Nigerian Praise and Worship Songs

Praise and worship have been an integral part of life in Nigeria for centuries. This used to happen even before modern Christian missionaries set foot in the country. At that time, the natives used to sing songs in praise of their god(s). These songs were sung when the rain came after a long period of drought, after a good bountiful harvest and the birth of a child.

Other songs of praise were sung on different occasions. When a local king died and a successor was chosen, special songs were sung in his praise, asking the gods to give him long life and wisdom. Special songs were also sung for youngsters who were considered heroes after heroic deeds such as in wars. In Nigeria, as in many African countries, songs of praise are still sung, especially for national leaders.

The advent of Christianity and Islam in Nigeria never eradicated praise songs. Some praise songs were transformed to reflect the change in worship, and most praise songs today are used to praise God (both Christian and Muslim).

These praise songs evolved into worship songs and are common throughout the country. While modern praise and worship songs have made their way into society, traditional ones still abound, using traditional instruments such as drums and trumpets. It is not surprising to find modern praise and worship songs comfortably sung in local languages.

In today’s Nigeria, praise and worship songs have been arranged in such a way that particular songs are sung on certain occasions.

  1. Songs of praise and adoration in family. These are common in most Christian homes and will be heard sung morning and night. These are meant to give thanks and praise to God for his care and protection at night and for his guidance during the day. They are very popular with children.
  2. Praise songs for marriage. These are sung during the wedding festivities and are meant to give thanks and praise to God for such an opportunity. They are also meant to persuade God to bless that couple.
  3. Thanksgiving praise songs. They are sung to give thanks to God. They are mostly sung when the first harvest is brought to church as an offering to God.
  4. Worship songs. These are the sun in the church. Some will be sung at the beginning of the service, others during the church service and the rest at the end of the service.

It is important to note that Muslims also have their own praise and worship songs and just like Christians those songs are meant to praise Allah.

Some of the modern praise and worship songs sung in local languages ​​are;
(a) Joy, joy, joy (cssm 236), Wide, wide as the ocean (cssm 269) and Jesus, Jesus, Jesus (cssm 305).

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