Take a look at this excerpt taken from the book “Natural Prozac” by Joel Robertson:
The word psyche in Greek means breath, life, spirit. People have always known intuitively that the mind is the gateway to the spirit. The mind provides us with the intellectual capabilities essential for survival. But the riches of the psyche lie in its deeper realms.
The connection between the dark cloud of depression and the physical brain lies in a set of neutro-transmitters. These neutro-transmitters are actually messenger chemicals that create feelings, stimulate thoughts, and trigger memories. When you have an optimal amount of any single neurotransmitter in your brain, then you will experience the positive feelings associated with that neurotransmitter. There are five neurotransmitters. Of these, three are of particular importance in depression: serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Serotonin boosts feelings of optimism, well-being, self-esteem, relaxation and security. It enhances sleep and relaxation. The other two increase feelings of alertness, assertiveness, aggression and wakefulness. They heighten energy, speed up thoughts.
When we undergo stress, our endocrine system releases a group of hormones called glucosteroids, or “stress hormones”, the most notable of which is cortisol. Scientists believe that secretions of high levels of cortisol may disrupt the balance and production of either serotonin or norepinephrine. Neutro-transmitters are hormone like chemicals that direct the workings of the central nervous system, including the brain, and thereby affect the entire body and mind.
The choice between facing a difficult situation or fleeing from it, may well depend on serotonin levels. Those with low levels have more anxiety over impending adverse events and a far greater tendency to avoid events that they expect will be difficult. Among the most effective tools for boosting serotonin are reading inspirational literature and prayer.
Dopamine gives us a sense of strength, vitality, energy and power. The moment you are confronted with a competitive or threatening situation, dopamine gives you the energy needed to deal with that situation. Put some of your favorite fast music on your stereo and try to sit still.
Norepinephrine and dopamine are flooding your brain, causing your muscles to want to move, your respiration to increase, and your heart rate to accelerate. You may think the music’s beat is forcing you to dance but actually the rhythms of norepinephrine are.
As you began to praise God in a depressed state, the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine began to rise giving you a sense of vitality. As you continue, you can do spiritual warfare because you feel strong and ready to take on any threatening situation. AND IT BRINGS YOU OUT OF THE DEPRESSED STATE.
During worship, your serotonin levels are highest from prayer and the Word – giving you confidence and peace.
The benefits of praise will bring a new honesty into our midst, to enlarge our concepts of God. It will move us from negative to positive attitudes and mold our congregation into a true family UNIT. Once we learn to flow love to God, we will began to learn to love one another to the fullest.
When we sing as a congregation, we sing a variety of songs. We might sense His presence and feel the anointing and go away feeling wonderful. BUT, my question is, what did it do for the Father? Were we singing songs of praise? Were we singing songs that lifted Him up? He will anoint you far beyond your expectations and bless your socks off when you meet His requirement –“enter my courts with praise.”
We sing songs of Thanksgiving. These are songs that talk about what God has done for us and our appreciation of what he has done for us.
We sing songs of petition. These are songs where we are in a form of prayer, asking God for His blessing in one form or another.
We sing songs of declaration. These are songs declaring our position in Christ or our position against the enemy.
We sing songs of testimony. These are songs closely related to thanking God what He has done for us. We even sing songs about the enemy declaring our position against him and that he is defeated.
We sing wordy songs. Often we sing songs that are diabolically opposed to the Word of God. This is where the praise and worship leader has to be especially careful and in tune. Just because a song writer has written a song does not mean that it is scripturally correct. We sing songs for a variety of reasons. We need to be knowledgeable of the Word and not just sing because we like the melody or rhythm or the way they make us feel.
Often we sing songs in the third person and not directly to the Father. They may be ABOUT Him but not to Him. They can be about what He has done for US which is a form of praise but it is not what the scriptures are referring to when they clearly tell us to PRAISE HIM in the sanctuary and sing praises unto Him and come into the courts with praise.
While studying the Psalms, we find numerous songs of praise – these are praise to the Father. They are directly spoken to the Father. They are not to make us feel good. They are to give praise where praise is due.
Personally I believe that if we did just that in our praise services we would invoke the anointing without even singing all the songs we had planned.
Don’t get me wrong, melody and music are all part of praise. My point is that the melody should not be the decision-making tool for what songs we sing. I have read numerous excerpts on how to prepare for a praise and worship service and one criteria is the keys you play in and the flow, etc. Little is mentioned as to WHY we are singing, WHAT we are singing and to WHOM we are singing.
I challenge you to look closely at your praise and worship songs. Put them into their proper categories: songs that are a prayer, songs that are declaration, songs of testimony, songs that are a petition and songs of praise.
Some are obvious just from their titles. We need to take note what we are singing and whether or not it fits God’s pattern. There is room for all of these types of songs. I am specifically addressing the type of songs that will evoke the presence of God in our midst –the time of our gathering that is designed to bring praise to the Father. It is the time we prepare the sanctuary for His presence, His anointing. We are giving God something to work with, being obedient to what He has asked us to do.
There is a place for songs of thanksgiving and petition. There is a place for songs thanking God for fighting the battles and making us victorious over the enemy. But in our corporate praise service, the word clearly states we are to bring songs of PRAISE to the Father. How many of the songs you sing in your service do that? What category do they fall into?
If they are songs of thanksgiving, are they being sung in the order that the Word has set? Are you singing songs of praise that are strictly lifting up the Father and expressing praise to Him? Are you singing songs of worship that are intimate and expressing your love and adoration to Him?
Every praise and worship leader who has taken the time to follow the pattern of praise and worship that is set in the Word, has reaped the results we seek in a praise and worship service. God’s Word is reciprocal. He gives and gives and then gives more.
More arbout Carol and her mininstry here. http://batteredhope.blogspot.ca/p/blog-page.html