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Daily Devotional Genesis 4:17–26

“To sing is to pray twice.” This quote, often attributed to St. Augustine, implies that prayer and singing for the Christian are deeply connected. And this is true throughout the Bible from the very first mention of a musician. Do you know who that was?

At that time people began to call on the name of the LORD.


In Genesis 4, Jubal is mentioned as the father of everyone who plays stringed instruments and pipes (v. 21). But apart from correctly answering a Bible trivia question, what is the deeper significance of this passage? It is important to look at the context. Genesis chapter 3 records a time of great despair for the people of God. Sin had entered the world, and Adam and Eve were sent away from the garden of Eden (Gen. 3:24). We also see the first recorded murders in history (Gen. 4:8, 23).

But in Genesis 4:17–26, when Jubal and music are first mentioned, we also read that it was the first time people began to call on the name of the Lord. They prayed. Perhaps these first prayers were giving thanks for the birth of Seth (v. 25) and his son in the aftermath of Cain killing Abel. Or maybe they were prayers of lament to the Creator for all that had transpired in the lives of the people. Either way, the closing verses of Genesis 4 contain one of numerous examples throughout the Bible, showing that true worship and singing to the Lord are always connected to our intimate fellowship with the Lord. Our music in worship must be rooted in a life of prayer where we give thanks and ask God for His power and presence.

We are called to believe and live the words we sing in daily worship to the King. And we have a God who can enable us through the Holy Spirit to do so. May our music in worship be rooted in our daily walk with Him!

Go Deeper

What events led up to the first prayers mentioned in Genesis 4:26? Why do you think prayer and singing are interwoven?

Pray with Us:

Almighty God, thank You for the gift of music! This precious gift helps us in our daily walk with You, teaches us to pray more faithfully, and enables us to proclaim to others the mystery of faith.

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