Fresh Worship with Old-Fashioned Hymns

Remember in December when I suggested we carol our way to worship by singing all the verses to well-loved Christmas carols? Well, as January unfolds, I’ve discovered that Christmas carols aren’t the only way to experience fresh worship. Old-fashioned hymns work just as well.

In a New Year’s post, fellow writer and blogger, Julie Gillies, challenged readers to ask God to show them one thing they could do to draw closer to Him this year. After fighting a bit of fear (silly and showing a lack of faith, I know, but sometimes I worry about what God might ask me to do), I asked God to show me if there was something that might help me draw closer to Him. Soon an answer came.

“Sing a hymn each day—the way you did with Christmas carols,” God impressed on my heart. My spirit leaped at the thought. Yes! I would continue the fresh worship God blessed me with during the Christmas season by simply singing through our hymnal this year. (When will I learn not to be fearful of what God might ask me to do? It always brings blessing, and He always empowers me to do it.)

Since we have a piano and I already have a hymnal at home, I jumped right in (singing, not playing; my piano skills leave much to be desired :)). The very first hymn was “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”. Can’t get much better than that, huh? As I sang all four verses, not only did I lift my voice to the Lord, my spirit sang as well.

Each morning now I look forward to seeing what my hymn for the day will be. With anticipation, I wonder what message I’ll meditate on as I sing to the Lord. I’m so thankful He showed me a new way to draw closer to Him this year.

Anyone with me? I encourage you to find a hymnal and let some old favorites lead you to fresh worship today. Sing with me, won’t you? “Joyful, joyful we adore Thee . . .”

“I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” Psalm 63:5

*What’s an old favorite you love to sing?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early February. Sign-up is free and to the right!

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*Flickr photo by j2wade, Creative Commons License


  1. Oh Cheryl, I love that God spoke to you and showed you one thing to help you draw closer to Him. You’re going to have a wonderful year singing to the Savior. :-)

    And I love hymns! In fact, this year for Christmas I asked for (and received) the book “Then Sings my Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories”. It’s an inspiring book that focuses on the story behind each hymn and the author/composer. I’ll be you’d love it!

    Oh, and thanks for the link love, sweet friend!

  2. Cheryl, do you know of Fernando Ortega? I LOVE his music, and his hymns just make my heart soar. He has taken familiar old songs and changed the rhythms and chords just enough that at first you wonder why the song is familiar. Then suddenly, you are singing with him! Let me know if you want a few recommendations by him.

  3. Julie, I knew you’d be blessed to hear how God worked through your post — always such a blessing to hear when our words touch someone else, isn’t it? And you’re right. Bet I would love the book about the hymn stories.

    Jana, I have heard of Fernando Ortega, and I’m sure have even heard him on Christian radio at some point, but about the only time I listen to the radio now is when I’m in the car. I’ll have to pay attention and try to notice him. Any song in particular that I can keep my ears perked up for?

  4. We love singing JOYFUL, JOYFUL! We sing it at a very pace, with hand clapping added! :) You can’t stand still with that song!

    We incorporate hymns into our early worship service at church. We always try to have a mixture of those songs. One we did on Sunday was “Jesus Paid it All” and we sang “Glorious Day”. We sang the Casting Crowns version, (changed up the melody a little), but still beautiful words!

  5. What a wonderful start to your day! My all-time favorite is How Great Thou Art, although the notes are entirely too high for me; but it was my grandmother’s favorite and it makes me think of her every time I hear it.

  6. What a great way to worship your way through the year! I love the old hymns, especially a fan of Fanny Crosby and Wesley. Such great theology encased in a melody. In my opinion, modern day worship music can’t hold a candle to my hymnbook. It’s just what works for me.


  7. What an awesome idea, however, not sure my family will be so excited for me to sing everyday. You see that is not one of the gifts God gave me :) Favorite old hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” Current song “I am A Friend of God”

  8. Hey all, love hearing about your favorite hymns. I love the ones you’ve mentioned, too!

  9. I love any hymn by Isaac Watts. That man could write some beautiful words.
    I know in my hymnal there are a couple of Spanish hymns. Those would be fun to sing!

  10. I love hymns! I’ve used a hymnal I have at home for devos before. Very moving lyrics. : )

  11. Greetings from Wordwise Hymns. Great idea, to sing a hymn each day in your daily devotions. (Or, if a person isn’t musical, reading them works well, too.

    And a variation for family devotions: Have a “hymn of the week,” and read a bit about the background of the hymn as you teach it to your children and sing it together.

    On my blog, I’ve written on over a thousand hymns, and have had more than 153,000 visits from all over the world. (Many love the great hymns of the faith as you do!)

    And, if you’ll excuse a short commercial: I encourage you to purchase a copy of my book Discovering the Songs of Christmas–before next Christmas roles around. It contains the stories behind 63 carols and Christmas hymns, old and new.

    God bless.

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