearing the mind. This type of cerebral switching is so important to our mental health that the process is in our genetics. During sleep, our brain will automatically initiate cerebral switching. Scientists suspect that constant use of one area of the brain may result in the deficiency of other sectors.
So God created a fail safe mechanism in you, hemispheric switching during sleep. One could say that it's God's love that protects us while we sleep so we may have the opportunity to live and grow with more wholesome abilities. And that's the mechanism stimulated in Alzheimer patients when they listen to music.
In Psalm 135:3 God's word states “Praise the Lord; for the Lord is good: sing praises unto His Name; for it is pleasant.” The word “pleasant” in the Hebrew language means delightful, beautiful, or perfect. In other words to sing to God is pleasant to us, and may have a beautifying effect. I think we could all agree that imaging of musically stimulated brains full of color, light, and activity is far more beautiful and perfect than the relatively dim images of a debilitated mind.
So God's word is again proven right by science, but many scientists are reluctant to concede to God. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence, many are resistant to acknowledge God. Fortunately there many of us connecting the dots and realizing how amazing and powerful God's word is.
Now imagine how powerful it would be if we followed the biblical instruction to sing and praise God but solely according to His word and in a way that everyone can follow regardless of musical ability.
The age-old chants and liturgical music of Orthodox Christian worship have exceptional beauty and spiritual power for Christians worldwide. The power comes from applying a simple rhythm to the book of Psalms; God's approved song book. That's what this program is delivering to you today.
But we want to take it a step further.
To live a glorious life with God we must always be ready to admit that we fall short of God's impeccable glory, and repentance is a great starting point for that. Next, we must fully accept reconciliation with God. Accepting God's reconciliation with song and praise will help you fully internalize His love and forgiveness. Once repentance and reconciliation are accomplished victory can ensue.
So in our program, you will hear set of Psalms chanted for repentance, another for reconciliation, and another for victory. In the end, you will hear a Psalm of praise that recognizes God for all His goodness. As I go along, I will tell you what section we're in and the Psalm number.
What's great about this program is that it follows the simple rhythm of the Orthodox chants so you can easily follow along. You don't need a magnificent voice or a keen sense of timing. You can just listen to them, or you can get a NKJ Bible and we can chant together.
Whether you listen to them or chant the following Psalms, you'll notice that many of the words and phrases will stick in your mind. That's God's word reshaping your brain. In John 14:23 Jesus states that if we love Him, we will keep His word. Music and chanting is one way of making this happen.
God bless you on your journey and remember we're always praying for you. Let's begin.