18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph. 5:18-20)
Some thoughts on the need for praise in music from NT Wright:
Paul doesn’t see these hymns and songs as simply decorative, a pleasant aural embroidery around Christian faith and practice. Singing, whether aloud or in your heart, was, he thought, an excellent way of actually practicing the faith. If you don’t want your garden to grow weeds, one of the best ways is to keep it well stocked with strong, sturdy flowers and shrubs. If you don’t want your mind and heart to go wandering off into the realms of darkness, one of the best ways is to keep them well stocked with wise and thankful themes, so that words of comfort, guidance and good judgment come bubbling up unbidden from the memory and subconscious.
Hymns and psalms today can still provide exactly this kind of Christian nurture. They are not merely entertainment; they are instruction, consolation, warning and hope. After some rather feeble attempts at new Christian hymns and songs in the late twentieth century, it would be good to think that the twenty-first century might see a fresh awakening of creative talent in this area.
Wright, T. (2004). Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (pp. 62–63). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.