Selah: The Power of Pausing

Are you familiar with the word ‘selah’? Perhaps it reminds you of the popular Christian vocal group by the same name? Or maybe you recognize it from the Psalms? The most comprehensive way to define selah is to combine a few different meanings: ‘to hang’, ‘to praise’, ‘to lift up’, and ‘to pause’. The Amplified Bible help us understand how selah can be interpreted by adding “pause, and calmly think of that” to each verse where selah appears.

Each of us can take heed of selah moments in our private worship and also in corporate worship during a Sunday service. During corporate worship on a Sunday we have selah opportunities at different times in the service. During prayer we might be given the opportunity to pause and reflect. When we worship in song we have selah opportunities during musical interludes. In fact, at BPCC we include musical interludes intentionally to give us an opportunity to pause and reflect on what we are singing.

I love what Bob Kauflin says about this topic: …they (musical interludes) provide an opportunity for a congregation to respond to what they’ve just sung. That response is generally either celebrative or reflective. The motive for musical interludes is to serve the congregation by providing an opportunity to respond more fully to God’s Word.

I write about this to encourage and remind each of us the importance of musical interludes during Sunday worship services. In the busyness of life, it can be difficult to find space to pause and think about anything! So, friends, next time you are part of a worship service and the musical interlude plays – pause and think on what you are singing about, pause and think on God’s Word, pause and think on the truth of who God is. Use the time to worship God in prayer and thanks.

Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!’ Psalm 62:8 (AMPC)

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2018-07-26T17:22:08+00:00

About the Author:

Emma is the Creative Arts Leader at BPCC and is passionate about seeing people worship and exalt Jesus through song. Emma is responsible for the praise and worship at BPCC and works closely with a passionate team of people to provide meaningful worship in services. Emma is also involved in facilitating community events and engagement with wider social justice causes. Emma loves to spend time with her husband and 4 young children.